Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bapty, Ian, and Tim Yates. "Archaeology and Post-Structuralism."

Bapty, Ian, and Tim Yates, ed. Archaeology after Structuralism: Post-Structuralism and the Practice of Archaeology. London: Routledge, 1990. Nearly a decade has passed since the symbolic and structural archaeology conference announced a coherent challenge to to the existing paradig­matic and epistemological structure of archaeology. These ten years have been momentous ones for the discipline. Not only has its practice been transformed with the introduction of new conceptual frameworks (such as the notion of the archaeological record - material culture - as text) but also whole issues, questions and debates that were previously unthinkable have become relatively commonplace - debates about the social implications and embeddedness of scientific and academic study, about the politics of archaeological production, about the context of archae­ology and the social sciences in late capitalist society, about the construction of gender relations in the past, and so on. The framework provided by the New Archaeology had provided little, if any, space for consideration of these issues, and although the last three to four years have seen a general mellowing of the initial opposition to structuralism mobilised by the positivists (as elements of structuralist theory are diluted and wash over the international scene), for many processualists it is not only still possible to distance archaeology from these issues, from the present, from society, from contemporary systems of representation, but absolutely vital that we continue to do so. . . . Read the rest of the introductory chapter here: http://archaeology.kiev.ua/meta/bapty_yates.html.

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