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After ModernityArchaeological Approaches to the Contemporary Past$
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Rodney Harrison and John Schofield

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199548071

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199548071.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 February 2021

Working Across Disciplines

Working Across Disciplines

Chapter:
4 Working Across Disciplines
Source:
After Modernity
Author(s):

Rodney Harrison

John Schofield

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199548071.003.0009

In the previous chapter, we considered those methodologies that might be seen to characterize the archaeology of the contemporary past. One of the issues raised there was the extent to which an archaeology of the contemporary past is defined by, and is even reliant upon, working with and across a series of different academic disciplines and areas of subject specialisms. In this chapter, we will look in more detail at the relationship between the archaeology of the contemporary past and the various academic disciplines on which it draws and with which it overlaps. Rather than a field defined by a series of other academic disciplines, we argue that the archaeology of the contemporary past emerges from this review as a discipline characterized by a particular vision and approach to the material culture of the contemporary world. These issues are explored in relation to various examples which illustrate both the similarities and differences between an archaeology of the contemporary past, and those various specialisms with which it has close relations. This chapter will also explore the relationship between the archaeology of the contemporary past and contemporary art, both in terms of artistic engagements with the archaeology of the contemporary past and the idea of archaeology as a form of contemporary artistic practice. A number of authors have written in detail about the historical relationship between archaeology and anthropology (e.g. Gosden 1999), and we do not have space to cover the topic in the detail it deserves here. The relationship between archaeology and anthropology is, however, particularly relevant when we are considering the archaeology of the contemporary past, as in almost all instances we are considering the material remains of societies contemporary with us. Archaeology and anthropology, although closely related, have developed along divergent lines in the different countries of the world in which they are practised, so for this reason we will focus our discussion on the historical relationship between archaeology and anthropology in North America and Britain, and the role of an ‘anthropological archaeology’ in approaches to the archaeology of the contemporary past.

Keywords:   Anthropological archaeology, Behavioural psychology, Cars, Disappearances, Ecological psychology, Flow theory, Garages, Heritage, Kinship, Linguistics

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