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MaterialAnalysisPaper - Beatrice Sorce Material Object...

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Beatrice Sorce Material Object Analysis: The Cell Phone Material culture embodies the infinite dimensions of the history of people through the study of artifacts and remains of the past. Theorists, Jules Prown, believed that the accurate description of objects held great importance in the study of material culture. He could not ignore the arguments made by historians, who believed that objects could not answer the “big” questions and were inapplicable to the study of history and similar disciplines. Therefore, Prown created a methodology intended to connect the study of objects to its history and prove that objects were intentional, not accidental, and held cultural value. Through the analysis of objects, information concerning the lifestyle, culture, and behavior of people can be extrapolated and interpreted. In order to explore the object, the cell phone, the empirical methodology of Prown will be used to analyze its function and significance within its time period. Prown’s methodology progresses through three stages: description, deduction and speculation. The description is “the recording of internal evidence of the object itself” (Prown 24), deduction is the interpretation of the “interaction between the object and the perceiver” (Prown 24), and speculation defined as the framing of inference and questions for the purpose and understanding of the object. The analysis will thoroughly examine interpretive, functional, and physical components of the cell phone. The methodology has been formulated to establish a comprehensive understanding of the possible significance and purpose of the object through observation and inference. The description of the cell phone begins with the substantial analysis, content, and formal analysis of its physical structure. The substantial analysis includes the dimensions, weight, material construction, and construction of the object. The dimensions are rectangular in shape and approximately 2.0 inches wide and 3.5 inches tall. The diameter of the cell phone is .5
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inches in diameter at the top and base when closed. The weight of the cell phone is 3.36 ounces. The material of the cell phone is an amalgam of synthesized metals and plastics produced from a factory and extracted from the earth. Glass was also used for the surface of the cell phone screen and for the inside screen. The cell phone is powered by two cylindrical metal
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