Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.626044
Title: The creation and destruction of gold jewellery
Author: Oakley, P.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
This thesis focuses on the tension that exists between the social identity of objects and their constituent substances, through an investigation of the activities and perceptions of professional practitioners who come into contact with either gold as gold objects or gold as an unconstrained substance. It adopts the strategy of ‘following the substance’ - considering the social flow of gold as a material - rather than being limited by the social biography of the object or taking a restrictive definition of production as just the physical fabrication of artefacts. Ethnographic data from fieldwork undertaken at assay offices, refiners, jewellery manufacturers and retailers and at precious metal scrap dealerships is analysed to identify how these sites interrelate through the movement of gold and the socially crucial points in this movement. The synthesised results of this analysis are presented as a visualisation of the social reclassifications of gold: the gold cycle. The main features of the cycle, including how the cycle incorporates the social trajectory of gold jewellery and the rite of passage undergone by gold as a substance, will be considered in relation to the subjects’ dominant self-identity as a group: The Trade. This case study is presented in order to contribute to the theoretical understanding of the social complexity of substances and the relevance of this to the production, consumption and destruction of objects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.626044  DOI: Not available
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