• Richard E. Blanton
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)


This book is about houses and their variation, both within communities and regions, and cross-culturally. But the subject matter in the following pages goes beyond just houses alone; by studying them, I hope to learn about human behavior in the context of households, particularly regarding how choices are made about the cost of housing. If this is my goal, why not address households and the behavior of their residents more directly? Unfortunately, for the kinds of questions I address, our knowledge of household behavior is surprisingly limited. Anthropologists have learned much about households in terms of their kinship terminologies, social structural arrangements, production techniques, domestic symbols, and marriage practices, among other aspects of the culture of households, but, as Wilk (1989: 28) points out:

What is peculiar is that anthropology has developed comparative techniques and terminology for almost every aspect of human culture except the daily conduct of household relationships and the handling of funds. There is no comparative “Home Economics” on a par with comparative studies of systems of production. It seems odd that the very heart of domestic life, the daily activities and interactions that are the “habitus” of the household, is not an ethnological subject in and of itself.


Cosmological Principle Indexical Communication House Form Residential Compound Canonical Communication 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard E. Blanton
    • 1
  1. 1.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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