"The Anthropology of Stuff" is part of a new Series dedicated to innovative, unconventional ways to connect undergraduate students and their lived concerns about our social world to the power of social science ideas and evidence. Our goal with the project is to help spark social science imaginations and in doing so, new avenues for meaningful thought and action. Each "Stuff" title is a short (100 page) "mini text" illuminating for students the network of people and activities that create their material world.
Lycra describes the development of a specific fabric, but in the process provides students with rare insights into U.S. corporate history, the changing image of women in America, and how a seemingly doomed product came to occupy a position never imagined by its inventors and contained in the wardrobe of virtually every American. And it will generate lively discussion of the story of the relationship between technology, science and society over the past half a century.