Sometimes it becomes remarkably easy for one to gain an insight into the workings of a culture through analyzing the objects. For example various ancient objects have designs engraved over them that depict specific scenery from the households. For example, on some pots, you may find paintings of a family setting in which the patriarch might be bringing in grain from the fields while the matriarch might be sewing some cloth. In this setting a number of things can be inferred about the domestic culture of the household. For instance, we can directly know that the family is agricultural in nature which is evidenced by the bringing in of grain. Secondly we can tell the family is also patriarchal in which the females stay in doors to work on home based chores while the males go out to work. Hence, so much can be inferred from a single vase.
Not only does the domestic material culture have great utility for archaeologists, it has implications for today’s society as well. Since artifacts have so much emphasis on the culture, this has especial significance for design students. Of course, the way they design things has especial significance on how stuff is used.
The notion of the Domestic material culture has also been used to level criticisms against the current domestic culture. For example, the throw-away culture is thought an important part of today’s culture. This has great implications for consumerism which is also coming under great fire. These aspects have their roots in wastefulness. For example, having boxes of KFCs and McDonalds in the home is thought of being a sign of prosperity. Moreover, since no hard work goes in the preparation of these foods and they tend to be quite cheap, they are thrown away quite easily. Moreover the domestic material culture is being too materialistic critics say. People drive SUVs; go on vacations often, and heat their whole houses while it is true that they only live in a few rooms. All of this has great implications on the environment which currently being threatened by global warming. Not only is the environment at stake, the over emphasis on material culture has meant that we are using stuff at such a speed that materials used to make that stuff is being depleted in far greater quantities and of course none of it can be replaced.