The broadly debated topics which have attracted a lot of attention

Material culture is one of the which have attracted a lot of attention especially when attempting to determine the value attached to commodities. In this regard, authors suggest that the value, use, and meaning of commodities keep on changing during their historical evolution in accordance to peoples perspectives, preferences, and culture among other human aspects. This implies that they do not occupy a position in the society that could be defined constantly across cultures and time spells. These authors have further exemplified their sentiments by portraying how selected different meaning in various contexts. In line with cultural change of value, this paper will focus on how authors have articulated their opinions in regard to material culture, select three items that have been used to exemplify it, and draw conclusions on how fashionable objects relate to this culture.

Authors on Material Culture
Various authors have profoundly focused on the ideology of material culture expressing their different views and depictions of how commodities acquire diverse meanings across cultures. Appadurai (1986) while expressing his views on material culture, ventured into describing the social life of commodities in a cultural perspective. He suggested that commodities cannot be described satisfactorily by virtue of a single definition without considering how their meaning change in different cultures (Appadurai, 1986). Further, he opposed the idea that the history of commodities can exhaust their biography arguing that their interpretation is always subjected to individual manipulation and perspective (Appadurai, 1986). This implies that the value attached to a commodity can hardly be determined resolutely in order to give a conventional meaning which could apply in all contexts.

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Pels (2010) developed a similar argument while attempting to determine the magical nature of commodities and when they should be regarded as extraordinary. He pointed out that a commodity cannot become magical without the intervention of human intentions towards it (Pels, 2010). He stated that material things acquire their magical nature when they exert agency either beyond or against the capability of human beings (Pels, 2010).

Moreover, he developed an argument portraying the different perspectives in regard to modernistic and traditional perspectives towards magic. In this regard, he illustrated that a modernistic perspective could argue that human beings should not be moved by magic because they have an ingrained power of controlling nature (Pels, 2010). On the other hand, the traditional autonomy strongly believed in the power of magical things which include charms, amulets, and fetishes among others. Pels depiction managed to clearly show how the value, meaning, and power of commodities varies across different time spells owing to modernization.

In order to elaborate the above sentiments, various fashionable commodities could be used to show how meaning and value change in accordance to the mentioned aspects. While exemplifying the illustrations, we could focus on Appadurais discussion of the rosary, the use of rings, and the various views attached to the use of vehicle in the modern and traditional settings.

While attempting to contend that commodities acquire varying cultural meanings, Appadurai (1986) elaborated the various meaning of the rosary. He used the rosary to explore the relationship between culture and materiality in a fairly profound manner.

Catholic Symbolism
Unlike the laymans understanding which views the rosary as a mere collection of beads, Appadrui (1986) contended that Catholics regards it as a term that relates to both the beads and the sequence of prayers recited. According to the Catholics, it symbolises the most powerful prayer that is channelled to God through the Holy Mary Mother of God (Barclay, 2010). Picture 1 shows the combination of players in the rosary as recited by Catholics.

Catholic Symbolism
Picture 1. Catholic Symbolism.
Due to this strong importance attached to the rosary, Catholics consider it as a holy tool of spirituality that must be held with great respect (Davidson, 1903). In respect to this spiritual significance, they do not use the rosary before it is not blessed by the clergies who include the priests, bishops, and cardinals among other people. This shows that the rosary is a holistic component that does not only represent a physical existence of a necklace-like ornament. Instead, it is symbol of spirituality that symbolises their commitment to God and holiness (Davidson, 1903). In addition, the rosary has fundamental symbols used in Catholic Church including the holy cross and image of Holy Mary. The incorporation of such symbols evidently shows the spiritual value that the believers attach to the rosary (Levivier & Gravier, 2006). Picture 2 shows the pope using a rosary for prayers.

Picture 2

The pope using a rosary for prayers.
Picture 2. The pope using a rosary for prayers.
Ornamental Value
Whereas the Catholics consider the rosary as a holy prayer, the atheists regard it as a mere ornament made of beads. Most of them wear it around the neck showing their contempt since they do not believe in the ideologies of the Catholic Church (Wills, 2006). The Catholics find the behaviour as being sinful and blasphemous to God. The use of rosary as an ornament is a perfect depiction of how materials things evoke completely different meanings across religions.

Mnemonic of Memory
Blackman (1918) suggested that rosaries are a good example of well arranged group of bead which aids in memorising. In this regard, Balckman (1918) explains that people of the ancient times made the rosaries by joining the beads which represented events. The rosary could thus stimulate people to recall, discuss, and celebrate the events which happened in the past (Balckman, 1918). In addition, he suggested that the Catholics embraced the culture of using the rosary as a memorising technique. In this case, the rosary has a combination of many prayers which are obviously difficult to count and memorise the number of players (Blackman, 1918). This could help the believers to avoid repeating the same player unnecessarily. Picture 3 portrays an ancient rosary, which was made in 1816, in order to memorise the difficulties of spreading Christianity in a world where atheism prevailed.

An ancient rosary, which was made in 1816.
Picture 3. An ancient rosary, which was made in 1816.
Signification of Atheism and Protest
When people use the rosary as an ornament, it develops a different perception on the Catholics. In this regard, Catholics regard such people as committing sins against the will of God. In most cases, the Catholics tend to associate such people with atheism and protestant churches. This is based on the premises that they do not recognise the significance of the rosary in regard to Mary Mother of God.

Description of Rings
Rings are circular ornaments that are put on fingers to signify conditions whose meanings are developed by the society. In this regard, rings are used in various situations including weddings and engagements where these contexts are defined by people in the society.

The visual representation of a ring.
Picture 4. Portrays the visual representation of a ring.

Marriage Context
Rings are used to signify the commitment of marriage between husbands and wives. In this regard, they are perceived as the physical or outward representation of marriage in the traditional and modern setting. The Egyptians were probably the first people who used the rings to signify marriage. They designed the rings, which were made of reeds, bones, and ivory, using a circular shape. Hart & Stacy (2009) suggested that the circular shape was a sign of eternity which meant that a person who had granted a ring intended to create an eternal bond with the partner until death. Further Gad & Scammato (2004) further pointed out that lack of a ring could be associated with spinsters and bachelors. This perception thus developed the importance of married people to have something that differentiated them from the unmarried ones.

This culture has been passed over generations to the modern world where profoundly used as the formalisation of marriage. Hart & Stacy (2009) observed that in a wedding ceremony, the ring fitting session takes a crucial part of the ceremony where it is regarded as the climax of the ceremony. The authors then pointed out that the use of rings in weddings is culture that has maintained its meaning over years as opposed to others that change with time (Hart & Stacy, 2009). In addition, other people such as the Britons embraced this culture and maintained it to date as a signification of marriage bond.

Engagement is a term used to describe a relationship between two lovers before they marriage. Johnson (2008) argued that the relationship could be equally referred to as courtship considering that it is meant to prepare partners for marriage life (Johnson, 2008). During this preparatory period, the partners might decide to show portray engagement using the engagement ring. However, they must portray their love for each other and signify their intentions for marriage (Johnson, 2008). However, the rings have to be used in a manner that differentiates engagement from marriage. In order to depict this difference, the engagement ring is put on the third finger next to the one used for marriage. Johnson (2008) pointed out that a ring, which is fitted on the third finger, is widely associated with engagement (Whittaker & Goetzman, 1968).

Gays and Lesbians
Sexual relationships between people of the same sex have become prevalent in the modern world. Moreover, the modern society is gradually appreciating the formalisation of same sex marriage by virtue of wedding ceremony and rings (Matlins & Bonanno, 1990). They have to portray different ideologies and principles of gays. For example, their rings are decorated with a mans symbol and an astronomical circle joined to a pointing arrow. The rings are also decorated with two intertwined symbols of planet Mars (Miller, 1987). The circle and pointing arrow symbolise the strength of gays relationship.

The two symbols of planet Mars portray the relationship between two male partners (Johnson, 2008). Further, the entire ring is symbolic of the gay pride which is crucial to their self-esteem. Additionally, gays use a to represent the gay flag. This flag is a representation of both their pride and shows how they value each other. Moreover, the six colours indicate the freedom of gays considering that they have been intensely fighting for their (Stearns, 1997). Picture 5 shows a gay wedding with the gays putting the rings on.

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