Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 159–166

“Doing” Agency: Introductory Remarks on Methodology


DOI: 10.1007/s10816-005-6926-z

Cite this article as:
Dobres, M.A. & Robb, J.E. J Archaeol Method Theory (2005) 12: 159. doi:10.1007/s10816-005-6926-z


As a theory of social reproduction, agency provides an attractive framework for understanding how material culture relates to everyday social action, to long-standing cultural institutions, and to wholesale culture change. What remains under-explored in archaeology is the question of how to proceed in linking observable material patterning to the agency of ancient social reproduction and how to understand the role of material culture in this dynamic process. This introduction (to this and the next issue of JAMT (Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory)) explores why there is a need for archaeology to develop explicitly articulated “middle range interpretive methodologies” that are appropriate for agency-oriented research in the past.


agencymethodologymiddle range interpretive methodologiessocial reproduction

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Archaeological Research FacilityUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyCalifornia
  2. 2.Department of ArchaeologyCambridge UniversityCambridgeUK
  3. 3.RandolphUSA