This book argues that the traditional approach to material culture has focused on the symbolic meanings of objects and largely overlooked the material impact that objects have on everyday life in contemporary culture in late modernity. Using the motor car as a recurring theme, Dant resists the now well-established model of consumption as the principal relationship with 'things' in our lives, and argues that it is through material interaction that we confront our society through the objects that surround us. Often our engagement with material culture takes for granted the things that we see and touch, so we do not notice how they enable us to carry on the sorts of lives we do. Familiarity and habit means that the complexity of our interaction with objects - from cars, to kettles, to cartons - reflects our culture back to us, without us really being aware of it. Drawing on and debating with historical, philosophical and theoretical discourses that address materiality from Braudel to Heidegger, from Merleau-Ponty to Latour, this book opens up new lines of enquiry and proposes that the interaction between people and things deserves closer study. This book will of interest to students and researchers in a variety of disciplines that involve a concern with social relationships with things - including sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, and technology studies.