Gottfried Korff

Von Saubohnen, Kaffeelöffeln und epistemischen Dingen. Positionen und Perspektiven der Sachkulturforschung Wolfgang Jacobeits


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Hardly any other cultural discipline has examined “material culture” (Sachkultur) as comprehensively and thoroughly as Volkskunde/ethnography. Various other disciplines related to cultural matters have only recently approached the field of “material culture”. In this situation marked by a material turn it seems adequate and necessary to turn to the scientific work of Wolfgang Jacobeit, who like no other has devoted his studies – in theory and empirical practice – to the various forms of exploration and investigation of material culture (Sachkulturforschung). His activities concerning the setting up of an inventory of rural tools in the museums of GDR can be regarded as a starting point for the implementation of a new line of research into material culture. He has further encouraged the development of a strategic concept (“Kultur und Lebensweise”) and presented case studies (e.g. on the yoke, le joug, das Joch as working tool). This essay also delineates the specific features of ethnography in the GDR.
Keywords: objects, material culture, materiality, tools, Wolfgang Jacobeit, DDRVolkskunde