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Cups, plates, apples, cookies & chickens in children’s everyday lives: Cultural history or materialsemiotics?

3.1 Farther reaches of theoretical and methodological explorations
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
2:30 PM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (30 minutes)
My presentation draws on materials from long-term ethnographic and participatory research on everyday eating practices in a variety of educational settings, such as preschools, urban allotment gardens and countryside fields in Europe and Latin America. Challenging relevant scholarship on cultural mediation and embodied cognition, I will argue that agency and intentionality are translated and distributed over relational networks and multiple temporal layers that bring together people and things in intertwined material-semiotic entanglements. Such entanglements may entail “healthy” children’s bodies, “fresh” fruit, “plastic” cups, “expensive” freezers or cookers as well as “public health” guidelines and “pedagogical” knowledge and values. In such a perspective “culture” is exactly about what it has always been: food-eating. What does such an approach imply for our understandings of subjectivity, human development and education? 
University of Sheffield
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