Article published in:Dialogic Matters: Interrelating Dialogue, the Material, and Social Change
Edited by Theresa R. Castor
[Language and Dialogue 11:1] 2021
► pp. 8–34
Objects that matter
The hybrid and distributed agency in parent-assisted homework interactions
It has been two decades since the social-material turn in social interaction studies proved the heuristic limits of a logocentric analytical geography. In this paper, we focus on the performative function of objects in an underexplored learning activity: parent-assisted homework. Adopting a Conversation Analysis informed approach complemented by the ventriloquial perspective on communication, we illustrate how parent-assisted homework is accomplished through the multiple resources in the semiotic field. Particularly, we show how participants orient to and exploit the agency of materiality in interaction. In the conclusion we raise a socio-pedagogical issue concerning the cultural capital embedded in the learning environment as well as the parents’ competence in recognizing and exploiting it in ways that are aligned with the school culture.
- 2.The agency of things: The socio-material turn in social sciences
- 2.1The “ventriloquial perspective” and beyond
- 3.The socio-material approaches in education
- 4.Materiality in action: Homework as an artifact-mediated learning activity
- 5.Data corpus and analytical procedures
- 6.The performativity of objects and the making of the learning environment
- 6.1Defining the frame: The agency of seemingly inert objects in the interactional scene
- 6.2Indicating and inviting to perform the required activity
- 6.2.1Sharing agency with objects
- 6.2.2Delegating agency to objects
- 8.How the school culture enters family cultures through words and things: Concluding remarks
Published online: 22 April 2021
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