Reference : "Talk around objects": designing trajectories of belonging in an urban Inuit community
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Multidisciplinary, general & others
"Talk around objects": designing trajectories of belonging in an urban Inuit community
Budach, Gabriele mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS) >]
Patrick, Donna mailto [Carleton University > Anthropology]
Mackey, Teevi [> free researcher]
Social Semiotics
Objects and language in trans-contextual communication
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
[en] urban Inuit ; multiliteracies, human-object-relationships ; trans-contextuality, belonging
[en] In this study, we present findings from a collaborative ethnographic study with
urban Inuit in Ottawa, Canada. We investigate “talk around objects” as a
meaningful learning activity and a prism of human-object relationships.
Focusing on Inuit clothing – namely the Inuit-made parka (winter coat) and
amauti (a traditional Inuit baby carrier) – we examine the impact of everyday
objects on social interaction, with a particular emphasis on the effects of
materiality on talk. More specifically, we explore the role of objects and object
design in mobilizing particular forms of narratives, which project meaning across
contexts of time, space, activity, and generations. Accordingly, we conceptualize
the impact of objects as “joins” in trans-contextual meaning-making and point
to their significance in Inuit learning and in serving to shape human-object
relationships. We see the contribution of this article to this special issue as
twofold. Not only does it explore “talk around objects” as an instance of coagency,
in which humans and objects contribute jointly to the shaping of talk;
but it also emphasizes the role of objects as “joins”, enabling and sustaining the
connection of people with each other and with the environment, within and
across contexts. Such a perspective relates to post-human theory, which considers
the agency of things in social interaction, while acknowledging an Inuit
worldview, which rejects anthropocentrism.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada
Researchers ; Students

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