On Materiality: Home Spaces and Objects as Expanding Elements of Everyday Experiences


  • Francesco Arcidiacono University of Teacher Education BEJUNE
  • Clotilde Pontecorvo "Sapienza" University of Rome




materiality, home, family discourse, expansion, everyday life, participant observation, interview, video-recording, discourse analysis, conversation analysis


In this article, using a multidimensional methodology, we explored the role of materiality in the everyday lives of eight Italian families. Focusing on spaces and objects, we analyzed how people "use" material frames and boundaries in expanding their individual and collective experiences at home. We employed a composite design including different sources of data: audio and videotaped home tours, visual ethnographic notes and photos, observations of everyday family activities, home-mapping and observational tracking of actions at regular intervals. We used discourse and conversation analysis to investigate family members' talk-in-interaction concerning materiality. The findings show that spaces and objects are expansions of participants' everyday activities: they are presented as flexible in their use, multifunctional and affectively connoted. We also present implications for the methodological design and its potential for capturing how family doings create both a sense of life and the affordances of everyday experiences at home.


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Author Biographies

Francesco Arcidiacono, University of Teacher Education BEJUNE

Francesco ARCIDIACONO, PhD, is professor of development and social interactions and director of the research department at the University of Teacher Education BEJUNE (Switzerland). His main investigation concerns the analysis of processes of social interaction through discursive practices in educational contexts. More specifically, Francesco is interested in studying how people, individually and collectively, co-construct their participation within everyday situations in formal and informal contexts of action. Learning, communication, values and identities elaborated through interactions constitute some of the key areas of Francesco's research. Reflection on different methods and approaches is also a main concern in his current work.

Clotilde Pontecorvo, "Sapienza" University of Rome

Clotilde PONTECORVO is emeritus professor of educational psychology at the “Sapienza” University of Rome (Italy). Her research focused on early literacy and writing teacher training and educational continuity, as well as the cognitive role of discussion in families and in the classroom. She takes a special interest in social science topics and the relationships between arguing and reasoning in educational contexts. Clotilde's investigation pays attention to the practices of socialization in various everyday life activities.




How to Cite

Arcidiacono, F., & Pontecorvo, C. (2019). On Materiality: Home Spaces and Objects as Expanding Elements of Everyday Experiences. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 20(3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-20.3.3165