On Objects, Love, and Objectifications

In this paper, I investigate the relationships that people forge with material things and how these affect character, health, potential and other relations, particularly with their children. “Accumulated, crystallized history, aristocratic names and titles, chateaux or ‘stately homes’, paintings and collections, vintage wines and antique furniture, is to master time, through all those things… that can only be acquired in the course of time, by means of time, against time… by those who can take their time” (Bourdieu, Distinction). In our globalized consumerist age, Things have come to symbolize relationships first; then, Things have replaced these relationships. It is as if things can secure immortality. As if they can vanquish the poverty of the spirit and the feebleness of the body. In my anthropological research on early childhood, I investigate how consumerist childhood is formed and present comparative case studies of non-consumerist relations.

Theoretically, I get Russian pedagogical theorists to dialogue and debate with Western European sociologists to highlight the positive aspects of phenomenological approaches in childhood research but also to warn against its pitfalls as well as to reveal possible new meanings and new potential for pedagogical culture.

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