TEDDY BEAR SAYS: STUDY HARD, DON?T BE LAZY! EXPLORING THE SYMBOLIC INTERACTION WITH MUNDANE OBJECTS THROUGH IMAGINARY CONVERSATIONS.

Abstract

Author(s): Marcus PERSSON

This article explores the symbolical interaction with mundane objects in the private life of individuals. The paper derives from the following question that was asked in an international diary study: ‘Imagine that things could speak, what would they say?’. The main findings can be summarized in two parts: a) when asked to imagine talking objects most of the participants selected mundane domestic objects to speak about private concerns, and b) the participants constructed narratives mostly of scolding and complaining character. The narrative analysis is based on symbolic theory and conversation analysis, and it is argued that material objects can be used in private life as inner ‘coconversationalists’ to discuss the morality of conduct of one self. It is suggested that material objects in people’s private realm are not only props within interpersonal interaction order, but also tools for inner negotiation as well as for self-regulation.

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