The fabric of practices: times, spaces, bodies, things

Inter-Disciplinary Press
Publication Type:
Exploring bodies in time and space, 2014, 1, pp. 137 - 146
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Here I connect the themes of space, time, the body, and things with an ethnographic study of professional practices and pedagogy. The study joins an emerging body of work that aims to produce different accounts of professional practice, eschewing dominant discourses based on problematic assumptions of linear time that is used up, space as a container for practice, practice and learning as mindful but bodyless, and materiality as either irrelevant or passive. The study was conducted in a child and family health service in Sydney, Australia. The Residential Unit of Karitane takes up to ten families for five days each week, offering intensive support for parents experiencing significant difficulties with their children's sleeping, feeding or behaviour. Four themes of times, spaces, bodies, and things are discussed, drawing on Theodore Schatzkis practice theory and philosophy, but also making connections to wider sociomaterial theorisations of time, space and the body. While these themes resist analytic separation, they are offered as distinctive points of departure, each highlighting something different about practices, pedagogy and learning. Nonetheless the porous conceptual boundaries between temporality, spatiality, embodiment and materiality are addressed and illustrated. The result is an account of practices, and their pedagogic effects, which differs radically from conventional approaches.
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