How Things Matter in Everyday Lives of Preschool Age Children: Material-Semiotic Investigations in Psychology and Education

Michalis Kontopodis


This article draws on materials from ethnographic and participatory research on everyday eating practices in Berlin kindergartens. It argues that agency is not always a-priori located in the human subject. Agency can be translated and distributed over relational networks that include people and things; it can even be left over to things depending on the constellation in question. A material-semiotic approach is thus outlined that pays attention to micro-configurations and closely explores action – a focus which can further advance psychological theory and methodology.


actor-network theory; agency; childhood; eating; ethnography; material-semiotics