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      More than just a bracelet: the use of material symbolism to communicate love

      International Journal of Social Pedagogy

      UCL Press

      Children, material culture, ethics of care

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          Abstract

          There is growing recognition of the place of love in residential care for children ( Smith, 2009). This paper is a critical analysis of a range of existing research on residential child care as well as studies of material culture and of care relationships more broadly. It argues that, despite increasing regulation and surveillance, adults and children find ways to show and feel love in the context of residential care. Whilst love may be regarded as something to be avoided or indeed prohibited in an adult/child care setting these deep bonds find expression in the everyday life of the children’s home. By looking at love in this embodied way, the ‘realness’ of material things to assert connection and recognition of love ( Layne, 2000) is examined. As Gorenstein (1996, p.8) suggests ‘objects…[are] the perfect vehicles for conveying themes that are not commonly accepted in a community’. The paper emphasises the recognition of these symbolic and metaphorical forms of communication in practice.

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          Most cited references 54

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          Emotional labour: skill and work in the social regulation of feelings

           Nicky James (1989)
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            Playing and reality

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              Creating Caring Institutions: Politics, Plurality, and Purpose

               Joan Tronto (2010)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: DrRole: Senior Lecturer
                Journal
                ijsp
                ijsp
                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                IJSP
                UCL Press (UK )
                2051-5804
                1 December 2016
                : 5
                : 1
                : 34-50
                Affiliations
                Faculty of Social Science, University of Stirling, FK9 4LA and Senior Practitioner, Family Change, Perth and Kinross Council , Harley Place, Perth.
                Author notes

                About the author

                Ruth works part time at the University of Stirling where she teaches on the BA and MSc social work programmes. She is also pathway lead for the PG Cert in Advanced Practice Skills. Ruth works part time as a social worker and play therapist at Family Change, a resource provided by Perth and Kinross council to support children and families who have experienced complex trauma.

                Article
                10.14324/111.444.ijsp.2017.04
                Edmond, R. (2016). More than just a bracelet: the use of material symbolism to communicate love. [Joint Special Issue, Love in Professional Practice]
                Page count
                Pages: 16
                Categories
                Research Article

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                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                Volume 5, Issue 1

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                Most referenced authors 85