Vincenzo Padiglione, Marilena Fatigante

From documenting to patrimonializing: The restitution of the results of an ethnography of family everyday life

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Keywords: Families, reflexivity, visual culture, patrimonialization, agency

The paper discusses the way in which the research findings were «restituted» to the families studied in the iCelf ethnographic project. We describe the research project, which ended with the delivery of an album containing photographs and conversation excerpts drawn from the research material to each family. Starting from the concept of «patrimonialization », by which we mean the process of selecting, assigning value to and preserving both the material and intangible goods considered representative of a community (its «cultural heritage»), we discuss the video-recordings of family life as inscriptions of the families' identities. We argue that by presenting, defining and emphasizing their unique identities and belongings in front of the video-cameras, families shape and orient the processes of patrimonialization and restitution, thereby exhibiting a significant degree of mastery over the visual inscriptions of their lives.

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