Sticking: the lively matter of playing with sticks

Year: 2018

Author: Rooney, Tonya

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper considers the relationship between children and the sticks they find scattered across the landscape. When a child bends down to pick up a stick, this may seem like an everyday material encounter with little more significance than a child simply seeking out an inert object of play. Yet, there is something in the way children are drawn to sticks that warrants closer attention. In this paper I draw on the work of Ahmed (2004) to explore how we might see children’s relations with sticks as forging a kind of attachment or connection. Understood as a mode of sticky attachment or binding together, this enounter seems to give rise to an ongoing relation across time and place. Children’s interactions with sticks are also often risky, and in this sense reveal a mutual vulnerability in the attachments that children forge in and with the environment around them.