Categorizing the meanings of craft: A multi-perspectival framework for eight interrelated meaning categories
The meaning and value of crafts as bearers of the cultural heritage are widely acknowledged, and deserved attention has also been paid to the pedagogical applications of craft in practice. Still, research relating to subjectively interpreted meanings of crafts has remained rather scarce. The main interest of the study is to examine subjectively construed meanings of craft associated both to the self-reflective act of making and to the tangible craft object, and categorize the discovered meanings into representative categories. In presenting a multi-perspectival framework for the categories that portray the common kinds of meanings that crafts have, a substance that surpasses cultural boundaries is also captured due to the multicultural research setting. The primary empirical data of the study are composed of interviews of six women from different cultural backgrounds; the supporting data feature a participant observation of a multicultural craft activity group and photographic notes.
The wide range of different meanings captured from the data is, during the conducted qualitative content analysis, critically classified into representational categories that typify the personally experienced meanings. The analysis revealed eight interrelated meaning categories regarding the meanings of craft that go beyond cultural boundaries: Meanings proceed from the subjective process of interpreting craft in a socially constructed, personalized setting, but still the meanings given to craft have been given similar characterizations in the several cultural contexts examined. This study adds to an understanding of how personalized meanings contribute to building intercultural reciprocity.
Keywords: craft, culture, meanings, interculturality, meaning making
Copyright (c) 1970 Anna Kouhia
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