Engrafted Kin: Ethics and Cognition in Scientific and Artistic Activity

TitleEngrafted Kin: Ethics and Cognition in Scientific and Artistic Activity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsEspinoza, Manuel Luis
JournalAnthropology & Education Quarterly
AbstractThis paper takes a “natural history approach” (Erickson, 1982) in describing and analyzing the making of a fanciful object—a wind sculpture—by a young woman and a staff scientist in a youth outreach program called X-Tech at the San Francisco Exploratorium. Working from audio-video footage, audio recordings, and in situ notes, I provide a report of how a wind sculpture evolved from idea to functioning artifact over the course of two days. I draw on a six-year ethnographic relationship with a network of educators at the Exploratorium to situate the conjoint social action. The “characters” in this account are the adult and youth participants along with the material and ideational tools. I show how opportunities to engage in experiences that foster growth were made common and plentiful by this network of educators and youth participants. I also show how those opportunities were generated and entered into by participants of different ages and social roles, and how people made their way through opportunities to learn by thinking and talking in tandem.
Short TitleEngrafted Kin