Thursday, 29 September 2011

Affordances continued

My last post talked about affordances and how the activities we do bring us opportunities.

The act of cooking for me affords communication.  Relationships and roles are built within my family by collaboration for example “what shall we eat this week?; appreciation (verbal or non verbal) for feeding them; and instruction and conveyance of knowledge when my children are helping me in the kitchen.  My very presence in the kitchen often affords communication with my family because the kitchen is the heart of our home and we are always in it or passing through it.  

According to de Lore and Brooke-White (2000), in any home, the kitchen is often the place where friends and family’s where the food and the drink are, but kitchens are seldom just refuelling stations. Conversations, gossip humour and ideas flow freely in the relaxed atmosphere of the kitchen.

Connections refer to what the activity leads to us doing.  For example Visser (1992), whilst talking about finding and supplying ourselves with food continued: “Next we buy it, carry it home...Then we prepare it, clean it, skin, chop, cook, and dish it up.  Now comes the climax of all our efforts, the easiest part: eating it” (p. ?).

Cooking does afford the obvious of preparation and eating but there is more to connections than that. Through cooking I have the opportunity to care for my family and take responsibility for their well-being.  Cooking also give me the opportunity to spend more time with my friends for example when the neighbours kids were playing at our house on the weekend, I started cooking dinner and they and their parents ended up staying which led to a few glasses of wine and fun for the children. 

These examples illustrate that often cooking is not just cooking for me..there are many things that branch from cooking  that bring about the opportunity for other activities.


de Lore,  C. & Brook-White, J. (2000).  Every kitchen tells a story.  New Zealand: HarperCollins Publishers.

Visser, M. (1992).  The rituals of dinner.  London, England: The Penguin Group.

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