This chapter explores the ‘complex presence’ (Mol, 2002) of things, environments, and people with their individual histories, acquaintances and capacities, and its impact on the formation of children’s practices. In the first section, it discusses various ways in which children encounter things, drawing the topographic lines of difference between individual children (or groups of children) and the ways in which they come to engage with things. The second section then focuses on the diversity of ways in which things affect children’s practices, drawing on Bourdieu’s idea of different forms of capital as a framework that emphasises the complex role of things in how children develop their agency.
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