Embodied practice in a tidying up activity

Responsibility of family members for their objects


  • Ron Korenaga Rikkyo University
  • Ippei Mori Teikyo University
  • Masafumi Sunaga Otaru University of Commerce
  • Satoru Ikegami Takushoku University
  • Tomoko Endo University of Tokyo




Children, parents, instructed action, objects, social interaction


This article explores how collaborative tidying up activities in a family are accomplished and negotiations take place among family members. Employing ethnomethodology and conversation analysis on collected video data, we focus on the directive/response sequence and the incumbency of the category of ‘family’, which engenders responsibilities for family members. We consequently elucidate how the children’s responses reveal invalidation of the directive when they were not entitled to do so in terms of the responsibility and materiality of objects. We also explore how participants make the materiality of objects accountable through their verbal and embodied conduct in the tidying up activity.

Author Biographies

Ron Korenaga, Rikkyo University

Ron Korenaga is professor in the College of Sociology at Rikkyo University. He has book and article publications in the areas of ethnomethodology and socio-informatics. His recent research interests include workplace studies of media use in the household environment.

Ippei Mori, Teikyo University

Ippei Mori is associate professor in the Department of Education at Teikyo University. Prior to that he was Assistant Professor in Institute of Social Science, the University of Tokyo. His research interests include ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, sociology of education, classroom interaction (‘lesson study’), and adult–child interaction mainly in family settings.

Masafumi Sunaga, Otaru University of Commerce

Masafumi Sunaga is associate professor at Otaru University of Commerce. His research interests include ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, sociology of care, medical sociology, and gender studies.

Satoru Ikegami, Takushoku University

Satoru Ikegami is associate professor in the Faculty of Political Science and Economics at Takushoku University. He has book and article publications in the areas of media audience studies. His recent research topics include the relationship between media and identity in contemporary society.

Tomoko Endo, University of Tokyo

Tomoko Endo is associate professor in the Department of Language and Information Sciences at the University of Tokyo. Her research interests include interactional linguistics, multimodal conversation analysis and cognitive linguistics, and she is particularly interested in stancetaking and participation framework.


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How to Cite

Korenaga, R. ., Mori, I. ., Sunaga, M. ., Ikegami, S., & Endo, T. (2021). Embodied practice in a tidying up activity: Responsibility of family members for their objects. Research on Children and Social Interaction, 5(2), 151–178. https://doi.org/10.1558/rcsi.12420