THE HOME - THE WORLD OF SERIOUS LIFE (Dom swiat zycia powaznego)
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The thesis of this article focuses on the ritual function of the home. The point of departure are the findings made by researchers studying the functions of the home, primarily Danuta and Zbigniew Benedyktowicz, who indicate the overwhelming mythical role played by the home (the home-centre, the home-dream, the home-cosmos or even the home-chaos), its magical-ritual role (the zakladziny practices, the site of carrying out the rites of transition and fertility, the archetypical foundation of processes of individuation, the holy corner conceived as a prolongation of liturgical rituals) or social role (the place of the formation of basic competences for living in a group, interaction with the outer world, the storehouse of clan tradition). The above-listed functions are confirmed by suitably formalised practice that, however, constitutes only a small part of symbolic interactions, in which the residents remain with their homes. An interpretation category applied to indicate un-formalised interactions is the concept of rituality, derived from la vie sérieuse expounded by Durkheim and le mythique formulated by Barthes. Thus understood rituality is a variety of ritual behaviour - scattered, unconscious, stream-like - that acts as an intermediary between our relations with the outer world; at the same time, it serves the shaping of personal and group identities. This is the case of communication (self-communication - Lotman), whose partners (intermediaries) are also material objects, including the home. Due to its indistinct nature one should speak about this instance of rituality/communication first and foremost in the categories of causality, the individual emotional/cognitive act. The symbolic of the home and all sorts of artefacts that make it up obtains in this manner an intimate form, and the home itself assumes the form of an indexical cipher applied by the person (persons) living in it. This is a home inscribed into individual (collective) personality. A reverse process also takes place: personalities are moulded by the symbolic baggage of the home. In this interpretation, we may ascribe to it the role of the generalised other (Mead).
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