Objects, Bodies and Work Practice

Edited by: Dennis Day, Johannes Wagner

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What role do material objects play in the in-situ, embodied and spatial circumstances of interaction? How do people organize their embodied conduct with regard to such objects, and how is this consequential in and for their work practices? In this volume, contributors focus on these questions in terms of connections between ongoing courses of interaction within work practices, object materiality and mobility in space, bodily movement and manipulation of objects, and language. The chapters in this book address a broad range of settings and actions (including dressmaking, foreign language teaching, international business meetings and forklift driving) where a variety of objects become relevant.

This multidisciplinary collection, from respected and experienced researchers, not only extends prior work on social interaction but constitutes a critique of past research that has programmatically ignored the materiality that research subjects use or make relevant in the course of their activity.

Curtis LeBaron, Brigham Young University, USA

Reading this collection may change how you take your shoes back for repair and it will certainly, if you are researching interaction, bring objects to the centre of your attention. Across a stimulating array of settings it charts objects' place in progressing, spatialising and designing actions, and being the achievement of actions themselves.

Eric Laurier, University of Edinburgh, UK

Nothing shows more vividly than this book how much the study of communication has changed: the production of meaning and the making of the material world are now understood to be intricately intertwined at every moment, and that intertwining has become the focus of rigorous and systematic research.

Jürgen Streeck, The University of Texas at Austin, USA

Through a systematic and detailed examination of objects' categorical and sequential consequences for actions and interactions, this volume will interest researchers and practitioners in language and social interaction, communication and discourse and related disciplines.

Discourse Studies 22(3)

Dennis Day is an Associate Professor in the Department of Language and Communication, University of Southern Denmark. His main research interest has been the situated study of work from ethnomethodological perspectives. Most recently he has focused on the role of socio-material environments in places of work.

Johannes Wagner is a Professor in the Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark. In recent years he has been working on a comprehensive understanding of human social praxis as the nexus of verbal interaction, embodied practices and tangible objects in the environment.

Introduction. Dennis Day and Johannes Wagner: Objects, Bodies and Work Practice

Transcription Conventions 

Part 1: The Role of Objects for the Progressivity of Action

Chapter 1. Maurice Nevile: Objects of Agreement - Placing Pins to Progress Collaborative Activity in Custom Dressmaking

Chapter 2. Anne-Sylvie Horlacher: Workplace Asymmetries and Object-Passing in Hair Salons 

Chapter 3. Chiara M. Monzoni, Basil Sharrack, Markus Reuber: Informing and Demonstrating: Manipulating Objects and Patients' Participation in Shared-Decision-Making 

Part 2: Spatial Aspects of Objects in Interaction

Chapter 4. Dennis Day and Gitte Rasmussen: Interactional Consequences of Object Possession in Institutional Practices

Chapter 5. Elwys De Stefani: Ordering and Serving Coffee in an Italian Café: How Customers Obtain 'Their' Coffee 

Part 3: Objects in the Service of Preparing for a Possible Future

Chapter 6. Trine Heinemann and Barbara Fox: Dropping Off or Picking Up?: Professionals' Use of Objects as a Resource for Determining the Purpose of a Customer Encounter. 

Chapter 7. Maurice Nevile and Johannes Wagner: Objects in Motion: 'I'm Just Behind You' and Other Warnings in Forklift Truck Driving

Part 4: Objects as Interactional Accomplishments

Chapter 8. Mie Femø Nielsen: Adjusting or Verbalizing Visuals in ICT Mediated Professional Encounters 

Chapter 9. Spencer Hazel and Kristian Mortensen: Designedly Incomplete Objects as Elicitation Tools in Classroom Interaction 

Chapter 10. Giolo Fele: Olfactory Objects. Recognizing, Describing, and Assessing Smells During Professional Tasting Sessions 

Postscript. Aug Nishizaka: Thing and Space 

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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