Interacting with Objects

Language, materiality, and social activity

Maurice Nevile | University of Southern Denmark
Pentti Haddington | University of Oulu
Trine Heinemann | University of Southern Denmark
ORCID logoMirka Rauniomaa | University of Oulu
ISBN 9789027212139 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027269836 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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Objects are essential for how, together, people create and experience social life and relate to the physical environment around them. Interacting with Objects: Language, materiality, and social activity presents studies which use video recordings of real-life settings to explore how objects feature in social interaction and activity. The studies consider many objects (e.g. paper documents, food, a camera, art, furniture, and even the human body), across various situations, such as shopping, visiting the doctor, interviews and meetings, surgery, and instruction in dance, craft, or cooking. Analyses reveal in precise detail how, as people interact, objects are seen, touched and handled, heard, created, transformed, planned, imagined, shared, discussed, or appreciated. With the companion collection Multiactivity in Social Interaction: Beyond multitasking, the book advances understanding of the complex organisation and accomplishment of social interaction, especially the significance of embodiment, materiality, participation and temporality. By focussing on objects in and for actual occasions of human action, Interacting with Objects: Language, materiality, and social activity will interest many researchers and practitioners in language and social interaction, communication and discourse, design, and also more widely within anthropology, sociology, psychology, and related disciplines.
[Not in series, 186] 2014.  vii, 393 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Objects are critical to the ways in which we produce and make sense of conduct. And yet, we can still paraphrase Bruno Latour over twenty years on to ask this question of most accounts of society: "where are the missing masses of objects?" This collection powerfully responds. It contains insightful and sophisticated analyses of how we use objects as interactional resources and, in so doing, how we constitute the sense and significance of those very same objects. As a result, it is a delight for everyone interested in the 'stuff' of social life.”
“From the sound made by the hoover to the knitting produced by needles, this exciting collection analyses how objects feature in everyday, educational and technical activities. While we might assume the qualities of an object to be constant and consistent, we learn from this book how these qualities are re-shaped from moment-to-moment. It brings the lived, intended and accomplished qualities of objects into the heart of current work in conversation analysis and ethnomethodology. At the same time it brings conversation analysis and ethnomethodology into the heart of research on objects and materiality.”
Interacting with Objects is a unique collection of empirical studies. It takes seriously that there is no such thing as an object simpliciter; there are only objects in, for and of activities. Through detailed analyses of video recordings of diverse interactions in which various objects are perceived and manipulated, the contributors beautifully demonstrate that features of an object are intrinsically lodged in the spatial and temporal unfolding of each distinct activity. Objects shape, and are shaped by, ongoing action. This is an insightful and important book, and provides the foundation for all future studies on the subject.”
“Austin taught us that speaking is doing things with words. Nevile et al. now show us that talk does not occur in a material vacuum, but crucially involves using things for communicative purposes. With the methodological rigor of video-based multimodal interaction analysis, the authors illuminate how objects figure in structuring communicative encounters, how their use enhances participants’ opportunities for action and how objects are collaboratively produced. The rich universe of the fine grained coordination of verbal interaction, bodily conduct and manipulation of objects in social practice is deployed before the readers’ eyes in fascinating detail. This book will be indispensable for everybody who is interested in a comprehensive understanding of embodied communicative conduct in real world situations.”
“This book shows how the formulation of the concept of ‘objects’ provides an approach to studies which use an ethnomethodological and conversation analytic perspective: ‘objects’ are considered as ‘situated resources’ and as ‘practical accomplishments’. Empirical studies using data from video taped recordings of naturally occurring interaction are analyzed in detail to show how social interaction and ordinary actions can achieve this feat, for participants.”
“[T]his book, examining specifically and in detail how objects feature in social actions, provides a substantial first step toward describing ‘the interactional ecology of objects’ (p. 17). As objects are an integral part of our everyday actions, the analysis and findings here will interest and impact research in various fields, especially discourse analysis and social action analysis.”
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Communication Studies

Communication Studies

Interaction Studies

Interaction Studies

Main BIC Subject

JMJ: Occupational & industrial psychology

Main BISAC Subject

PSY031000: PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
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U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2014014850 | Marc record