Towards multiactivity as a social and interactional phenomenon

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Multiactivity – the different ways in which two or more activities can be intertwined and made co-relevant in social interaction – is an inseparable element of everyday life. At the same time it is a little understood form of human conduct. This introductory chapter builds on the basis that multiactivity is a social, verbal and embodied phenomenon, manifest in people’s participation and conduct in interaction, and can be studied empirically by relying on the close analysis of video-recorded data of naturally occurring situations. The chapter connects to previous research on multitasking and outlines how an interactional and social view of the phenomenon can add to our knowledge of how participants engage in, manage and accomplish multiple activities. The chapter outlines new interactional practices and new concepts to describe them.


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