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Negotiating favourable conditions for resuming suspended activities

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Abstract

This paper examines how participants in multiactivity situations are able to resume an ongoing activity that becomes temporarily suspended in favour of a locally emergent, competing line of action. Detailed analyses of video data from English and Finnish everyday interactions show that resumptions are not achieved unproblematically at the first suitable transition-relevant slot but involve a gradual, stepwise process of multimodal negotiations, where participants first collaboratively establish favourable conditions for resumption. It is argued that these negotiations represent a local instance of multiactivity in practice, i.e. where organising multiactivity becomes a demonstrable concern for the participants. The gradualness of resumptions provides participants with an interactional resource that can be exploited to flexibly manage activity transitions in complex multiactivity situations.

References

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