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On the interactional ecology of objects

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Abstract

The empirical studies of this book examine how objects feature in the momentto-moment conduct of social interaction and activity. The studies draw on naturally occurring data, video recordings of people interacting with one another as they engage with objects for a wide range of purposes, across many real-life settings, situations and occasions. Here in this introductory chapter we define ‘object’, and highlight how objects in the social world have been investigated across scholarly fields. We outline the dominant methodological and analytic influences for this collection, ethnomethodology (EM) and conversation analysis (CA), and emphasise the significance of embodiment and materiality. We describe the broad arrangement of the chapters around two overarching themes, ‘Objects as situated resources’ and ‘Objects as practical accomplishments’. Lastly, looking across the chapters we identify a number of possible alternative points of convergence which emerge when objects in and for social interaction are themselves treated as the principal focus of analysis.

References

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