Cultivating objects in interaction

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This chapter explores patterns of repeated orientations to physical objects in interactants’ visuo-spatial and haptic surround. A number of examples are presented from advice-giving activities in various institutional settings, where participants-in-interaction initially draw on material objects at hand while pursuing a particular line of explanation, and then return to these objects at later intervals. The analysis suggests that the objects are afforded representational properties through their being anchored to some referent in the talk, and that participants subsequently draw on these associations for describing, disambiguating or clarifying aspects of the relatively complex procedural frameworks discussed in the settings. This suggests that the temporal stability of material objects available to participants makes them an ideal resource to be developed as visual motifs.


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