Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1568-1475
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9773
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This study examines the role of gesture in collective imagining, the embodied process of bringing objects and events into quasi-presence during social interaction. Drawing on the phenomenological tradition, we argue in favor of an alternative to the gestures-as-simulated-action account proposed by Hostetter and Alibali (2008). Specifically, we suggest viewing gestures as key constituents of phantasms, quasi-present objects that are produced through multi-modal utterances. This perspective highlights the ways in which gestures mark profound transformations of participants’ experiential histories, transformations that open up, for the speakers, new insights into the matters they strive to imagine. The study of these insights led us to emphasize not the simulative, but the creative roles of gestures. Our account of gesture in collective imagining is illustrated by a microanalysis of an episode from an interview with a mother-child dyad following their interaction with a mathematics exhibit in a science center.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): embodiment; gesture; imagination; mathematics education; simulation theory
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