Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Embodying the institution—Object manipulation in developing interaction in study counselling meetings

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Spencer Hazel


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


This paper discusses the emergent progression of courses of action proposed and negotiated between co-participants in interaction. Each of these actions makes a subsequent range of next actions relevant, but which of these is produced by the co-participant is not pre- determined. The trajectory of an activity is not scripted, but is contingent on the choices made at each step by the participants involved, and the understanding displayed by them of the prior action(s). Body visual displays such as gaze, gesture and postural orientation, as well as vocal, material and linguistic resources, together afford participants a rich reserve of raw materials from which to fashion public displays of understanding regarding the particular juncture in the interaction. Participants in interaction are faced with the practical issues of delineating one situated practice from another, transitioning into and out of bounded activities and across successive juncture points within an activity. These may need to be furnished with some form of individual demarcation in order to avoid disorientation between co-interactants with regard to the particular frame in which they are currently engaged. We explore here how co-participants utilize aggregates of interactional components to construct such sequentially relevant action. Particularly, we focus here on how objects in the material surround are used in conjunction with talk, gaze and postural orientation to construct local social order in study guidance counselling meetings at a university. The analysis demonstrates how physical objects and bodily conduct are drawn on to project social actions that are used ‘‘symbolically’’ (cf. Streeck, 1996) to institutionalize interaction. Following Streeck (1996), it is the arranging of the body and objects into recognizable configurations for undertaking particular types of task that is utilized as a gestural displays of institutional orientation. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hazel S, Mortensen K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Pragmatics

Year: 2014

Volume: 65

Pages: 10-29

Print publication date: 01/05/2014

Online publication date: 28/12/2013

Acceptance date: 19/11/2013

ISSN (print): 0378-2166

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1387

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2013.11.016


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric