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The Handbook of Conversation Analysis by Tanya Stivers, Jack Sidnell

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14

 Embodied Action and Organizational Activity

CHRISTIAN HEATH

King’s College London

PAUL LUFF

King’s College London

Introduction

In recent years we have witnessed the emergence of a burgeoning corpus of conversation analytic studies of interaction that address the interplay of talk and bodily conduct and how material and digital resources feature in the accomplishment of social action and activity (Engeström & Middleton, 1996; Llewellyn & Hindmarsh, 2010; Jones & LeBaron, 2002; Knoblauch, et al., 2006; Streeck, Goodwin & LeBaron, 2011). These studies build upon a long-standing interest in Conversation Analysis in the ways in which visual orientation, gesture and other forms of bodily comportment inform the production of social action, in particular a turn-at-talk, in both conversation and institutional environments (see, for example, Atkinson, 1984; C. Goodwin, 1979, 1981; M. H. Goodwin, 1980c; Heath, 1982a, 1986; Schegloff, 1984a). Since these early beginnings, we have seen a flourishing of conversation analytic studies of social interaction that have increasingly demonstrated how the production and intelligibility of social action in face-to-face or co-present gatherings is accomplished by virtue of a complex range of resources—the spoken, the bodily and the material. These studies have shown that an activity’s multimodal or embodied accomplishment can be subject to the situated, interactional and sequential analysis that underpins studies of language use and talk in Conversation ...

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