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Title: The interactional constitution of objects
Author: Hindmarsh, J. A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3578 849X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1997
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Recent years have witnessed a convergence of interests across the social and cognitive sciences to consider the nature of the inanimate object. A variety of disciplines have turned their analytic attention to the ways in which objects and artefacts feature in, and stand in relation to, action and activity. Moreover, they have begun to examine how the sense of objects is constructed by society. This thesis deals with these very issues. However, it adopts a distinctively interactional and ethnomethodological approach to them. It considers how participants display their own understandings of objects in interaction with others. In doing so, it describes how the sense of objects is constituted within sequences of interaction and shows how the interactional environment in which an object is encountered instructs an individual's perception of it. Moreover, the thesis shows how the sense of an object is (re)produced ongoingly in each and every action of an interaction. In such a way, the thesis highlights the practical, embodied, interactional and reflexive aspects of the constitution of objects. These issues are illustrated by audio-visual recordings of everyday workplace activity. In particular, the thesis explores the ways in which personnel render visible objects to their colleagues; how they encourage or invite others to look at some object with them. Through an analysis of these collaborative viewings, the thesis describes the interactional practices in and through which participants establish mutual orientation towards an object and, thereby, constitute some 'shared' sense of that object. It also considers the resources available to participants that enable them to (confidently) assume that they have achieved some intersubjective understanding of an object. Finally, the thesis investigates the troubles that emerge when individuals are denied the resources that they rely upon in co-present interaction. It does this by analysing interaction in a 'virtual workplace'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Scientific knowledge; Media space