Screen-based assemblages

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Screen-based assemblages: communicative dimensions of involvement
The screen cannot, understood as a type of object, be separated from the arrangements through which it materializes in practice – as for instance Suchman has shown in her analyses of “object-centered socialities” (Suchman, 2005; cf. Day & Wagner, 2019; Nevile et al., 2014). Tuncer et al. (2019, p. 385) summarizes two types of interactions with objects: “object-focused interactions and object-implicating interactions – can be distinguished with respect to participants' forms of involvement with objects, as well as to objects' status in the interaction.” The long research tradition in interactionist EM/CA studies has researched objects as situated resources or object-implicating interactions on the one hand, ie. where objects are used as tools or other purposes, e.g. in Goodwins studies of objects that support action construction, and objects as practical accomplishments (Goodwin, 1994, e.g. 2007, 2013; Goodwin & Smith, 2020). On the other hand, a branch of papers has turned to the objects themselves and studied how they move into the focus of attention, for instance in inspection sequences where people explore objects in more depth and typically by using multisensory resources (Mortensen & Wagner, 2019). A key point is that objects' status may “change on a moment-by-moment basis in the course of the encounter according to the momentary interactional purpose” (Tuncer et al., 2019, p. 385). I will propose a more nuanced continuum with different dimensions spanning from what I suggest calling “screen-implicating interactions” to “screen-focused interactions” - expanding from the work of Weilenmann and Lymer (2014). Based on a large, variated dataset with video recordings of actual, naturally organized human interactions with, through and in relation to many types of technological screens, the paper proposes a framework that describes five communicative dimensions of screen-involvement as naturally unfolding human practices observable in social contexts. It is argued that the orientation to screens is not very different from orientations to objects in general, and that participants employ a variety of practices and resources for doing specific situated actions. As participants choose to transition into a screen-focused interaction, they may also shift into a screen-inspection sequence, thus centering and configuring the screen in the center of the communicative situation. The five dimensions that are observable in social interaction are: 1) screen as background, 2) screen as tool, 3) screen as mediator, 4) screen as co-creative resource, and 5) screen as manipulable.

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Original languageEnglish
Publication date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventInternational Conference on Conversation Analysis 2023: Branching Out - The University of Queensland , Brisbane , Australia
Duration: 26 Jun 20232 Jul 2023
Conference number: 6


ConferenceInternational Conference on Conversation Analysis 2023
LocationThe University of Queensland
Internet address

ID: 358461558