Chapter published in:Intersubjectivity in Action: Studies in language and social interaction
Edited by Jan Lindström, Ritva Laury, Anssi Peräkylä and Marja-Leena Sorjonen
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 326] 2021
► pp. 251–276
Co-presence during lapses
On “comfortable silences” in Finnish everyday interaction
This study examines video-recorded, naturally occurring Finnish dyads focusing on lapses (inter-sequential silences). During most lapses, participants undertake bodily activities or behaviors (Hoey 2015). Adding to previous work, this study describes “comfortable” silences where participants share the moment with no bodily activities or mutual gaze, inhabiting the silence with simple co-presence. The analysis suggests that instead of the gathering/encounter dualism, participant behavior in social situations is better described as a continuum of orientations. Also during the “comfortable” silences, understanding of behavioral involvements is intersubjectively created and maintained. Thus, even outside of sequences that allegedly create and maintain the “architecture of intersubjectivity” (Heritage 1984), social organization is jointly negotiated and achieved, most importantly by mutual monitoring and reciprocation of (bodily) orientations.
Keywords: lapse, silence, gathering, encounter, co-presence, embodiment, conversation analysis, Finnish
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