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Sensing in Social Interaction
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Book description

This book offers a novel perspective on how people engage in sensing the materiality of the world as a way of social interaction. It proposes a conceptual and analytical advance in how to approach sensing as an intersubjective and interactional phenomenon within the framework of conversation analysis and ethnomethodology. Based on a uniquely rich set of video-recorded data, the author shows how people reacting to cheese in gourmet shops across Europe highlights the part the senses play in human behaviour and communication. The multimodal analysis of the case studies reveals the systematic features of looking, touching, smelling, and tasting in situated activities. By blending interdisciplinary research with real life, the volume puts together a theoretical and methodological framework for studying the embodied and linguistic dimensions of sensing in interaction.


‘This is a remarkable and engaging study of the ways in which sense and sensibility are constituted in and through social interaction. Mondada explores the knowledge, culture, and practice that underpins how we look at, smell, touch, taste and experience fine food. It is a careful and insightful analysis of service encounters that makes an important and wide-ranging contribution to our understanding of language, multimodality and embodied action.’

Christian Heath - Professor of Work and Interaction, King’s College London, UK

‘This book is a must-read for any social scientist wishing to take the analysis of sensory practice in social interaction seriously. With a sophisticated visual approach spanning multiple languages and cultural settings, Mondada achieves a monumental overview of how different sensorial experiences in cheese shops are arranged, made public, and accounted for.’

Cristina Grasseni - Professor of Anthropology Contacts and Webpages, Leiden University, the Netherlands

‘Lorenza Mondada presents a new and profoundly exciting conception of sensorial engagements in social interaction. She uses that conception for an empirical analysis of sensorial practices within courses of actions. Her exceptionally insightful work serves as a model for future conversation analytic and ethnomethodological studies of multi-sensoriality studies.’

Anita Pomerantz - Professor Emeritus of Communication, University at Albany, USA

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