Society for Linguistic Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
The development of communication technologies has had an impact on our social lives. As the use of digital tools becomes common in our ordinary social life, participants constantly (re)organize their interactional space while reflecting on and negotiating their habitual ways of interacting with others (e.g. Keating & Mirus 2003, Ito & Okabe 2005). In this paper, I pay close attention to this negotiation process and examine how participants organize multiple interaction frames. Using video-recorded interactions such as Skype video conversations between Japanese families with members in Japan and in the United States, I specifically investigate what interactional resources participants use to encourage the virtual participants’ involvement in locally unfolding participation frameworks. My analytical foci are twofold. First, I analyze what interactional resources such as repetitions and bodily behaviors are used as scaffolding to achieve interactional goals including parenting and pretended play. Through turn-by-turn analyses, I discuss how such scaffolding strategies contribute to the creation of a shared participation framework, encompassing the participants’ geographically distant locations. Second, I pay close attention to how the coordination of talk becomes relevant and situated as participants maneuver webcams and organize spatial properties of an immediate interactional environment. I examine how the interactional efforts of incorporating technological capabilities of a webcam into new interactional modalities contribute to the establishment of a sense of co-presence in a webcam-mediated interaction. I argue that participants can perform and create various social relationships by being habitually involved in a mediated family activity while located in two remotely separated households.