Objects, Bodies and Work Practice Edited by: Dennis Day, Johannes Wagner

Hardback - 328 pages
Related Formats:
15 Jul 2019
Language at Work
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


What role do material objects play in the in-situ, embodied and spatial circumstances of interaction? How do people organize their embodied conduct with regard to such objects, and how is this consequential in and for their work practices? In this volume, contributors focus on these questions in terms of connections between ongoing courses of interaction within work practices, object materiality and mobility in space, bodily movement and manipulation of objects, and language. The chapters in this book address a broad range of settings and actions (including dressmaking, foreign language teaching, international business meetings and forklift driving) where a variety of objects become relevant.


This multidisciplinary collection, from respected and experienced researchers, not only extends prior work on social interaction but constitutes a critique of past research that has programmatically ignored the materiality that research subjects use or make relevant in the course of their activity.

- Curtis LeBaron, Brigham Young University, USA

Reading this collection may change how you take your shoes back for repair and it will certainly, if you are researching interaction, bring objects to the centre of your attention. Across a stimulating array of settings it charts objects’ place in progressing, spatialising and designing actions, and being the achievement of actions themselves.

- Eric Laurier, University of Edinburgh, UK

Nothing shows more vividly than this book how much the study of communication has changed: the production of meaning and the making of the material world are now understood to be intricately intertwined at every moment, and that intertwining has become the focus of rigorous and systematic research.

- Jürgen Streeck, The University of Texas at Austin, USA

Through a systematic and detailed examination of objects’ categorical and sequential consequences for actions and interactions, this volume will interest researchers and practitioners in language and social interaction, communication and discourse and related disciplines.

- Discourse Studies 22(3) - Zeng Xiaorong and Chen Zeyuan, Jiangxi Agricultural University, China

Author Biography:

Dennis Day is an Associate Professor in the Department of Language and Communication, University of Southern Denmark. His main research interest has been the situated study of work from ethnomethodological perspectives. Most recently he has focused on the role of socio-material environments in places of work.

Johannes Wagner is a Professor in the Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark. In recent years he has been working on a comprehensive understanding of human social praxis as the nexus of verbal interaction, embodied practices and tangible objects in the environment.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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