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Talking about things

Moustafa Zouinar, Julia Velkovska

Abstract: This paper focuses on how conversation and a shared participation frame are maintained in video-mediated family conversations which ordinarily do not have a particular agenda. In order to examine this question, how conversations are maintained whilst being sometimes improvised, the paper analyses a particular interactional phenomenon, namely, the image-based topic management accomplished via two methods: showings and noticings. Through a detailed multimodal analysis of family video mediated conversations, it shows how these methods are used for introducing or changing topics and hence sustaining talk. Moreover, by describing the practical actions that involve technological and social dimensions, the paper highlights the link between interaction, personal relationships and technology. The analysis of showings and noticings, enabled by the technical features of the systems used by the participants, reveals how video-communication technology is mobilized by family members as a resource for maintaining intimacy in distant relationships.
Keywords: conversations / Talking / noticings / maintained / participation / paper / family video mediated

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