Embodiment and Multisensorialty during Interactions of Teaching and Care within US Families

Colloquium | October 14 | 4-5:30 p.m. | Berkeley Way West, Room 1102, Berkeley Way West (2121 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720)

 Marjorie (Candy) Goodwin, UCLA, Anthropology

 Graduate School of Education

This presentation investigates multi-sensory embodied practices entailed during moments of enskillment and care. Learning how to look (C. Goodwin, 1994), how to read a text document, how to manipulate a tool, or how to recognize relevant “qualia” in objects of scrutiny is central to processes of enskillment (Ingold 2000). The first part of this presentation investigates the embodied work entailed in orchestrating teaching in activities such as baking cookies or shopping for fruit. I analyze the moment-to-moment work people deploy in arranging their bodies and the world around them in order to contingently accomplish their collaborative projects. I next turn to investigating how intimate, affiliative, co-operative haptic human sociality is accomplished through the intertwining of interacting bodies. I am concerned with how American children and parents, in a basic social institution, the family, make use of culturally appropriate tactile communication (including the hug, the kiss, and other intertwinings of the body) during moments of affectively rich supportive interchanges (Goffman 1971). By looking closely at embodied forms of experience in the world and the emergence of talk in interaction within them, we can begin to articulate the participation frameworks through which affectively rich intimate social relationships are established, maintained, and negotiated.

About the Speaker. Marjorie Harness Goodwin is a Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology at UCLA. She received her PhD in Anthropology in 1978 from the University of Pennsylvania, with Erving Goffman as her chair, and an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University in 2014. In 2018 she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Conversation Analysis. Making use of videotaped interaction, her work combines close ethnographic study with forms of multimodal Conversation Analysis to study children’s peer groups, workplace interaction, and the family. She is the author of He Said She Said: Talk as Social Organization among Black Children, The Hidden Life of Girls, and Embodied Family Choreography: Practices of Control, Care, and Mundane Creativity (with co-author Asta Cekaite). Her current interests include examination of the lived and embodied practices through which people establish, maintain, and negotiate intimate social relationships throughout the life span.