“The Praxeology and Phenomenology of Gesture: A Case Study” – visiting IAS research seminar by Jürgen Streek

16/04/2014 @ 11:15 – 13:00


The Praxeology and Phenomenology of Gesture: A Case Study

Jürgen Streeck

(The University of Texas at Austin & Carl von Oissietzky-Universität Oldenburg)


Drawing on a praxeological framework for the study of gesture and embodied action (Streeck 2009) this presentation will present video data and analysis of the communicative practices of a single individual, the owner of a car-repair shop. It is shown how this man deploys hand-gestures to solve problems of shared perception, diagnosis, and collaboration in interaction with employees and customers. A particular focus of the presentation is on the dialectics between habitualized gestures and situated improvisation and on the question how spontaneous movements of the hands pick out and highlight significances of an emerging communicative situation and thereby impact its further course. The presentation as a whole is a plea for the merging of the phenomenology of body motion and the micro-analytic study of real-life moments of social interaction.