Establishing Participation Frameworks

The purpose of this assignment is to for you to understand how participants deploy various nonverbal practices to establish interaction with others. By doing this assignment you will learn (1) How to become more observant and aware of the nonverbal actions that people use to achieve particular types of activities; (2) How to apply the concepts you have read about to actual interaction that occurs in a natural setting; (3) To develop your ability to write in detail about nonverbal communication in face-to-face social interaction. What you need to do: Your exercise is based on two video-recorded segments from naturally occurring face-to-face interactions. Watch the two videos and observe how people establish a new participation framework. Your job is to compare the different ways (if there are different ways) for establishing the participation framework and to describe how practices for establishing participation frameworks contribute to how participants co-produce the setting as a certain type of place (think about the “working consensus” that is being established). You will want to watch each segment multiple times, focusing on the few seconds in which the participation framework is being established. (You do not need to analyze the segments in their entirety.) Information about the segments (The Google Link has the two videos):… o Video 1 “Good Morning”: The man in the dark suit is Andy; the man at the desk at the front is Bob. o Video 2 “Outside”: Left to right at the beginning are Amy, Brent, and Deb; the new arrival is Jenny. 1. Analyze each video segment individually. Describe in great detail how a new participation framework is established in each video segment. Here are some questions you may want to address (in any order that makes sense to you): SETTING: Where does the interaction take place? What are some physical features of the setting that may be consequential for establishing a participation framework? PARTICIPANTS: Is there an existent participation framework? Who are participants in that? Who is joining? Who initiates the interaction? How exactly? What verbal and nonverbal resources are used? How do the others react to the initiation? How do participants establish the participation framework, step by step – or what tasks need to be accomplished in this process? What kind of spatial configuration is created? Does it change as the interaction is being initiated? What “working consensus” is being established for this interaction in the first few seconds you have been describing? You will want to be very clear and specific about the relevant nonverbal features and talk involved in establishing the participation framework. Use concepts from the readings and lectures to support your analysis, and be sure to define the terms you are using and use in-text citations properly (use the APA style for citations). 2. Compare the two segments. Do you notice any similarities/differences in how participation frameworks are established in the two video segments? Are there particular steps (or a sequence of events) involved in establishing a participation framework? You want to be clear and detailed here. Don’t just say they are the same or different, explain HOW they are the same or different and use the observed interactional features as ‘evidence’ for your argument. This exercise will be evaluated on the following criteria: o How well you describe the nonverbal behaviors you observe. Be detailed! o How well you apply the concepts from the readings to your observations. o How well you explain and draw conclusions about the similarities/differences between participation frameworks in the two settings. o Clear, grammatically correct writing, effective word choice, careful proofreading, and proper APA citation style. TIPS ON PREPARING YOUR WRITE-UPS Assignments for this class ask you to describe, in detail, various nonverbal actions and activities. Writing careful descriptions is a challenge in and of itself, so you will want to pay close attention to the way in which you formulate your observations. Write as if your audience knows nothing about nonverbal communication. Do not assume that your audience knows exactly what you mean. The goal here is to engage you with the material in a way that not only allows you to define a concept or label some behavior, but where you can describe something in detail. Be complete and concrete. Instead of saying, for example, “they looked happy to see each other,” describe how they looked happy to see each other: what was the pattern of their gaze, facial expression, at what point did they smile, was there any gesture, body orientation, etc. Avoid simply glossing over observed behaviors. Be detailed. Write about your observations in as much detail as possible. Keep in mind that these assignments call for you to describe nonverbal communication in interaction. Can you describe it in a way that someone else can really “see” what happened and how the interaction unfolded? Video data: If there is a transcript of the video, refer to line numbers on the transcript in your analysis. If there is not a transcript, refer to specific bits of the video by the time in seconds from the start (available in QuickTime). Provide relevant information. Choose details that are relevant to your analytic points. Does the color of the walls matter for how an interaction is initiated? If it doesn’t matter, you don’t need to mention it. Also, avoid “filler” sentences and empty paragraphs. Since you are not graded on the length of the paper but on its contents, stay away from sentences like “communication is important” or “communication is everywhere.”

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