The Embodied Interactive Constitution of Intimacy through Touch
This chapter extends the sequential analysis of human action to encompass intimate co-operative action, accomplished through the haptic, temporally unfolding intertwining of multiple bodies. The focus is on the construction through public social practice of tactile intercorporeality. Within a basic social institution, the family, members 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. Materials for the study are drawn from video recordings of naturally occurring social interaction in thirty-two Los Angeles families who were part of the UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families. Examination of forms of experiential embodiment is important for articulating the participation frameworks through which affectively rich intimate social relationships are established, maintained, and negotiated.
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