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IntercorporealityEmerging Socialities in Interaction$
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Christian Meyer, J Streeck, and J. Scott Jordan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190210465

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210465.001.0001

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Children’s Expressive Handling of Objects in a Shared World

Children’s Expressive Handling of Objects in a Shared World

(p.105) 5 Children’s Expressive Handling of Objects in a Shared World

Mats Andrén

Oxford University Press

Theories of embodied interaction and environmental coupling are now successfully struggling with the slippery notions of mind, matter, and sociality, but more empirical work is required, especially in relation to children. At the heart of the development of sociality is how the handling of objects in parent-child interaction may stand out as having expressive (gestural) qualities over and above their instrumental aspects. What sort of expressive qualities may be found in such actions, and what provides for them? In short, how do they come to mean? Using longitudinal recordings of five Swedish children between 18 and 30 months, the empirical part of this paper identifies microecologies of expression that have their basis in how human bodies handle objects. This accompanies an approach to intersubjectivity—building on the work of Schutz, Mead and Merlau-Ponty—that views it as emergent from embodied interaction.

Keywords:   embodied interaction, environmental coupling, Schutz, Mead, Merleau-Ponty, intersubjectivity, sociality

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