Following the seminal work on talk at work (Drew and Heritage, 1992) and later studies on interaction in institutional interaction (Arminen, 2005; Asmuß & Svennevig, 2009; Svennevig 2012a), the panel seeks to pursue the role of interactional micro-practices for the emergence of workplace symmetries and asymmetries. Workplaces are settings where different kinds of (a)symmetries are constructed through interaction ((Svennevig, 2012b, Asmuß, 2008). In comparison to interactions between professionals and laypeople, identities in workplace interactions where colleagues interact with each other may be more complex due to multiple roles and team alliances (Pomerantz & Denvir, 2007; Djordjilovic, 2012). Thus, participants of workplace interaction have to negotiate their position in a dynamically fluctuating network of symmetries and asymmetries. The emergence of symmetries and asymmetries in talk has been studied in everyday and professional settings (Ariss, 2009; Glenn, 2010; Maynard, 1991; Roberts, 2000; Robinson, 2001). Numerous studies have pointed out that (a)symmetries in talk can be results of underlying interactional micro-practices like uneven turn distribution and question-answer formats (Robinson, 2001; ten Have, 1991), of the use of audio-visual technologies to support communication (Heath and Luff, 1992) or of knowledge discrepancies (Drew, 1991; Enfield, 2011; Golato and Betz, 2008; Stivers, Mondada and Steensig, 2011). The panel focuses on institutional interaction as settings where participants have access to a variety of artefactual resources (such as paper documents, power point presentations, computers, professional tools but also less directly work related resources like water, coffee cups, cakes and so on) and where embodied orientation (e.g. pointing, bodily orientation, nodding and gaze) serves as a resource to accomplish specific interactional goals (Schegloff, 1998; Goodwin, 2003; Stivers 2008). By linking to the growing body of research on multimodal aspects of interaction (Llewellyn 2011, Stivers and Sidnell, 2005; Mondada, 2007), the panel will thus contribute to our understanding of workplace symmetries and asymmetries as multimodal accomplishments.
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International Conference on Conversation Analysis, 2014