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Seeing as accountable action: The interactional accomplishment of sensorial work

Gibson, W; vom Lehn, D; (2019) Seeing as accountable action: The interactional accomplishment of sensorial work. Current Sociology 10.1177/0011392119857460. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

In this article it is argued that the growing field of the sociology of the senses has had a strong methodological focus on people’s accounts of their sensorial experiences at the expense of studying the practical achievement of sense work as an interactional phenomenon. Recent work has called for more innovative methods in sensorial scholarship and the use of creative approaches to explore the senses. While applauding this move, in this article the authors show the importance of a focus on micro-behavioural actions in studying the senses. Drawing on ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, they analyse video recordings of near vision tests in optometry consultations illustrating the highly routinised, but also the embodied and improvised character of the actions through which the vision is made available for scrutiny. They argue that sensorial scholarship has sidelined the study of social context as a lived-order and demonstrate the importance of treating sensorial actions as routinised, embodied and improvisatory. The authors agree that using more creative methods would be valuable but caution against relying exclusively on methods that do not sufficiently contextualise the senses as a lived and practical social accomplishment.

Type: Article
Title: Seeing as accountable action: The interactional accomplishment of sensorial work
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0011392119857460
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0011392119857460
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Conversation analysis, ethnomethodology, optometry, social interaction, sociology of the senses, vision
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10073658
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