Choreography of bus-riding: An ethnographic study of heterogeneous non-verbal interaction on a city-bus in Sweden
2014 (English)In: "Times they're a'changing": 5th Conference of European Studies in Symbolic Interaction (ESSSI), Aalborg, Denmanrk, 27-29 August 2014, 2014Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
The aim of this paper is to explore mundane, heterogeneous (in terms of race and age) non-verbal interaction in a limited public space of a city bus. This paper departs from a research gap in studies on social interaction and social coding in public spaces regarding: 1) the particularity of the city-bus-context for the non-verbal interaction between different social positions (race, age) 2.) the significance of the mundane for the non-verbal interaction in this context.
Many studies on social interaction and race in everyday life have so far focused on interaction within specific social and institutional contexts: schools, workplaces, health care facilities. As for the verbal or non-verbal interaction, the first has often been assumed to be the main source of information about social relations, since talk is the most common form of social interaction. Non-verbal interaction, however, is a powerful tool of communication between people, which is emphasized in this presentation.
The presentation is based on a qualitative analysis (informed by symbolic interactionism) of ethnographic fieldnotes comprising 140 hours of participant observation on a bus of a middle-sized Swedish city. The findings suggest that the interaction patterns are influenced by specific social positions (race and age) of the bus-riders. This is displayed for instance by especially Non-white younger and White older riders changing the course of interaction through non-verbal interactional techniques (territorial actions, gazing combinations, other gestural sequences). Based on the findings, the paper aims to contribute to the research on social interaction and social coding in public spaces by developing a non-verbal interaction theoretical framework; and elaborating ethnographic data collection- and analysis tools for the study of mundane non-verbal interaction in limited public space.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
non-verbal interaction, race, age, ethnography, participant observation, Swedish city-bus
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-271281OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-271281DiVA: diva2:891588
5th Conference of European Studies in Symbolic Interaction (ESSSI), Aalborg, Denmark, 27-29 August 2014