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[Xmca-l] Conversation OF gestures and Conversational analysis



Greg,
I read with interest the article "The Interactionist Perspectives of
Herbert Mead and Harvey Sacks.
I want to focus on the last end note #9 which sums up why this article was
written.

"one reason for writing this paper is to try to understand why those
approaches based on Mead, e.g. symbolic interactionism, are not interested
in the detailed study of interaction as a process, in conversational
interaction as a topic, and on the study of how MEANINGS are ongoingly
constituted, i.e. the process of meaning CONSTRUCTION. I think that
conversational analyses, [now referred to as CA] such as that developed by
Sacks, have important and significantly different contributions to make to
the study of the social process which the Meadian perspective is unable to
accomplish.

The conclusion is that these approaches are different epistemological and
methodological approaches

Greg, interaction is a focus of both approaches, as is the focus on
"meaning construction" in ongoing social contexts, but they approach this
focus from different "traditions". Mead is focused on the "generalized"
typical conversation of gestures. Sacks is focused on micro observation of
empirical "facts".

The question that arises is if there are other competing "traditions" which
focus on the "generation of "meaning" that do not take as their model
"construction of meaning". Traditions that re-cognize that "meaning" is
existing within historically developed traditions AND  through a process of
"enculturation" through generations pass on what has become "meaning"  [now
independent of the specific local taking of roles and empirical micro
processes.  This "tradition" proposes that there is also a "conservation"
of meaning that exists "beyond" either Mead's generalized conversation of
gestures and the method of conversational analysis/construction.

This "sense" of "traditons of meaning development.  In particular I am
drawing attention to the "tradition" that understands "meaning" as
historically constituted and residing in the "subject matter" that
continues to "develop" but already existed before I as an individual
existed.

I appreciated the contrast that this article highlighted between Mead's
"conversation of gestures" [typical and general] and Sacks empirical
phenomenological notions of meaning "construction".  What needs to be added
to both these approaches is the "historically constituted meaning" that is
passed on between the generations through processes of "bildung" that also
contributes to personal "meaning". This is a third "tradition" moving
beyond "construction" and "building block" metaphors. In some sense the
"home" already exists and we are "re-modelling" what already exists.  We
may be re-using building blocks for [in order to] another "purpose" but we
are re-using previously constructed building blocks [upon which] new
structures are transformed.

Larry