Self-Touch as Sociality


  • Jürgen Streeck



interaction, touch, self-touch, sociality, intercorporeality


Self-touch is often understood as a form of interactional disengagement and withdrawal, of self-involvement, and co-participants are said to disattend ‘self-grooming’ actionsIn this paper, I present interactional sequences during which the parties touch themselves at the same time, or in succession. These data thus suggest that self-touch can also be an engagement display. Approaching self-touch from the ‘point of view’ of idle hands in need of something to do, and of interaction as in need of ongoing mutual coordination, I present cooperative self-touch as a display of the deeply social nature of the human body.


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How to Cite

Streeck, J. (2020). Self-Touch as Sociality. Social Interaction. Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 3(2).