Body Part Highlighting

Exploring two types of embodied practices in two sub-types of showing sequences in video-mediated consultations


  • Brian Lystgaard Due University of Copenhagen
  • Simon Bierring Lange University of Copenhagen



multimodality, embodied interaction, video-mediated interaction, highlighting, showing sequences


Consultations in healthcare settings involve an initial phase of “history-taking”, during which the healthcare professional examines the client for symptoms by asking questions, making the client show symptoms on his or her own body, and performing bodily examinations. But how can bodily symptoms be identified when the interaction is video-mediated and sensory access is limited? One key resource here is “body showings”. However, research suggests that video-mediated teleconsultations reduce body showings due to both technical difficulties and sensory obstruction. In this paper, we provide a contrary case that shows two types of practices employed for successful history-taking through body-part showings. Based on an analysis of an “evocative showing sequence” (Licoppe, 2017), we present two types of gestural highlighting practices, via two types of showing sub-sequences: 1) “mimicable body part highlighting”, which occurs in a sequence of “adapting-body-to-frame”; and 2) “direct body part highlighting”, which occurs in a sequence of “adapting-frame-to-body”. The paper uses a single case to discuss how gestures work in a video-mediated context and how sensory judgements are not just a property of the healthcare professional, but are distributed to clients who are able to creatively adapt to situated contingencies in order to accomplish common understanding about the symptoms. The data consist of video-recorded, video-mediated physiotherapy consultations in Denmark, analysed using ethnomethodological conversation analysis (EMCA). The paper contributes to EMCA research on mediated interaction and embodied, gestural and sensorial practices.


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How to Cite

Due, B. L., & Lange, S. B. (2020). Body Part Highlighting: Exploring two types of embodied practices in two sub-types of showing sequences in video-mediated consultations. Social Interaction. Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 3(3).