Analyzing the researcher-participant in EMCA
Keywords:researcher as participant, participant observation, unique adequacy, naturalistic data, video analysis
Conversation analysis strives to use naturalistic data in its research, but the definition of “natural” is often unclear (Speer, 2002) and can be at odds with both ethnomethodological understandings of data (Lynch, 2002) and practices of data collection (e.g., Stevanovic et al., 2017; Goodwin, 2018). In this paper, I reconsider the concept of naturalness with respect to a particular data collection practice: When the researcher themselves is a participant in the recorded data. I argue that analysis may be guided by how the researcher-participant is treated by others in the data, and that researchers may be considered as any other participant if treated as making activity-adequate (rather than research-adequate) contributions. Furthermore, researcher presence can demonstrate unique adequacy and provides opportunities to experiment with situated practices that otherwise are atypical or hard to access. This version of “natural” respecifies naturalness as a members’ concern in recorded interaction.
Ayaß, R. (2020). Doing Waiting: An Ethnomethodological Analysis. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 0891241619897413. https://doi.org/10.1177/0891241619897413
Baranova, J. (2020). Reasons for every-day activities [Doctoral thesis, Radboud University]. https://repository.ubn.ru.nl/handle/2066/215785
Bennerstedt, U., Ivarsson, J., & Linderoth, J. (2012). How gamers manage aggression: Situating skills in collaborative computer games. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 7(1), 43–61. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-011-9136-6
Broth, M., & Lundström, F. (2013). A walk on the pier: Establishing relevant places in mobile interaction. In P. Haddington, L. Mondada, & M. Nevile (Eds.), Interaction and mobility: Language and the body in motion (pp. 91–122). De Gruyter.
Broth, M., & Mondada, L. (2019). Delaying moving away: Place, mobility, and the multimodal organization of activities. Journal of Pragmatics, 148, 44–70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2019.05.013
Chen, R. (2021). The researcher’s participant roles in ethical data collection of autistic interaction. Social Interaction. Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 4(2).
Dutkiewicz, J. (2015). Pretzel Logic: An Embodied Ethnography of a Rock Climb. Space and Culture, 18(1), 25–38. https://doi.org/10.1177/1206331214532044
Edmonds, R. (2021). Balancing research goals and community expectations: The affordances of body cameras and participant observation in the study of wildlife conservation. Social Interaction. Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 4(2).
Garfinkel, H. (1967). Studies in ethnomethodology. Prentice-Hall.
Garfinkel, H. (1986). Ethnomethodological studies of work. Routledge & K. Paul.
Garfinkel, H. (1996). Ethnomethodology’s Program. Social Psychology Quarterly, 59(1), 5. https://doi.org/10.2307/2787116
Garfinkel, H., & Wieder, D. L. (1992). Two incommensurable, asymmetrically alternate technologies of sociological analysis. In G. Watson & R. M. Seiler (Eds.), Text in context: Contributions to ethnomethodology (pp. 175–206). Sage.
Goodwin, C. (1995). Co-Constructing Meaning in Conversations With an Aphasic Man. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 28(3), 233–260. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327973rlsi2803_4
Goodwin, C. (2004). A Competent Speaker Who Can’t Speak: The Social Life of Aphasia. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 14(2), 151–170. https://doi.org/10.1525/jlin.2004.14.2.151
Goodwin, C. (2010). Constructing meaning through prosody in aphasia. In D. Barth-Weingarten, E. Reber, & M. Selting (Eds.), Prosody in interaction (pp. 373–394). John Benjamins.
Goodwin, C. (2013). The co-operative, transformative organization of human action and knowledge. Journal of Pragmatics, 46(1), 8–23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2012.09.003
Goodwin, C. (2018). Co-operative action. Cambridge University Press.
Hazel, S. (2016). The paradox from within: Research participants doing-being-observed. Qualitative Research, 16(4), 446–467. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794115596216
Heath, C., & Hindmarsh, J. (2002). Analyzing interaction: Video, ethnography, and situated conduct. In T. May (Ed.), Qualitative Research in Action (pp. 99–121). SAGE.
Heath, C., Hindmarsh, J., & Luff, P. (2010). Video in qualitative research: Analysing social interaction in everyday life. SAGE.
Heritage, J., & Atkinson, J. M. (1984). Introduction. In J. M. Atkinson & J. Heritage (Eds.), Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis (pp. 1–15). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511665868
Hofstetter, E. (2019, April 25). Shifting in and out of falls in rock climbing. COACT, Oulu, Finland.
Hofstetter, E. (2020a). Nonlexical “Moans”: Response Cries in Board Game Interactions. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 53(1), 42–65. https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2020.1712964
Hofstetter, E. (2020b). Achieving Preallocation: Turn Transition Practices in Board Games. Discourse Processes, 0(0), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/0163853X.2020.1816401
Hofstetter, E., & Robles, J. (2019). Manipulation in Board Game Interactions: Being a Sporting Player. Symbolic Interaction, 42(2), 301–320. https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.396
Holler, J., & Kendrick, K. H. (2015). Unaddressed participants’ gaze in multi-person interaction: Optimizing recipiency. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(98), 76–89.
Laurier, E., & Philo, C. (2006). Natural problems of naturalistic video data. In H. Knoblauch, J. Raab, H.-G. Soeffner, & B. Schnettler (Eds.), Video-analysis: Methodology and methods (pp. 181–190). Oxford University Press.
Livingston, E. (1986). The ethnomethodological foundations of mathematics. Routledge.
Lynch, M. (2000). Against Reflexivity as an Academic Virtue and Source of Privileged Knowledge. Theory, Culture & Society, 17(3), 26–54. https://doi.org/10.1177/02632760022051202
Lynch, M. (2002). From naturally occurring data to naturally organized ordinary activities: Comment on Speer. Discourse Studies, 4(4), 531–537. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614456020040040801
Macbeth, D. (2012). Some Notes on the Play of Basketball in its Circumstantial Detail, and an Introduction to Their Occasion. Human Studies, 35(2), 193–208. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10746-012-9235-z
Maynard, D. W., & Zimmerman, D. H. (1984). Topical Talk, Ritual and the Social Organization of Relationships. Social Psychology Quarterly, 47(4), 301–316. https://doi.org/10.2307/3033633
Mondada, L. (2006). Video recordings as the reflexive preservation and configuration of phenomenal features for analysis. In H. Knoblauch, J. Raab, H.-G. Soeffner, & B. Schnettler (Eds.), Video-analysis: Methodology and methods (pp. 51–67). Oxford University Press.
Mondada, L. (2013). The conversation analytic approach to data collection. In J. Sidnell & T. Stivers (Eds.), The Handbook of Conversation Analysis (pp. 32–56). John Wiley & Sons.
Mondada, L. (2019). Contemporary issues in conversation analysis: Embodiment and materiality, multimodality and multisensoriality in social interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 145, 47–62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2019.01.016
Pehkonen, S., Rauniomaa, M., and Siitonen, P. (2021). Participating researcher or researching participant? On possible positions of the researcher in the collection (and analysis) of mobile video data. Social Interaction: Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 4(2).
Pollner, M. (1991). Left of Ethnomethodology: The Rise and Decline of Radical Reflexivity. American Sociological Review, 56(3), 370–380. https://doi.org/10.2307/2096110
Pollner, M., & Emerson, R. M. (2007). Ethnomethodology and ethnography. In P. Atkinson, A. Coffey, S. Delamont, J. Lofland, & L. Lofland (Eds.), Handbook of ethnography (pp. 118–135). Sage.
Potter, J. (2002). Two kinds of natural. Discourse Studies, 4(4), 539–542. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614456020040040901
Reynolds, E. (2017). Description of membership and enacting membership: Seeing-a-lift, being a team. Journal of Pragmatics, 118, 99–119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2017.05.008
Robillard, A. B. (1996). Anger In-the-Social-Order. Body & Society, 2(1), 17–30. https://doi.org/10.1177/1357034X96002001002
Robinson, J. D. (2016). Accountability in social interation. In J. D. Robinson (Ed.), Accountability in social interaction (pp. 1–46). Oxford University Press.
Robles, J. S. (2015). Extreme Case (Re)formulation as a Practice for Making Hearably Racist Talk Repairable. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 34(4), 390–409. https://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X15586573
Ruusuvuori, J., & Peräkylä, A. (2009). Facial and Verbal Expressions in Assessing Stories and Topics. Research on Language & Social Interaction, 42(4), 377–394. https://doi.org/10.1080/08351810903296499
Schegloff, E. A. (1968). Sequencing in conversational openings. American Anthropologist, 70, 1075–1095.
Schegloff, E. A. (1987). Analyzing Single Episodes of Interaction: An Exercise in Conversation Analysis. Social Psychology Quarterly, 50(2), 101–114. https://doi.org/10.2307/2786745
Schegloff, E. A. (1992). On talk and its institutional occasions. In P. Drew & J. Heritage (Eds.), Talk at Work: Interaction in Institutional Settings (pp. 101–137). Cambridge University Press.
Schegloff, E. A. (1996). Confirming Allusions: Toward an Empirical Account of Action. American Journal of Sociology, 102(1), 161–216. https://doi.org/10.1086/230911
Schegloff, E. A. (2006). On possibles. Discourse Studies, 8(1), 141–157. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445606059563
Schegloff, E. A., & Sacks, H. (1973). Opening up Closings. Semiotica, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.1918.104.22.1689
Schindler, L. (2017). Teaching bodies: Visual and haptic communication in martial arts. In C. Meyer & U. v. Wedelstaedt (Eds.), Moving bodies in interaction – Interacting bodies in Motion: Intercorporeality, interkinesthesia, and enaction in sports (pp. 245–265). John Benjamins.
Sidnell, J. (2010). Conversation analysis: An introduction. Wiley-Blackwell.
Sormani, P. (2016). Practice-based video analysis: A position statement. SocietàMutamentoPolitica, 7(14), 103–121.
Speer, S. A. (2002a). 'Natural’ and 'contrived’ data: A sustainable distinction? Discourse Studies, 4(4), 511–525. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614456020040040601
Speer, S. A. (2002b). Transcending the 'natural’/'contrived’ distinction: A rejoinder to ten Have, Lynch and Potter. Discourse Studies, 4(4), 543–548. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614456020040041001
Stevanovic, M., Himberg, T., Niinisalo, M., Kahri, M., Peräkylä, A., Sams, M., & Hari, R. (2017). Sequentiality, Mutual Visibility, and Behavioral Matching: Body Sway and Pitch Register During Joint Decision Making. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 50(1), 33–53.
Sudnow, D. (1983). Pilgrim in the microworld. Warner Books.
Sudnow, D. (1993). Ways of the Hand: The Organization of Improvised Conduct. MIT Press.
ten Have, P. (2007). Doing Conversation Analysis. SAGE Publications, Ltd. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781849208895
Tuncer, S. (2016). The Effects of Video Recording on Office Workers’ Conduct, and the Validity of Video Data for the Study of Naturally-Occurring Interactions. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 17(3), Article 3. https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-17.3.2604
Umair, M., Mertens, J., Albert, S., & de Ruiter, J. P. (forthcoming). GailBot: An automatic transcription system for Conversation Analysis. Dialogue & Discourse.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Author and Journal
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
We follow the Budapest Open Access Initiative's definition of Open Access.
The journal allows the author(s) to hold the copyright without restrictions.
The journal allows software/spiders to automatically crawl the journal content (also known as text mining)
The journal provides article level metadata to DOAJ
The journal allows readers to read, download, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of its articles and allow readers to use them for any other lawful purpose.