Noticings and the reflexive constitution of action and a mutually intelligible world

Mick Smith and I wrote this paper for for IIEMCA. I’ll upload the full video of the talk once it’s done. Here are the references for now as they won’t fit on a slide.

We focus on some practices people use to formulate a setting as available for use in interaction: as resources that recipients may optionally ratify and accomplish as resources in and through social action. Co-participants can formulate objects that they may then re-use, expand and re-transform in subsequent talk. We explore this process by analyzing the work of senior and novice field geologists conducting fieldwork while walking through a wilderness  setting. We show how participants use noticings as methods to develop and share candidate understandings of the world around them: as analyzable, knowable, and actionable phenomena. We trace the procedures through which participants produce copresent occasioned noticings that combine their engagement with each other and with their co-present setting into mutually accountable joint activities. We argue that for a noticeable to become useful as an actionable resource, co-participants must first analyze its relevance to whatever activity is currently underway. This members’ analysis provides a key resource for participants and analysts alike by revealing how ‘what-we’re-doing now’ is embedded within larger activities and projects, allowing what might otherwise remain incohate and unnoticed to become an inferentially rich resource for participants in the conduct of situated activities.

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