Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol 6, No 2 (2015)

Performing an action one cannot do: Participation, scaffolding and embodied interaction

Antonia Krummheuer
Issued Date: 8 Jan 2016


This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion on interactional management of communicative impairment by focusing on practices, in which people with an impairment are supported by those without to collaborate in an activity. Thus, a conversation and embodied interaction analysis is conducted of a routine in which a physiotherapist assists a client living with acquired brain injury to perform an activity the client cannot perform for herself: turning from lying face-down to facing the ceiling. The analysis highlights the situated multimodal and embodied practices of scaffolding whereby both parties coconstruct the client as both a competent, collaborative participant and an active agent. This paper aims to enrich the discussion on how people with communicative impairment can become active participants in a given situation by emphasising the necessity of: (1) a dynamic and complex understanding of the participation framework, and (2) including the embodied aspects of interaction in the analysis.

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DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v7i1.26986


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