[MyResearch] Shared Workspace: linguistic analysis

Mondada, L., in press, "Operating together through videoconference: members' procedures accomplishing a common space of action", Proceedings of the IIEMCA Conference, "Orders of ordinary action" - Manchester, 9-11.7.2001.

Abstract: This paper examines a particular work situation in which surgeons operating on a patient are connected through a videoconference device with experts giving advice and with an audience of advanced trainees. This paper focusses the following questions: how do surgeons located in different places accomplish together the activity of operating the patient; how by using the videoconference technology they locally shape a common space of action which is relevant either for a precise task or for particular sequences of talk-in-interaction; how these spaces are contingently configured and transformed as members procede from one task to another, from one sequence to another. Technology does not simply provide fixed places where members work or speak but it is a resource exploited throughout the activities by which a shared workplace is constituted, ordered and exhibited by means of gestures, spatial arrangements and talk-in-interaction.

More specifically, the paper focusses a twofold issue: the making of a visual space of action and the making of a participation space.The first addresses the way in which the actions being performed (e.g. preparing the operating theatre, choosing the relevant instrumentation, or dissecting a tissue) are organized by reflexively taking into account the way in which they are shooted and broadcasted by the videoconferencing device. The second tackles the question of how a participation framework is sequentially achieved in order to allow different kinds of professionals to intervene in the operation and to constitute different categories of recipients such as learners, experts, peers and co-operators. The analysis of videotaped data therefore explores in detail the methods used to draw, delimitate and order different spaces of action (e.g. commenting the surgical operation does not involve the same space than collectively taking decisions about how to realize it); it deals with the methods used to shape a multiparty event in which the construction of the turns at talk distinguishes different recipients of different actions (e.g. retrospectively explaning the surgical procedure to the audience or prospectively discussing the best dissecting procedure with an expert); it looks also at the methods used to categorize and to make recognizable different actions and the participation frameworks relevant for them (e.g. orientation toward a learning audience or toward an evaluating expert achieves different orders of action and generates different local relevancies).