Embodied Family Choreography documents the lived and embodied practices employed to establish, maintain, and negotiate intimate social relationships in the family, examining forms of control, care, and creativity. Making use of the extensive video archives of family interaction in the US and Sweden, it presents the first investigation of how touch and interaction between bodies, in conjunction with talk, constitute a primary means of orchestrating activities through directives, thus creating rich relationships through supportive interchanges, and engaging in playful explorations of the world. Through close investigation of the sequential and simultaneous engagement of bodies interacting with other bodies, this book makes visible the important role touch plays in the context of contemporary Western middle class family life and is pioneering in its analysis of how the visual, aural, and haptic senses (usually analysed separately) mutually elaborate one another. As such, Embodied Family Choreography will appeal to scholars of child development, the sociology of the family and ethnomethodology and conversation analysis.

part |36 pages


chapter 1|19 pages

Capturing family interaction in situ

Fieldwork and theoretical points of departure

part I|81 pages


chapter 3|25 pages

Directive response sequences

chapter 4|19 pages

Control touch in directives

chapter 5|22 pages

Negotiation within directive trajectories

chapter 6|13 pages

Metacommentary in directive sequences

part II|65 pages


part III|74 pages

Mundane creativity

chapter 11|20 pages

Improvisation and verbal play

chapter 12|18 pages

Socializing enskilment

chapter 13|25 pages

Sibling caretaking, teaching, and play

chapter 14|9 pages