The invitation in this chapter is to see or remember1 what can be gained and achieved by turning our attention from a style of thinking and speaking that focuses on the “truth about things” and shifting it to a recognition of the contribution of our own cultural practices in how things come-to-be what they seem. We are invited to look at human social processes and the relationships of how things in the world get caught up in these, historical or current but always active, processes and in so doing create meaning.The point here is to arrest or interrupt the spontaneous, unself-conscious flow of our ongoing activity, and to give “prominence to distinctions which our ordinary forms of language easily make us overlook.” ( Wittgenstein, 2001, p. 43 )We are invited to indulge a little less in the apparent “nature of things” and instead give a little more attention to the practices that make things happen and the relations between their inter-actors. Rather than having the relationship between “a directly perceiving mind and reality” as our primary focus we are looking afresh at those social processes that attribute characteristics to its actors and “cause us to hold beliefs.” We might call this “relational practicing.”2 I assume that the proper study of interaction is not the individual and his [sic] psychology, but rather the syntactical relations among the acts of different persons mutually present to one another….. …Not, then, men [sic] and their moments. Rather moments and their men. ( Goffman, 1982, p. 2 )Goffman richly points out the variety of ordinary, everyday ways in which people participate in social encounters and how they conduct the minutia of constitutive relational practices. Goffman spent a lifetime illuminating the relevance of the almost hidden inter-participant grammar in cooperative performance of coordinated meaning and structure and also had much to say about the practical relationships between the actors and those prevailing enacted structures.
Blantern, C. (2010), "Chapter 4 Relational Practice — “The Daily Things We Do”", Steyaert, C. and Van Looy, B. (Ed.) Relational Practices, Participative Organizing (Advanced Series in Management, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 55-73. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1877-6361(2010)0000007008Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited