University of Oulu

Oloff, F. (2021). Some systematic aspects of self-initiated mobile device use in face-to-face encounters. Journal für Medienlinguistik, 2(2), 195–235.

Some systematic aspects of self-initiated mobile device use in face-to-face encounters

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Author: Oloff, Florence1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Humanities, P.O. Box 1000, 90014 University of Oulu (Finland)
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-02


This paper investigates self-initiated uses of mobile phones (such as texting or making a call) in everyday video-recorded conversations among Czech speakers. Using ethnomethodological conversation analysis, it illustrates how participants publicly frame their own de­vice use (for example, by announcements), and how co-present in­terlocutors respond to it. Previous studies have described how participants manage two concurrent communicative involvements, but have not provided detailed sequential descriptions of how de­vice use can be negotiated and accounted for. This study shows that mobile device use in co-presence is not a priori problematic (or vice versa). Instead, participants frame their technology use in different ways according to various features of the social situation they treat as momentarily relevant. These features include the course of the conversation and how the device use relates to it, the overall partic­ipation framework and the opacity of the device use for co-present others.

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Series: Journal für Medienlinguistik
ISSN: 2569-6491
ISSN-E: 2569-6491
ISSN-L: 2569-6491
Volume: 2
Issue: 2
Pages: 195 - 235
DOI: 10.21248/jfml.2019.21
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 616 Other humanities
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Copyright information: © 2021 Oloff. This article is licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.