‘Unpacking the Unspoken’ by Stephanie Peña-Alves – #sssi @sijournal #myths #objects #object-mediated-communication #semiotics

Blog Post in regard to: Stephanie Peña-Alves. 2019 (Online First). “Outspoken Objects and Unspoken Myths: The Semiotics of Object‐Mediated Communication.” Symbolic Interaction

Unpacking the Unspoken

Stephanie Peña-Alves

There is a kind of romance to things understood, but unspoken, things “said,” but not uttered. Saying without saying is an exciting departure from the default of talk. What are these mysterious mute meanings and how do we achieve them? From who do these meanings emerge? Or should we ask, from what?

My article, “Outspoken Objects and Unspoken Myths,” deals with the many layers of “the unspoken, but meaningful” in everyday life, starting with the ordinary objects we engage with in interaction. Though we know objects are symbolically useful for informing and performing identity, less studied is how we weave objects’ abstract meanings into our regular interpersonal exchanges. This is a semiotic process I term object-mediated communication, whereby we move and “speak” with objects while speaking with others.

However, an object once symbolic is not always symbolic. Meanings surface and meanings fade. In other words, an object meaningful in one moment can be effectively meaningless in the next. Hence, objects are symbolically dormant until we activate their deeper meanings.

This article focuses on people’s use of doors in particular. Slamming doors, knocking on them, waiting at them, push them ever-so-slowly open – these are some of the ways people transmit important messages about their status, intentions, and affective dispositions in interaction. And yet there are even deeper layers of meaning at work here. Enacted in this door-mediated communication are what Barthes called mythologies about ownership and belonging, privacy, liminality, and the narrativity of interaction. Meanings, indeed, abound when doors appear in the midst of talk.

Who knew such simple gestures coupled with such ordinary objects could yield such explosions of meaning? This is the intriguing class of the unspoken I invite you to explore in this article.

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2019 Maines Award for Schrock, McCabe, and Vaccaro’s paper “Narrative Manhood Acts” #sssi @sijournal #narrative

Douglas Schrock (Florida State University), Janice McCabe (Dartmouth
College), and Christian Vaccaro (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) won
the 2019 Maines Award for their work published in Symbolic Interaction, “Narrative Manhood Acts: BattererIntervention Program Graduates’ TragicRelationships”  In this
article, the authors analyze how twenty graduates of a Batterer Intervention Program constructed autobiographical stories about their relationships with women they assaulted.  They focus on the presentation of gendered selves via narrative manhood acts, which they define as self-narratives that signify membership in the category “man” and the possession of a masculine self.  Their study demonstrates the usefulness of narrative analysis for research on batterers’ accounts and manhood acts, and also shows how oppositional genre-making can be a method to resist organizational narratives.

Couch Center wishes to thank the hard work of the Maines Award Review
Committee members to make the award evaluation posssible—Elaine Jenks (West
Chester University), William Rawlins  (Ohio University), Jim Thomas
(Northern Illinois University) and Jeff Ulmer (Pennsylvania State
University).

The Maines Award is an annual competition, open to both students and the
faculty who submit papers that (1) interpret or address Maines’ pragmatist
approaches, (2) apply Maines’ narrative concepts to a social/communication
event, (3) develop aspects of Maines’ scholarship in new directions, or (4)
integrate the humanistic development of narrative and Maines’ pragmatist
conceptual and theoretical direction.  For more information about Maines
Award, please visit the Couch Center website at https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=www.cccsir.com&data=01%7C01%7Cdirk.vom_lehn%40kcl.ac.uk%7Ced802d43a14c4c6d18a308d771dbf364%7C8370cf1416f34c16b83c724071654356%7C0&sdata=7%2FAYT5AA%2F4mewSx4c5XiE7KUNow8sBopeqeUfR5Uluo%3D&reserved=0, or

contact
Shing-Ling Sarina Chen at sarina.chen@uni.edu.

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New Article: “Distributed Selves” by James Rupert Fletcher (@JamesRuFletcher) #sssi #sociology #gerontology #dementia

In his article “Distributed Selves: Shifting Inequities of Impression Management in Couples Living with Dementia” James Rupert Fletcher explores impression management of couples living with dementia.

The article has just been published on Early View of Symbolic Interaction. SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

 

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New Article: “Surgical Identity Play: The Anatomy Lab Revisited” by A. H. Vinson @ahvinson #sssi #sociology #anatomy #identity

In her article “Surgical Identity Play: The Anatomy Lab Revisited” Alexandra H. Vinson shows show that the anatomy lab experience is an important form of professional socialization because here students learn to employ surgical instruments, language, and dress, and begin to relate to each other as colleagues.

The article has just been published on Early View of Symbolic Interaction. SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

vinson

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New Article: “Outspoken Objects and Unspoken Myths” by Stephanie Peña‐Alves #sssi #sociology #semiotics

In her article “Outspoken Objects and Unspoken Myths: The Semiotics of Object‐Mediated Communication” Stephanie Peña‐Alves proposes that objects lie symbolically dormant until their deeper collective significance is activated through their use in interaction. Thus, through her research Stephanie Peńa-Alves expands the scope of interactionist inquiry on human–nonhuman relations by moving beyond the dominant scholarly focus on identity. The semiotic approach foregrounds a distinct human–object phenomenon, a novel category of nonverbal communication, and important meaning‐making dynamics.

SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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New Article: Casey Scheibling “Doing Fatherhood Online” #sssi #sociology

In his article “Doing Fatherhood Online: Men’s Parental Identities, Experiences, and Ideologies on Social Media” Casey Scheibling explores how men write about fatherhood on the internet.

The article has just been published on Early View of Symbolic Interaction. SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

Scheibling

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New Article: Avihu Shoshana “Love, Stigma, and Resistance” #sssi #love #sociology

We have just published Avihu Shoshana’s article “Love, Stigma, and Resistance: “Therapeutic Microaggressions” in a Prisoners’ Wives’ Support Group” on Early View of Symbolic Interaction.

SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

Shoshana

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