Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
January 27, 2022 (Thursday), 4:30 p.m. (Hong Kong time)
Room 7.45, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
With live broadcast on Zoom:
Meeting ID: 967 9565 8643
Openings of interaction are critical for maintaining social relationships. In this work with Yumei Gan (Shanghai Jiaotong University) and Christian Licoppe (Télécom ParisTech), I explore the practices of managing openings in a situation where parents are separated from their children and they only encounter each other in a video-mediated environment. As a result of this, these openings have a particular emotional significance. Based on detailed analysis of 56 video calls openings between Chinese migrant parents and their left-behind children, we show that grandparents, who are the caregivers of these children, ‘orchestrate’ these openings. We demonstrate, firstly, that grandparents help to establish a parent-child ‘talking head’ configuration upon connection. We show, secondly, that after the establishment of mutual talking head, both grandparents and parents expect the child to treat the production of this video-mediated configuration as sequentially implicative, that is to speak and greet first, and to greet largely. Our findings suggest that such orchestrated openings are an important component in the enactment of family bonding and intimacy across distances.
Christian Greiffenhagen is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he leads the Video Analysis, Science & Technology (VAST) Research Group. His research interests include conversation analysis (CA), video-mediated communication (VMC), human-computer interaction (HCI), and science & technology studies (STS). Current research projects are “The Practice of Peer Review in Mathematics” (GRF 14600218), which investigates the disciplinary specificity of peer review; and “Intimacy at a Distance: A Video-based Study of Video Calls between Migrant Workers and their Left-behind Children in China” (GRF 14602619), which studies the role of video calls in facilitating intimacy in multi-local families.