In our daily experiences, we feel, perceive, designate, invoke or comment on a plurality of beings: people, artifacts, technologies, institutions, projects, animals, divinities, emotions, cultures, ideologies or opinions that are part of our world. While these beings are all part of our world, they present various forms of existence. Echoing recent developments in existential anthropology, Communication as Constitutive of Organization (CCO) research, and Actor Network Theory, here scholars from a variety of disciplines discuss how they study the types of beings that have been at the core of their respective research. Reflecting on the specific mode of existence, presence and action of the being they follow, they reveal the methodological innovations they deploy in order to analyze excerpts of field notes, filmed interactions, conversations, pictures, newspapers, narratives, etc.
Table of Contents
How to follow and analzye a diversity of beings: An introduction
François Cooren and Fabienne Malbois
Following and analyzing a human being: On the continuity and singularity of an individual
Marine Kneubühler and Albert Piette
Following and analyzing a project: On the intricacies of shadowing a messy being
Following and analyzing public opinion: Invention and circulation of an authority figure
Following and analyzing an artifact: Culture-through-things
Following and analyzing a divinity: God speaks in public, or charismatic prophecy from intimacy to politics
Following and analyzing an identity: The case of the public specular appearances of Chelsea (Bradley) Manning
Being followed by an organization: A hauntological perspective on organizational ethnography
Frederik Matte and Nicolas Bencherki
Following and analyzing an idea:What does it mean to do so for a communication researcher?
François Cooren, Ph.D., is a professor at the Université de Montréal, Canada. His research focuses on organizational communication, language and social interaction, as well as communication theory. He is the author and co-author of four books (The Organizing Property of Communication (2000), Action and Agency in Dialogue: Passion, Incarnation, and Ventriloquism (2010), Organizational Discourse: Communication and Constitution (2015), and The work of communication: Relational perspectives on working and organizing in contemporary capitalism (2017)) and also edited seven volumes published by Oxford University Press, Routledge, John Benjamins and Lawrence Erlbaum. He is also the author of more than 50 articles, published in international peer-reviewed journals, as well as more than 50 book chapters. In 2010-2011, he was the president of the International Communication Association (ICA) and was elected fellow of this association in 2013. He is also the current president of the International Association for Dialogue Analysis (IADA, 2012-2019), as well as a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association (NCA) since 2017.
Fabienne Malbois, Ph.D., is associate researcher at the University of Lausanne and senior academic UAS at the School of Social Work of Geneva. Her research interests include language, interaction and gender in traditional and digital media settings as well as in ordinary contexts; (de)figuration of oneself in the public sphere; performance and recognition; the local and extra-local organization of action, and, more recently, the digital transition of work. Her case study of Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, conducted using a variety of ethnographic methods, has been published in various international peer-reviewed journals. She is the author of one book (Déplier le genre. Enquête épistémologique sur le féminisme antinaturaliste, 2011) and also edited in 2014 Langage, activités et ordre social. Faire de la sociologie avec Harvey Sacks (with Alain Bovet and Esther González Martínez). She is the translator into French (with Michel Barthélémy and Julia Hedstroem) of Dorothy Smith’s Institutional ethnography. A sociology for people.