Communication Inside the Bubble of the Automobile
A recent Semiotica (Issue 191, Aug 2012) has a themed section on communicative behaviors and the automobile. From the framing piece (Meaning and Motion: Sharing the Car, Sharing the Drive) that leads off:
"The papers of this issue are informed primarily by the insights and analytical approaches of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis (EM/CA), in particular for studying the multimodal nature of social interaction, for example, as represented in a recent collection in this journal (Stivers and Sidnell 2005b). In their analyses, the authors in this special issue address a range of “semiotic modalities” (see Stivers and Sidnell 2005a: 1), including verbal (language), and visuospatial and embodied modalities of gesture, gaze, body postural position and movement, facial expression, and available resources (e.g., objects) and features of car as a material setting. The papers therefore draw on the cumulative insights and approaches of over three decades of research on interaction as embodied and occurring relative to its material and spatial surrounds (especially after Goodwin 1981; e.g., see McIlvenny et al. 2009), across a huge range of both everyday and work settings (e.g., courtrooms and police work, classrooms and other sites of instruction, surgery and medical and health consultations, meetings, research fieldwork, control centers, and collaborative professional work)...The primary data for each of the papers for this issue are video/audio recordings of real-life driving journeys, from which the authors have made detailed transcriptions and taken stills. Analyses are informed by ethnographic detail. The recordings have been made across a number of countries (France, Israel, Australia, the UK, Finland, and the USA). The recordings capture people from a rich variety of different nationalities (in addition to the above, people from Norway and Slovenia), and represent individual drivers, families, friends, work colleagues, children, and teenagers. The papers therefore provide a rich selection of studies of everyday life inside the car. Together they begin to reveal something of the working and order of a particular activity site, and even about specific social relations and groupings (such as family, etc.), as they are situated and realized moment-to-moment (Goodwin 2007)."
Here are the articles: