Participant Structures and Consequences of Media

These readings begin from a point of parole; the production of order is completely intertwined with contextually specific detail. Behavior is informed from past experiences, but mainly from in-the-moment relevancy. This hinges on intention and orientation and results in material. Context is not a fixed set of factors, instead its reflexive. People make sense of actions and language in real-time.

Reflexive and material. Constituted by and in the moment of performance. Analyzed by moment by moment interaction. Larger ideas about gender and class are produced and reproduced in interactions and thus cut through multiple contexts so that these ideas are salient. Power relationships are constantly being produced in social interactions.

Micro-instances with macro-notions.

New media shifts participant structure organizations. You must put in more work to restructure how identities are performed and stabilized across contexts. Identities are constructed and new media destabilizes how those identities are communicated, thus exposing how constructed those ideas really are. So you must put in work to re-stabilize how those identities are performed.

Goffman, Erving. Frame Analysis (1974). Pp. 21-26

21- primary framework is one that is seen as rendering what would otherwise be a meaningless aspect of the scene into something that is meaningful…each primary framework allows its user to locate, perceive, identify, and label a seemingly infinite number of concrete occurrences defined in its terms

Frames are created somewhat unconsciously.

Natural vs. social frameworks. Natural is more deterministic and fundamental where as social frameworks are constructed; they provide background understanding for events. Social frameworks guide “doings”.

All social frameworks involve rules (24). The type of framework we employ provides a way of describing the event.

VII- Out of Frame Activity 223-246

Out of Frame activities have highly differentiated participation statuses.

230- Re-created materials offer, then, participation statuses additional to the ones available in real, actual activity.

237- Stage productions, then, involve modifications in that channeling of subordinate activity which is characteristic of ordinary offstage activity. But one cannot make sense of these modifications if they are treated all together. Two different levels or orders are involved, two different systems of reference, two different elements of the theatrical frame; one pertains to performers staging a production, the other to characters in a staged interaction. And matters must first be sorted along these lines before further analysis can be profitably attempted.

238- framing does not so much introduce restrictions on what can be meaningful as it does open up variability.

241- I am suggesting, then, that dramatic scriptings allow for the manipulation of framing conventions and that since these conventions cut very deeply into the organization of experience, almost anything can be managed in a way:that is compatible with sustaining the involvement of the audience.

Goffman, Erving. Forms of Talk (1982). Pp.124-159

This chapter presents a new way to decompose the roles of speaker-hearer. Goffman believed you positioned yourself by your utterances and how the audience interprets your words in terms of truth and intention. Participant frameworks are useful for ethnographers of media when thinking about the speaker-hearer model. We can decompose the speaker (3 parts) and hearer (ratified and unratified hearers). The medium is what influences who makes up the speakers/hearer. Participant structures help us analyze this micro-interactions. Media allows new roles and relationships and new participants in an interaction. Ex. person with a mega-phone.

Footing: shifting roles done through code-switching based on the relationship between participants. Code-switching doesn’t have to include actual speech although dialect and language are often useful tools of measurement.

New footing can have a liminal role; it serves as the in-between for two more substantially sustained episodes (128).

Ratified and unratified hearers: aka intended and unintended

Participation framework (140)
Speaker- 145
Animator- the person engaged in the voicing of words; the figure
Author- someone who choses the words
Principal- the person responsible for the words
Production Format

Ritual bracketing: i.e. greetings, farewells, small talk; regulated speech events.
Pre-play: 125, bracketed speech that foregrounds the major speech event.
Post-play: 142, bracketed speech that concludes the major speech event.

Silvio, Teri. 2010. Animation: the new performance? Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 20:422-438.

“In this essay, I argue that animation has the same potential as a structuring trope in the age of digital media and the rise of the creative industries that performance had in the age of broadcast media and the rise of the service industry.”

The Performance Paradigm

Performance analyzes: physical dress/embodiment, speech/language, audience, stage, actors/”performers”, blocking/staging. Audience as consciously/critically viewing the performance. Liveness/mimesis. Performances are reproduced process/genre. Defined participants roles/frameworks. Performance and self/the real. To what degree is there a gap between the actor and the role? Did they break the 4th wall?

“It is not surprising that these theories tended to define performance in terms of aspects of theater that came to the fore in discussions of its difference from television—the use of space, interactive communication, the materiality of the actor’s body, the visible gap between actor and role, scriptedness versus improvisation, social reproduction versus social transformation.”

It’s a dialogic interaction; how does the actor interact with the role and how do the inhabited roles interact with each other?

Author lays out the history of performance studies and concludes, “the model of performance emerged in response to developments in media technologies and economic restructuring but also participated in those structural transformations.”

“Performance studies taught us that “acting” is not just something set apart from reality, but a model of and for the process through which real identities are constructed.”

Animation: Definitions
“Let us provisionally define animation as broadly as possible, as the projection of qualities perceived as human—life, power, agency, will, personality, and so on—outside of the self, and into the sensory environment, through acts of creation, perception, and interaction.”
Puppetry studies define animation in opposition to live theater, by the presence of “performing objects”

The “gap” between actor and role doesn’t exist in animation. The audience fill the half-empty glass/animated character with meaning.

Creator/Character Ratio

Thinking of online role-playing as animating, rather than performing, might help us to localize these experiences in place and time.
At the same time, contemporary manga, anime, and logo characters are often acknowledged as the creations of collectives, rather than auteurs.

Labor is mystified; it takes multiple people to make an animated character, but the audience interacts with it as if it were a unifying character.

Cuteness, Branding, and the Labor of Animation

Performance Studies has focused primarily on the expressive aspect of communication—on how the performer produces meaning—rather than on the interpretation of performative acts.

Performance and Animation Together

I have been exaggerating the differences between performance and animation—performance involves embodiment, introjection, mimesis, and self-identity; animation involves disembodiment, projection, alterity, and the object world, and so on.

Animation as the Construction of Self-Identity

Avatar, the embodied form of a deity…the cinematic performance and the avatar both carry on the functions of constructing and presenting a public self and (potentially) making a living. For Meadows and others, the avatar also works as a sort of Lacanian mirror-image that is imagined and then constructed by the user, but in turn can also transform the user’s/ performer’s experience of self-identity

Another kind of animated character used to express identity is the emoticon.

Embodied Performance as Self-Animation

The practice of cosplay—dressing up as animated characters—can be seen as a remediation in the opposite direction, remediating digital animation into embodied performance. The “same” practice of embodiment may be experienced very differently, however, through the lenses of performance and animation.

The Romance of Performance and Animation

Conclusion: I have tried to integrate the models of performance and animation,in order to bring some of the key foci of performance studies (e.g., identity, social reproduction, and social transformation) to bear on the study of digital techno-cultures, and to suggest some of the characteristics of animation (e.g., the organization of striated media) as possible foci for new research on computer-mediated identity and community…My project in this essay, to set up animation as a platform for the comparative study of how human beings negotiate the relationship between self and world, both includes such projects of intellectual history and, of course, should itself be subjected to cultural and historical contextualization.

Peters, John Durham. 2010. “Broadcasting and schizophrenia.” Media, Culture, and Society 32(1):123-140.

All technologies lie in the spectrum of dissemination and dialogue (these mutually co-constitute each other). Each technology defines and limits the possibility for a 1:1 exchange between people. Ex. Writing was great for dissemination and eliminated dialogue. 1:1 conversation emphasized the dialogue and limited dissemination.

The point: What is, in short, the implicit line between madness and rationality that is encoded into the form of broadcast talk?

There are two interactions between spectator and performer. Face to face and para-social interaction. “Things went awry only when people failed to distinguish the two parallel circuits.”

134- Thought broadcasting’ is usually distinguished from another first-rank symptom called ‘delusions of reference’, the technical term for Colleen Nestler’s complaint, which involve reading broadcast messages as personally addressed: ‘the person believes that certain gestures, comments, passages from books, newspapers, song lyrics, or other environmental cues are specifically directed at him or her’

135- What Goffman (1959) called ‘alienation from interaction’ applies to the situation of broadcasting as well as face-to-face talk. If it can be disabling in everyday talk to consider the system of communication too closely, in media reception it is essential. Psychosis, in other words, is not limited to the receiving end of broadcasting.

Cross-cultural study shows one thing specific to our conception of madness: the notion of the private ownership of thoughts.


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