Interacting to remember at multiple timescales: Coordination, collaboration, cooperation and culture in joint remembering

Interaction Studies 16 (3):419-450 (2015)


Everyday joint remembering, from family remembering around the dinner table to team remembering in the operating theatre, relies on the successful interweaving of multiple cognitive, bodily, social and material resources, anchored in specific cultural ecosystems. Such systems for joint remembering in social interactions are composed of processes unfolding over multiple but complementary timescales, which we distinguish for analytic purposes so as better to study their interanimation in practice: (i) faster, lower-level coordination processes of behavioral matching and interactional synchrony occurring at timescale t1; (ii) mid-range collaborative processes which re-evoke past experiences in groups, unfolding at timescale t2; (iii) cooperative processes involved in the transmission of memories over longer periods occurring at timescale t3; and (iv) cultural processes and practices operating within distributed socio-cognitive networks over evolutionary and historical timeframes, unfolding at timescale t4. In this paper we survey studies of how the processes operating across these overlapping and complementary timescales constitute joint remembering in social interactions. We describe coordination, collaboration, cooperation, and culture as complementary aspects of interacting to remember, which we consider as a complex phenomenon unfolding over multiple timescales (t1, t2, t3, t4).

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