About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1013-1023
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain

INTEGRATED FACES: AN OUTLINE FOR A THEORY OF COLLABORATIVE CYCLES

A. Fergusson

La Trobe University (AUSTRALIA)
This article presents a proposed outline for collaborative cycles, a four-phase research methodology which can be used to overcome various problems which relate to any study which involves human participation.

The first phase of the proposed research cycles is defined as 'face', briefly explained by Karen Tracy as ‘a social phenomenon created through communication when people come into each others' presence’ which ‘refers to the identities people claim or attribute to each other in specific social situations’ (Karen Tracy and Baratz 1994, p.287). This article examines both 'positive face' and 'negative face' as manifestations of very different underlying motivations.

The second phase of a collaborative cycle requires an understanding of the difference and interdependence between face and 'facework'. Facework refers to ‘the communicative strategies that are the enactment, support, or challenge of those situated identities' (K. Tracy 1990, p.210) and can be undertaken by many actors, with many different faces. Often deeply embedded and involved social processes lie behind the creation of any observable face and this engagement can be multi-directional, multi-modal and complex. It can often demand specialist or embedded knowledge.

The third phase of the collaborative cycle is, on the contrary, an undertaking requiring interactional linguistic analysis. This stage of the research works at discourse 'intersections'. When actors engage in communicative acts which challenge another’s face-wants, identifiable discourse markers are employed to negotiate these differences. Tools adopted from interactional sociolinguistics such as turn taking, turn design, topic change and/or elimination are indicators of this negotiation of face-wants. Digital tools allowing for tag clouds, word trees and word frequency searches are some of the technological devices which aid in this phase.

The fourth and final phase of collaborative cycles elicits integration of the results from the previous intersections into social (or other) models, drawn from developed theory. The specific model is entirely dependant on the study undertaken and the researcher’s aim. For the purposes of this article, an example of the sociological model of the habitus and oeuvre as proposed by Pierre Bourdieu (1977) is used to show how agency is used by women within the indigenous community of Zinacantán in Mexico.

Not limited to static or singular perspectives of human agents within organisational or cultural settings, the face-facework-intersection-integration model allows for systemic research to be applied to complex social phenomena. Despite the fact that many formative influences in any given interaction may be historically embedded, a historically informed analysis can be made on spontaneous, in-the-moment exchanges. Furthermore, as a research design it streamlines recruitment of specialist knowledge for specific sections of research – allowing for changed input if required - without compromising the ability to complete full and integrated cycles of research.

The relevance of these proposed collaborative cycles applies equally to organisational communities of practice, market research and cultural or social studies. In conclusion, this article shows how social practices are realized in language in interaction, how these practices create and maintain relations of power, and how they can be effectively studied.
@InProceedings{FERGUSSON2012INT,
author = {Fergusson, A.},
title = {INTEGRATED FACES: AN OUTLINE FOR A THEORY OF COLLABORATIVE CYCLES},
series = {5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-0763-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {19-21 November, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {1013-1023}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Fergusson
TI - INTEGRATED FACES: AN OUTLINE FOR A THEORY OF COLLABORATIVE CYCLES
SN - 978-84-616-0763-1/2340-1095
PY - 2012
Y1 - 19-21 November, 2012
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2012 Proceedings
SP - 1013
EP - 1023
ER -
A. Fergusson (2012) INTEGRATED FACES: AN OUTLINE FOR A THEORY OF COLLABORATIVE CYCLES, ICERI2012 Proceedings, pp. 1013-1023.
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