Interaction at markets in Istanbul and Zurich: a cross-cultural comparison of physical communication behavior and the utilization of spatial resources


Trade has played a fundamental role in the emergence of cities (cf. Kostof 1993, Bahrdt 2006). Markets and, above all, market stalls are essential to the process of exchanging goods for goods or good for money. In my dissertation project I contrast Zurich's weekly markets with street and neighborhood markets in Istanbul. My focus is on interaction at fruit and vegetable stalls, which play a central role in both cities. Moreover, in their reduced basic structure - goods on the table, seller behind it, buyers in front of it – they offer a comparable setting.
In the theoretical and methodological framework of conversation analysis and ethnomethodological videography, I am concerned with the question of how interactive contributions are achieved, especially at the beginning and end of sales interactions, and how these contributions fit into the general interaction order at the market stall. Specifically, my focus is on the comparison of interactive configurations, the question of their emergence and their significance for social encounters in both cities.
In a hitherto unconsidered way, my work bridges recent findings from the study of space and interaction (cf. Hausendorf et al. 2016) and cross-cultural studies on the multimodal behavior of participants in comparable settings (cf. Mondada/Sorjonen 2016 i.a.) while taking into account the fundamental role of configurative structures for social experience.

PhD candidate

Kenan Hochuli


Angelika Linke, Heiko Hausendorf


URPP Language and Space