Interaction at Markets in Istanbul and Zurich: A Cross-cultural Comparison of Physical Communication Behavior and the Utilization of Spatial Resources

This study is a cross-cultural comparison of forms of interaction at markets in Istanbul (the Grand Bazaar and a traditional vegetable market) and Zurich (the Kanzlei flea market and different vegetable markets), specifically addressing the physical communication behavior of market visitors and vendors during the creation of interactional spaces. In addition to focusing on different modes of expression such as posture, gesticulation, or gaze, our analysis also focuses on the role of spatial resources: how are the interactants at these particular markets influenced by spatial resources during the creation of interactional spaces? Can specific cultural mannerisms be discerned in the use of body and space? Are there similarities? The theoretical-methodological starting point for engaging these questions is multimodal conversation analysis. The central challenge of the project lies in the goal of researching seemingly obvious differences in the physical communication behavior of market visitors and vendors from two different cultures in a precise study. To address this challenge, different technical analytic methods such as classical video analysis of interactional sequences, still frames of specific areas of the market, and the use of eye-tracking data of market visitors will be utilized.

PhD project of Kenan Hochuli, doctoral student in the VideoLab 2014-2019

Supervisors: Angelika Linke, Heiko Hausendorf

Funding source: URPP Language and Space