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    block this user Simone Belli

    Professor / sbelli@yachaytech.edu.ec

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
    Yachay Tech

    Coffee Breaks are Creative? Ethnographies on gossiping in Europe and the US

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    This paper examines the existing interrelations among co-workers in coffee breaks contexts in an international context. More specifically, we focus on intercultural communication processes and its resulting gossip networks. Knorr Cetina (1999) coined the term technical gossip to describe communicative interactions that happen during manipulation of tools or machinery, as well as during breaks and transitional spaces like corridors. Ethnographic evidence puts forward that most professional decisions take place in informal environments. Examples such as the Rad Lab at MIT, widely regarded as one of the most creative spaces in the world, show how decision-making seems to increase when members of different departments or specializations run into each other for reasons other than research or administration. Random encounters favor communication, which reinforces the team synchronization as well as the distribution of necessary information (Hutchins, 2008). Moreover, coffee breaks and lunch hours are paramount social scenarios for group creativity, which is the basis of research in labs as well as in companies. Thus, we illustrate here the rules of appropriateness and rudeness in sociocultural interaction, depending on their institutional context. Direct observation of coffee breaks in university departments in Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden and the US show the importance of these spaces in everyday interaction. We analyze a large corpus of ethnographic data (direct and filmed observation, conversations recordings, semi-structured interviews) with ELAN software and the conceptual tools from cognitive and social ethnography. We consider the active participation of co-workers in coffee breaks as indicators of the importance of gossip. Moreover, we look at the conversations’ contents, the use of space, and the performed gestures, movements and emotions. We determine the existence of im/politeness patterns of communication in choosing certain topics both related and unrelated to the professional environment. This gossip network means increasing empathy with co-workers, sense of others, and the necessary routine practices for the reproduction of communal life.

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    Title : Coffee Breaks are Creative? Ethnographies on gossiping in Europe and the US
    Author(s) : Simone Belli
    Abstract : This paper examines the existing interrelations among co-workers in coffee breaks contexts in an international context. More specifically, we focus on intercultural communication processes and its resulting gossip networks. Knorr Cetina (1999) coined the term technical gossip to describe communicative interactions that happen during manipulation of tools or machinery, as well as during breaks and transitional spaces like corridors. Ethnographic evidence puts forward that most professional decisions take place in informal environments. Examples such as the Rad Lab at MIT, widely regarded as one of the most creative spaces in the world, show how decision-making seems to increase when members of different departments or specializations run into each other for reasons other than research or administration. Random encounters favor communication, which reinforces the team synchronization as well as the distribution of necessary information (Hutchins, 2008). Moreover, coffee breaks and lunch hours are paramount social scenarios for group creativity, which is the basis of research in labs as well as in companies. Thus, we illustrate here the rules of appropriateness and rudeness in sociocultural interaction, depending on their institutional context. Direct observation of coffee breaks in university departments in Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden and the US show the importance of these spaces in everyday interaction. We analyze a large corpus of ethnographic data (direct and filmed observation, conversations recordings, semi-structured interviews) with ELAN software and the conceptual tools from cognitive and social ethnography. We consider the active participation of co-workers in coffee breaks as indicators of the importance of gossip. Moreover, we look at the conversations’ contents, the use of space, and the performed gestures, movements and emotions. We determine the existence of im/politeness patterns of communication in choosing certain topics both related and unrelated to the professional environment. This gossip network means increasing empathy with co-workers, sense of others, and the necessary routine practices for the reproduction of communal life.
    Keywords : ethnography, coffee, gossip

    Subject : Politeness, Intercultural Communication
    Area : Linguistics
    Language : English
    Year : 2012

    Affiliations Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
    Conference_title : Experimental and Empirical Approaches to Politeness and Impoliteness
    Publisher : John Benjamins Publishing Company
    City : Urbana, Illinois
    Pages : 27
    Url : http://www.liar3.illinois.edu/html/cnf_prg/LiarIII-ConfBooklet.pdf

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    Simone's Peer Evaluation activity

    Emailed by 1
    Downloads 6248
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    • Lupicinio Iñiguez-Rueda, Professor, Departament de Psicologia Social, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona.
    • Joel Feliu, Senior Lecturer, Departament de Psicologia Social, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
    • Juan Muñoz-Justicia, Professor, Departament de Psicologia Social, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona.
    • Anna Vitores, Post Doctorate, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, Departament de Psicologia Social, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
    • Miguel A Sahagún-Padilla, Post Doctorate, Departament de Psicologia Social, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona.
    • Aalam Wassef, Publisher, Founder of Peer Evaluation, Galerie Conradi.
    • Guillaume Dupuy d'Angeac, Publisher, Collective Developments, HEC Alumni, Peerevaluation.

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    • Simone Belli, Professor, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
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