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Cultural concept, movement, and way of life: jeitinho in words and gestures

Authors
  • Schröder, Ulrike
  • Streeck, Jürgen
Type
Published Article
Journal
Intercultural Pragmatics
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Aug 22, 2022
Volume
19
Issue
4
Pages
427–457
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/ip-2022-4001
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Starting from a non-dualistic view on embodiment this paper approaches the relationship between cognition, gesture, language, and cultural practice by analyzing the gestural construction of the cultural concept jeitinho in talk-in-interaction. After introducing our phenomenological view on embodiment and gesture in interaction, we give a short overview of some main studies broaching the issue of cultural matters before presenting the concept jeitinho as delineated in historical, sociological, and anthropological approaches. In the empirical section, we offer a fine-grained analysis of four videosequences taken from a conversation about jeitinho between two Brazilian and two German professors who have lived in Brazil for more than 20 years. We show that the gestural style of both Brazilian professors differs significantly from the gestural engagement of the German professors since they schematically embody a sinuous gesture style and construe the cultural concept jeitinho as a qualium by adopting a character viewpoint while the German participants remain observers regarding their gestural performance.

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