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Date of Award

6-2015

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Composition

Department

English

First Reader/Committee Chair

Vickers, Caroline

Abstract

In this thesis I employ insights from Conversation Analysis and Embodied Cognition Theory to examine the discursive practices of a group of interactants who operate in what I describe as a group cognitive system. While studies on embodied cognition have been done on both individuals and groups involved in various concrete physical tasks and situated cognition studies have been done on many types of socially situated conversations, my aim is to combine these two theoretical frameworks to observe people’s embodied interactions in informal everyday conversation as they engage in ongoing learning processes. My research question revolves around understanding how the group’s shared cognition unfolds and how new paradigms of thought and purpose are generated in the process of their interactional practices. I employ Conversation Analysis methodology in the collection and analysis of data with attention on how learners interact with each other and their environment via verbal communication. In addition, I focus on non-verbal embodied actions as they function to form a cognitive system where new realities are mentally simulated and brought to materiality via information feedback loops.

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