[Review of the book Gesturecraft: The manu-facture of meaning by Jürgen Streeck]
Reviews the book, Gesturecraft: The Manu-Facture of Meaning by Jurgen Streeck (see record 2009-03892-000). This book on gesture goes back to well before the recent emergence of a mainstream of interest in the topic. The author of this book presents his vision of the hands' involvement in the making of meaning. The author's stance falls within a second broad category of work, a much more interdisciplinary approach, which focuses on context more richly construed. The approach not only addresses socially and otherwise distributed cognition, but also tackles the less psychologically framed concerns of meaning as a collaborative achievement and its role in the practicalities of human social life. The author's insistence that the right point of departure for gesture work is "human beings in their daily activities" leads to a view of gesture that begins not with language, and not with mind, but with types of social and contextual settings that constitute ecologies for the deployment of the hands in making meaning. The author's categories go beyond a reliance on semiotic properties of hand movements or their relation to accompanying speech, being grounded also in contextual aspects of the local setting, social activity type and communicative goals. Thus, this book is a unique contribution to gesture research.
Publication typeJournal article