23/03/2023 (Thursday) 13:00-14:00 E21B-G002

Tacitly assumed conventions in food delivery service: dealing with daily contingencies and formal regulations


Food delivery service is nowadays a pervading element in our everyday life. This presentation takes a praxiological perspective (oriented by ethnomethodology, conversation analysis and membership categorization analysis) to discuss in detail some daily contingencies in the job of food delivery workers and how they deal with these contingencies and company formal regulations through the production and mobilization of tacitly assumed conventions. With the use of video-recorded data made available by a delivery worker wearing a camera attached to his helmet, we were able to explore a great number of daily working practices. The results point to three intertwined phenomena: (i) that delivery service drivers’ job is, despite all technology involved, a mundane practice; (ii) that their job is mainly linguistic and therefore preserves a lot of elements from ordinary conversation; (iii) that their job, like many others, is collaborative and could not be accomplished without the mobilization of resources by them and other parties. I hope to provide during the presentation important orientations on how working with retrievable data (i.e., data available for repeated inspection and subjected to fine-grained analysis) might be a powerful tool to unveil what is hidden (and lost) in the static reliance on formal regulations and conventional analysis of official reports.

Short Bio

Ricardo Moutinho is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at Department of Portuguese (FAH) and affiliated (by courtesy position) with Department of Communication (FSS), University of Macau. He explores issues in the field of Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis focusing on the “Sequential and Categorial Analysis of Interaction” and “Learning Moments in Formal and Informal Educational Environments”