29.2. Guest lecture with Visiting Professor Ruth Ayaß (Bielefeld University)

HSSH Visiting Professor Ruth Ayaß (Bielefeld University) will hold a guest lecture at the University of Helsinki on February 29th.

Thursday February 29, at 14-16, at Unioninkatu 37, room 1066 ("tiedekuntasali").

“The everyday life of planning – the planning of everyday life”


Planning can take place practically anywhere and at any time. Everyone can think about the
future at any time of the day and wherever they are. However, joint planning depends on so-
cial situations. A social gathering is required that creates the mutual presence of the interact-
ants. In institutions, such gatherings are held in an institutionalized form in the form of ‘meet-
ings’ of all kinds. In everyday interactions, away from such institutionalized contexts, the
time and place of planning are not equally pre-established. Rather, it takes place in various
different social situations and is therefore in a certain way omnipresent. However, a closer
look reveals that even in everyday situations, planning does not happen at random places and
at random times. Everyday planning and talking about the future prefers certain social situa-
tions that provide a site of interaction, but have a lower key of institutionialization, for exam-
ple table conversations or going for a walk together.

Why is that? The analyzes show that in everyday situations there is a lot of talk about the fu-
ture, especially where this topic does not represent the core activity, but can be introduced and
treated as secondary or subordinate. On the one hand, this makes it possible to keep certain
future topics casual, almost unintentional, and not to let them become dominant. On the other
hand, the regularity of these situations allows these topics to be addressed repeatedly, updated
and thus kept present. Through the discussion of these observations, the lecture aims to show
what “place in life” everyday planning has.

The starting point of the talk is the research project “Projective Genres” (German Science
Foundation DFG, 2021-2024)
, which deals with interactive projections of a common future in
everyday communications. The project data consists mainly of audio and video recordings of
everyday communication in everyday (non-institutionalized) settings.

Ruth Ayaß is professor for sociology at Bielefeld University. Her research focuses on sociol-
ogy of everyday interaction, ethnomethodology, and interpretive sociology.


Read more about Professor Ayaß's visit here.


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