Unmet wishes

A multimodal interaction analysis of the rejection of choice in assisted shopping interactions


  • Antonia Krummheuer Aalborg University




brain injury, Choice, Embodied Interaction, Health Care;, Rejection, request, shopping


In the field of health communication, it is increasingly important to understand the interactional management of free choice and the demands of (good) care, especially in situations where these two objectives conflict with each other. In a multimodal interaction analysis of video recordings, this article examines decision-making processes in which a caretaker refuses to retrieve a requested object for a woman living with acquired brain injury during their weekly shopping trip. The multimodal analysis describes both the sequential unfolding of these assisted shopping interactions and the interplay of multimodal resources used by the participants. The analysis demonstrates how choice is made available, despite communication impairments, and how the participants deal with the potential loss of face resulting from the caretaker’s rejections.

Author Biography

Antonia Krummheuer, Aalborg University

Antonia Krummheuer received her doctoral degree in sociology from Klagenfurt University, Austria. Currently, she is Associate Professor for Qualitative Methods and Technology Studies at Aalborg University, Denmark. Her research interests are directed to understanding social interactions and technologies-in-use, with a special interest in (a) interactions with people with cognitive or communicative impairments, (b) interactions with digital conversation partners, e.g. robots, and (c) contributing to a human- and practice-centered development of assistive technologies. In her research, she combines video ethnography, participatory processes, and multimodal analysis.


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How to Cite

Krummheuer, A. (2021). Unmet wishes: A multimodal interaction analysis of the rejection of choice in assisted shopping interactions. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 10(1), 5–29. https://doi.org/10.1558/jircd.19315