The structure of flirtation: On the construction of interactional ambiguity

Iddo Tavory

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This chapter delineates the interactional structure of flirtation. Refining Simmel's analysis, I show flirtation as a way in which two time frames are continuously maintained within the same interaction. Rather than moving into a future interaction by using what I term "actualization practices" - actions which thrust the present interaction into a future - interactants simultaneously use practices from both time frames, careful not to irrevocably shift the situation. The management of interactional ambiguity in flirtation is then analyzed as a key to examine other ambiguous or "suspended" interactions, where interactants must work to keep different potential future possibilities open.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)59-74
    Number of pages16
    JournalStudies in Symbolic Interaction
    StatePublished - 2009

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science


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