Author Biography

Lynn S. Cockett (Ph.D., Rutgers University) is an Associate Professor of Communication at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA. Her research focuses on issues of identity and interaction, particularly in group contexts. Her most recent publications have appeared in the Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning the in Digital Age and Women and Language.


This paper examines the natural history of a public meeting, recognizing the importance of the unfolding of events as key to understanding the relationships and issues germane to human relating. As a method, the natural history approach is employed through reducing permanent records of interaction to a statistical record in order to examine the relative involvement of participants in a public meeting. The statistical presentation of data points to a particular moment of interaction that stands out in the meeting structure as unique. This moment is analyzed and an approach to understanding a conflict based on identities of place is developed.