A standardized form of social interpersonal interaction (either face-to-face or mediated), a primary function of which is to develop and maintain social cohesion and solidarity, sustaining social relationships and their definitions of reality. Durkheim (focusing on public events) and Goffman (focusing on the routines of everyday interpersonal interaction, or social episodes) saw ritualized face-to-face interaction as a catalyst for social cohesion. Ling argues that this also applies to mediated interaction, including interpersonal communication via mobile phones. See also ethnomethodology; interaction rituals; interchange; phatic function.
Subjects: Media Studies.