This book portrays one day in the communicative life of the owner of an auto repair-shop in Texas. He walks, looks, points, shows and explains engines, makes sense by gesture, speaks, manages, makes his life-world, and in the process reproduces social structures and himself as individual. Self-Making Man is the first comprehensive study of a communicating person; it reveals socially shared and personal practices, as well as improvisational actions by which a person inhabits and makes sense of the world with others. After decades of discussion on embodiment, this study is the first to investigate one body in its full range of communicative activities. Grounded in phenomenology and committed to the methodological rigor of context analysis and conversation analysis, Self-Making Man departs radically from contemporary research practice: it shows that, to take embodiment in human interaction seriously, we must conceive of it as individuation and organic, self-sustaining life: as autopoeisis.