Conversation analysis, discourse analysis and the study of rhetoric are combining to form a powerful interdisciplinary field of social scientific inquiry. Robin Wooffitt, in a systematic analysis of how people describe their paranormal encounters as factual experiences, introduces this field to the student and reader unfamiliar with its methods and theoretical constructs. Powerful cultural scepticism about the paranormal ensures that such experiences not only provide an implicit challenge to common-sense understanding of the world, but also undermine the pronouncements of the scientific orthodoxy. Wooffitt focuses on the ways in which accounts are organized in order to warrant the speaker's claim that the experiences actually happened and were not, say, the product of misperception, wish fulfilment or psychological aberration. He also examines the design of descriptive sequences through which speakers portray themselves as 'normal','rational' people; and contributes to the study of identity construction in discursive practices. Wooffitt has illustrated and simplified complex theoretical arguments in conversation and discourse analysis with relevant empirical materials, and he usefully clarifies points of convergence and divergence between these analytic traditions.
This book presents a variety of narratives on key elements of academic work, from data analysis, writing practices and engagement with the field. The authors discuss how elements of academic work and life – usually edited out of traditional research papers – can elicit important analytical insight. The book reveals how the unplanned, accidental and even obstructive events that often occur in research life, the ‘detours’, can potentially glean important results. The authors introduce the process of ‘writing-sharing-reading-writing’ as a way to expand the playground of research and inspire a culture in which ‘accountable’ research methodologies involve adventurousness and an element of uncertainty. Written by scholars from a range of different fields, academic levels and geographic locations, this unique book will offer significant insight to those from a range of academic fields.
Drama. Masquerade. Mischief. A sharply observed, witty and confident novel. ‘Forget fiction. Real life is where the drama lies.’ Set in a bustling British city, where lives criss-cross and collide, where the past and present starts to mix, simmer and boil.
Sarah Iles Johnston argues that the nature of myths as gripping tales starring vivid characters enabled them to do their most important work: sustaining belief in the gods and heroes of Greek religion. She shows how Greek myths—and the stories told by all cultures—affect our shared view of the cosmos and the creatures who inhabit it.
With communication and relationships at the core of social work, this book reveals the way it is foremost a practice that becomes reality in dialogue, illuminating some of the profession’s key dilemmas. Applied discourse studies illustrate the importance of talk and interaction in the construction of everyday and institutional life. This book provides a detailed review and illustration of the contribution of discourse approaches and studies on professional interaction to social work. Concentrating on how social workers carry out their work in everyday organisational encounters with service users and colleagues, each chapter uses case studies analysing real-life social work interactions to explore a concept that has relevance both in discursive studies and in social work. The book thus demonstrates what detailed discursive studies on interaction can add to professional social work theories and discussions. Chapters on categorization, accountability, boundary work, narrative, advice-giving, resistance, delicacy and reported speech, review the literature and discuss how the concept has been developed and how it can be applied to social work. The book encourages professional reflection and the development of rigorous research methods, making it particularly appropriate for postgraduate and post-qualifying study in social work where participants are encouraged to examine their own professional practice. It is also essential reading for social work academics and researchers interested in language, communication and relationship-based work and in the study of professional practices more generally.
Telephone helplines have become one of the most pervasive sites of expert-lay interaction in modern societies throughout the world. Yet surprisingly little is known of the in situ, language-based processes of help-seeking and help-giving behavior that occurs within them. This collection of original studies by both internationally renowned and emerging scholars seeks to improve upon this state of affairs. It does so by offering some of the first systematic investigations of naturally-occurring spoken interaction in telephone helplines. Using the methods of Conversation Analysis, each of the contributors offers a detailed investigation into the skills and competencies that callers and call-takers routinely draw upon when engaging one another within a range of helplines. Helplines in the US, the UK, Australia, Scandinavia, The Netherlands, and Ireland, dealing with the provision of healthcare, emotional support and counselling, technical assistance and consumer rights, tourism and finance, make up the studies in the volume. Collectively and individually, the research provides fascinating insight into an under-researched area of modern living and demonstrates the relevance and potential of helplines for the growing field of institutional interaction. This book will be of interest to students of communication, applied linguistics, discourse and conversation, sociology, counselling, technology and work, social psychology and anthropology.
This volume brings together for the first time a collection of studies that investigates how multilingual speakers construct emotions in their talk as a joint discursive practice. The contributions draw on the well established, converging traditions of conversation analysis, discursive psychology, and membership categorization analysis together with recent work on interactional storytelling, stylization, and multimodal analysis. By adopting a discursive approach to emotion in multilingual talk, the volume breaks with the dominant view of emotions as cognitive and intra-psychological phenomena and their study through self-report. Through detailed analyses of original recorded data, the chapters examine how participants produce emotion-implicative actions, identities, stances, and morality through their interactional work in ordinary face-to-face conversation, computer-mediated interaction, institutional talk in medical, educational, and broadcast media settings, and in research interviews. The volume addresses itself to students and researchers interested in language and emotion, multilingual speakers and settings, pragmatics, and discourse analysis.
The studies in this volume use ethnographic, ethnomethodological, and sociolinguistic research to demonstrate how legal agents conduct their practices and exercise their authority in relation to non-expert participants and broader publics. Instead of treating law as a body of doctrines, or law and society as a relationship between legal institutions and an external society, the studies in this volume closely examine law at work: specific legal practices and social interactions produced in national and international settings. These settings include courtrooms and other tribunals, consultations between lawyers and clients, and media forums in which government officials address international law. Because law is a public institution, and legal actions are publicly accountable, technical law must interface with non-expert members of the public. The embodied actions and interactions that comprise the interface between professional and lay participants in legal settings therefore must do justice to legal traditions and statutory obligations while also contending with mundane interactional routines, ordinary reasoning, and popular expectations. Specific chapters examine topics such as family disputes in a system of Sharia Law; rhetorical contestations about possible violations of international law during a violent conflict in the Middle-East; the transformation of a courtroom hearing brought about by the virtual presence of remote witnesses relayed through a video link; the practices through which written records are used to mediate and leverage a witness's testimony; and the discursive and interactional practices through which authorized parties use legal categories to problems with individual conduct. Each chapter shows that it makes a profound difference to the way we understand the law when we examine its meaning and application in practice.
Three approaches to analyzing institutional talk are introduced by internationally-recognized experts: Conversation Analysis, Discursive Psychology and Critical Discourse Analysis. The main section of the book ("Applications") illustrates these approaches by taking the reader through the process of analysis in such instances as how pilots talk in aircraft cockpits, how computer helpdesks work and how political speeches are constructed. Finally, the book opens up some theoretical and methodological controversies that occupy practitioners today. In this way, readers are introduced to the most recent ways of seeing how talk is critical to making the modern world work.
What are the Gospels and what does it mean to read them? Warren Carter leads the beginning student in an inductive exploration of the New Testament Gospels, asking about their genre, the view that they were written by eyewitnesses, the early church traditions about them, and how they employ Hellenistic biography. He then examines the distinctive voice of each Gospel, describing the “tale about Jesus” each writer tells, then presenting likely views regarding the circumstances in which they were written, giving particular attention to often overlooked aspects of the Roman imperial setting. A sociohistorical approach suggests that Mark addressed difficult circumstances in imperial Rome; redaction criticism shows that Matthew edited traditions to help define identity in competition with synagogue communities in response to a fresh assertion of Roman power; a literary-thematic approach shows that Luke offers assurance in a context of uncertainty; an intertextual approach shows how John used Wisdom traditions to present Jesus as the definitive revealer of God’s presence to answer an ancient quest for divine knowledge. A concluding chapter addresses how the Gospels inform and shape our understanding of Jesus of Nazareth. Maps, images, sidebars, and questions for reflection add value to this student-friendly text.