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It feels kinda important maybe: 'Feel' as an Interactional Resource for Managing Stance and Accountability
Uppsala universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3935-0644
(English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

How ‘inner’ processes are invoked in talk-in-interaction has been a topic for conversation analysts ever since Sacks identified ‘private thought’ as a phenomenon. This paper provides an overview of the social actions organized by use of the Swedish verb “känna” – which translates as ‘feel’ – in data from university tutorials. In this exploratory study, “känna” is not treated as a linguistic item specific to Swedish, but rather as a language-transcendent social action, referred to as ‘feel’. Three main functions are distinguished:

(1) The teacher animates the students in hypothetical but probable scenarios, in which he ascribes them different feelings. These episodes show clear pedagogical features. (2) ‘Feel’ operates as a hedging device when epistemic claims are made. Its subjective quality diminishes or eliminates potential risks of accountability. (3) ‘Feel’ is deployed in questions and formulations concerning the ongoing interaction. The teacher constructs questions eliciting progress reports with ‘feel’, whereas the students deploy ‘feel’ to formulate complaints, reflections and assessments. These formulations concern their ongoing project, which all the other participants have (varying) epistemic access to.

In sum, ‘feel’ serves as an interactional device that allows the speaker to create an interactional space in which accountability and responsibility can be negotiated.

Keywords [en]
Conversation Analysis, institutional talk, classroom interaction, university tutorial, stance-taking, accountability, formulations
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-36636OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-36636DiVA, id: diva2:1257926
Note

As manuscript in dissertation.

Available from: 2012-03-01 Created: 2018-10-23 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Social Organization of Institutional Norms: Interactional Management of Knowledge, Entitlement and Stance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Social Organization of Institutional Norms: Interactional Management of Knowledge, Entitlement and Stance
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Institutionella normer i samtal : Social organisering av kunskap, berättigande och positionering
Abstract [en]

The present thesis explores talk in institutional settings, with a particular focus on how institutionality and institutional norms are constructed and reproduced in interaction. A central aim is to enhance our understanding of how institutional agendas are talked into being. In line with the ethno­methodological approach, norms are viewed as accomplished in everyday interaction, whereas institutionality represents dimensions of talk where participants demonstrably orient to particular contextual constraints. Five studies were conducted using Conversation Analysis (CA), focusing on how institutional constraints impact sequential trajectories and shape different opportunities for participants.

The data consists of two corpora of video recordings: group tutorials at a Swedish university (UTs), and performance appraisal interviews in an organ­ization (PAIs). The thesis pays particular attention to the interactional management of knowledge, entitlement and stance, and analytic foci include how speakers manage epistemic claims and rights at a certain point in interaction, and how they accomplish social positioning. The UT studies examine the negotiation of rights to speak for others in a group (Study I), and how diver­ging understandings of the institutional activity-at-hand can be negotiated on the basis of students’ advice-seeking questions (Study II). In Study III, orientations to institutional and sociocultural norms are investigated in the PAIs, where managers and employees treat negative stances on stress as problematic. The relationship between theory and institutional practice in the use of question templates in PAIs is also examined, through an analysis of the delivery and receipt of a particular question in different interviews (Study IV). Focusing on different adaptations of a preset item, this analysis shows how the same question sets up for a variety of subsequent actions. Finally, deployment of the verb känna (‘feel’) in managing epistemic access and primacy is examined (Study V). It is argued that ‘feel’ allows for a reduction of accountability when making epistemic claims. The studies highlight the relationship between linguistic formats and social actions and illustrate how institutional agendas have consequences for participant conduct. Attention to the details of actions in institutional interaction can thus shed light on social and linguistic underpinnings of the enactment of institutional norms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2012. p. 76
Series
Skrifter utgivna av Institutionen för nordiska språk vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 0083-4661 ; 87
Keywords
Institutional interaction, Institutional norms, Conversation Analysis, Seminar, Performance appraisal interview, Stance, Epistemics, Entitlement
National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-36617 (URN)978-91-506-2273-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-04-27, Ihresalen, Thunbergsvägen 3, Engelska parken, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-10-23 Created: 2018-10-19 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf