Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiii

This book examines relationships among language, society, culture, and thought. Less grandly, it connects conversation analysis with ethnography. The words "conversation" and "analysis" are not protected by copyright. Such distinguished scholars as J. L. Austin, Erving Goffman, P. Grice, John Gumperz, and William Labov have contributed to our understanding of conversation. But the mode of ...

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1. Conversation Analysis Among the Disciplines1

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pp. 1-18

The existence and survival, and hence the character, of Homo sapiens is profoundly social. For other species, "social organization" principally means the ways in which individuals regulate their co-presence. Man deserves no pre-Darwinian exemption, with face-to-face interaction accorded some minor, secluded status. While there are certainly other legitimate concerns for social science, face-to-face interaction ...

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2. Finding Life in Dry Dust

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pp. 19-30

This chapter examines some contexted instances of a fleeting, humdrum, imperfect and in some sense purely formal conversational object: overlap—the simultaneous talk of more than one speaker.2 In presenting these specimens of overlap, I confess to a matchmaker's motives. I want you to admire their interactive liveliness, close choreography, strategic precision, and cultural depth. Not that there is ...

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3. Nature and Culture

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pp. 31-47

This chapter is the first and most technical of three that focus on a single conversational 'structure'1 as a means for exploring connections between conversation analysis and ethnography. The structure is the sequential organization of (initial) references to (non-present) persons, as described in a paper written in 1973 by Harvey Sacks and Emanuel Schegloff (Sacks and Schegloff 1979).2 I will summarize ...

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4. Motives in Action

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pp. 48-67

This chapter makes use of the sequential organization of conversation in order to investigate how social actions relate to the planning actor and how fleeting moments relate to perduring institutions. The actions it examines will, perforce, be quite small. But they all actually occurred as part of natural social scenes. Unlike the objects studied by "impression management" or "transactional analysis," ...

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5. Society in a Grain of Rice: An Exercise in Micro-Ethnography

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pp. 68-100

This chapter is a teaching exercise in culturally contexted conversation analysis. I will show you my methods, and what they discover along the way. Then I will compare them to symbolic and "interpretive" anthropology. Our data are some three minutes of talk recorded in the Thai-Lue village of Ban Ping. For studying conversation per se, dull materials are best. It is hard to concentrate on such technical ...

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6. Talking About the world

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pp. 101-120

This chapter examines some actual talk about the "real world." The reader already knows what I mean by "actual talk": transcripts of recorded naturally occurring interactions. To those data, this chapter adds some introspection and recollection. But it is necessary to specify what I mean by the "real world," the world "out there," and why I use quotation marks. ...

Appendix ATranscripts andTranscript Notation

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pp. 137-194

Appendix BOn "Understanding" in theAnalysis of Natural Conversation

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pp. 195-201

Notes

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pp. 202-211

Bibliography

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pp. 212-221

Subject index

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pp. 222-226

Transcript index

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pp. 227-228