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Feeling by Doing: The Social Organization of Everyday Emotions in Academic Talk-in-Interaction
Karlstad University, Division for Culture and Communication.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The present dissertation is concerned with the social organization of emotions in talk-in-interaction. Conversation analytic procedures were used to uncover the practices through which participants in social interaction convey, understand, enact, and utilize emotions that are made relevant to the interaction. The central aim is to describe such practices and the contexts in which they are deployed, and to link emotions to the social actions that they perform or contribute to performing within situated activities. Conversation analytic work has generally not addressed emotions explicitly for reasons discussed in the dissertation, and a second aim was therefore to test the applicability of conversation analysis to emotion research, to theoretically bring together separate fields of inquiry, and to discuss advantages and limitations of a talk-in-interactional approach to emotions. Furthermore, the analytic approach to emotions is restricted to displays and orientations that are made relevant by participants themselves.

Data consists of video recordings of six graduate school seminars at a large university in the United States, as well as interviews with all 22 participants. From the analyses, three themes emerged; "frustration", "embarrassment", and "enjoyment", and within each, an assortment of practices for doing emotions were found. Frustration was primarily located in the context of violations of activity-specific turn-taking norms. Embarrassment was found to do multiple interactional work; for example, in contexts of repair, teasing, and culturally delicate matters. Enjoyment was found to be collaboratively pursued between and within institutional activities; for example, through reported speech dramatizations, utilization of activity-transitional environments, and playful 'mock' emotions. Timing of gaze aversion, laughter, and gestures were also found to be key to the display and perception of emotions.

The findings indicate that emotion displays can be viewed as transforming a situated action, opening up alternative trajectories for a sequences-in-progress, and also function as actions in themselves. Furthermore, it was concluded that conversation analysis is indeed a fruitful empirical route for understanding emotions and their role in social interaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för kultur och kommunikation , 2004. , 359 p.
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2004:36
Keyword [en]
Conversation analysis, emotions, social interaction, talk-in-interaction, institutional, embarrassment, frustration, enjoyment, academic seminars
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-1557ISBN: 91-85335-04-5OAI: diva2:5467
Public defence
2004-09-11, Geijersalen, 12A 138, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 10:15
Available from: 2008-03-26 Created: 2008-03-26

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