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Delivering criticism through anecdotes in interaction

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journal contribution
posted on 16.05.2016, 10:18 by Marco Pino
Criticising someone’s conduct is a disaffiliative action that can attract recipient objections, particularly in the form of defensive detailing by which the recipient volunteers extenuating circumstances that undermine the criticism. In Therapeutic Community (TC) meetings for clients with drug addiction, support staff regularly criticise clients’ behaviours that violate therapeutic principles or norms of conduct. This study examines cases where, rather than criticising a client’s behaviour directly, TC staff members do so indirectly through an anecdote: a case illustrating the inappropriateness of the type of conduct of which the client’s behaviour is an instantiation. TC staff members design the anecdote to convey a principle or norm of conduct which the client has putatively violated, and they systematically pursue endorsement of that principle by the client. By constructing the anecdote as an exemplary case, distanced from the individual client’s personal experience, TC staff members make it an empirically unverifiable, elf-evident, and therefore hard to challenge, llustration of a norm.

Funding

The research leading to these results has received funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European’s Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007- 2013) under REA grant agreement no 626893.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Discourse Studies: an interdisciplinary journal for the study of text and talk

Volume

18

Issue

6

Citation

PINO, M., 2016. Delivering criticism through anecdotes in interaction. Discourse Studies, 18 (6), pp. 695-715.

Publisher

© The Author. Published by Sage

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

26/04/2016

Publication date

2016-10-06

Notes

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal, Discourse studies and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1461445616668069

ISSN

1461-7080

Language

en

Exports