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Complaints about technology as a resource for identity-work

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journal contribution
posted on 19.11.2018 by Jessica Robles, Elizabeth S. Parks
This article examines how people complain about technology. Using discourse analysis, we inspect sixteen hours of video-recorded focus-group interviews and focused one-on-one discussions where technology was topicalized. We investigate these conversations paying attention to (i) features of language and its situated delivery, including emphasis, word choice, metaphor, and categorizations; and (ii) how these accomplish social actions. We show how interactants use narratives of complaint-like activities about hypothetical categories of people and confessions of their own complainable participation to accomplish a ‘bemoaning’ speech act that manages competing affiliations, demands, and disagreements to construct reasonable moral identities in the situated interaction. By engaging in specific micro-level discursive practices in interaction, participants produce and reproduce what new technologies ‘mean’ to them and for contemporary society. This shows how important it is to examine opinions as situated actions rather than as simple facts about what people believe.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Language in Society

Citation

ROBLES, J. and PARKS, E.S., 2019. Complaints about technology as a resource for identity-work. Language in Society, 48 (2), pp.209-231.

Publisher

© Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Acceptance date

15/10/2018

Publication date

2019-02-22

Notes

This article has been published in a revised form in Language in Society http://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404518001379. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press.

ISSN

0047-4045

eISSN

1469-8013

Language

en

Exports