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Address terms in turn beginnings: managing disalignment and disaffiliation in telephone counseling

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journal contribution
posted on 10.10.2013, 15:14 by Carly Butler, Susan Danby, Michael Emmison
This article examines use of address terms by counselors on a telephone counseling service for children and young people. Drawing on conversation analytic findings and methods, we show how personal names are used in the management of structural and interpersonal aspects of counseling interaction. Focusing on address terms in turn beginnings—where a name is used as, or as part of, a preface—the analysis shows that address terms are used in turns that are not fitted with prior talk in terms of either the activity or affective stance of the client. We discuss two environments in which this practice is observed: in beginning turns that initiate a new action sequence and in turns that challenge the client's position. Our focus is on the use of client names in the context of producing disaligning or disaffiliative actions. In disaligned actions, counselors produced sequentially disjunctive turns that regularly involved a return to a counseling agenda. In disaffiliative actions, counselors presented a stance that did not fit with the affective stance of the client in the prior turn—for instance, in disagreeing with or complimenting the client. The article discusses how such turns invoke a counseling agenda and how name use is used in the management of rapport and trust in counseling interaction.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


BUTLER, C.W., DANBY, S. and EMMISON, M., 2011. Address terms in turn beginnings: managing disalignment and disaffiliation in telephone counseling. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 44 (4), pp. 338 - 358.


© Taylor & Francis (Routledge)


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This article was published in the journal, Research on Language and Social Interaction [© Taylor & Francis (Routledge)] and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2011.619311