Stokoe JLSP (final) April 2015.pdf (437.72 kB)
Download file

Identifying and responding to possible ‘-isms’ in institutional encounters: alignment, impartiality and the implications for communication training

Download (437.72 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 19.05.2015, 13:45 by Elizabeth StokoeElizabeth Stokoe
This paper examines sequences of interaction in which speakers utter a possible -ism; that is, something possibly racist, sexist, or otherwise prejudiced, in the course of making, warranting or defending against complaints. Recorded encounters between mediators and their (prospective) clients were analysed using conversation analysis. I show how participants orient to their own or recipients’ talk as possibly prejudiced, occasionally explicitly characterising that talk as racist (sexist, etc.). Mediators’ responses fell into one of two broad categories, either deleting (e.g., through reformulation) or challenging the -ism (e.g., through admonishment). Both involve misalignment or disaffiliation rather than the mediation-mandated impartial stance. Two upshots will be discussed. First, the fact that few instances of –isms are treated explicitly as such goes to the heart of debates in conversation analysis about warrants for particular kinds of observations, and the designed defeasibility of social action. Second, the paper discusses the way the data and analysis are used in communication training workshops with mediators, for whom such cases present challenges to their commitment to impartiality.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Journal of Language and Social Psychology

Volume

34

Issue

4

Citation

STOKOE, E., 2015. Identifying and responding to possible ‘-isms’ in institutional encounters: alignment, impartiality and the implications for communication training. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 34(4), pp.427-445.

Publisher

Sage Publications / © The Author

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/

Publication date

2015

Notes

This paper was accepted for publication in Journal of Language and Social Psychology [© Sage] and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0261927X15586572

ISSN

1552-6526

Language

en