On laughter and disagreement in multiparty assessment talk
2004 (English)In: Text - an interdisciplinary journal for the study of discourse, ISSN 0165-4888, Vol. 24, no 4, 517-545 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This study examines the interactional upshots of laughter in multiparty network conferences. It focuses on the tightly coordinated interactive work preceding, overlapping with, and following upon laughter in exchanges characterized by participants' displays of disagreement. The data are part of a larger corpus from a project focusing upon discursive practices in youth detention homes in Sweden. In sequences of disagreement, parties would often laugh, make use of others' laughter, or noticeably not laugh. Laughter was found to establish participants' orientation toward a situation as sensitive or tense. Typically, the participants seemed to laugh at an awkward situation rather than at a particular person. Laughter occurred at specific locations in the flow of talk, often when it seemed difficult to continue the interaction along the lines of current disagreement. Moreover, in relation to laughter, the analysis accentuates other salient features of interaction. For instance, laughter is shown to be an efficient tool for structuring interaction, as it provided both lay and professional participants opportunities to participate meaningfully in the flow of talk without actually expressing much through words. The findings are discussed in terms of locally situated means of participating in multiparty adversative exchanges in formal network meetings.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 24, no 4, 517-545 p.
National CategorySocial Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-24417Local ID: 6520OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-24417DiVA: diva2:244735