Speech and Sociability at French Urban Marketplaces
This study is both particularistic and generalizing. At one level it can be seen as an investigation of French urban marketplaces as systems of communication, with a microscopic examination of verbal interaction and sociability patterns in a specific cultural setting. At another level it constitutes an attempt to show some relationships between the ethnography of communication, urban anthropology and symbolic interactionism: all three lines of inquiry converge here to highlight the social and symbolic dimensions of traditional street markets in modern urban France, with primary focus on the role of speech in sociability. A major source of inspiration is interactional sociolinguistics which considers language as an activity performed by social actors for specific purposes.