Getting Acquainted in Conversation

A study of initial interactions

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What makes a &#8216;getting acquainted&#8217; a recognizable conversational activity, and how are interpersonal relationships established in a first conversation? This book presents a theoretical framework for the study of relationship management in conversation and an empirical study of a corpus of initial interactions. It provides detailed descriptions of the sequential resources unacquainted interlocutors use in order to:<br />&#8211; generate self-presentation<br />&#8211; introduce topics<br />&#8211; establish common contextual resources<br />It is argued that these sequential patterns embody conventionalized procedures for establishing an interpersonal relationship involving some degree of:<br />&#8211; solidarity (mutual rights and obligations)<br />&#8211; familiarity (mutual knowledge of personal background)<br />&#8211; mutual affect (emotional commitment)<br />The sequential analysis is based on a conversation analytic approach, while the interpretive framework consists of pragmatic theories of politeness, conversational style and common ground.

Subjects: Discourse studies

  • Affiliations: 1: Agder College, Norway

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