Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Over the last decade, sometimes violent conflicts have erupted between generations in China over who should have a seat on a crowded bus. Through a small story approach to an extended sequence of Chinese bus stories, this study examines how elder-blaming comes to be instantiated in talk-in-interaction. The analysis elaborates Deppermann's finding that cooperative in-group bonding is not the sole reason that out-group stereotypes are instantiated: competition among interactants as they “top” one another’s stories also plays an important part. We nuance this, first, by pointing to actions that are simultaneously cooperative and competitive. Second, we foreground how the interactional troubles of our storytellers fundamentally revolve around issues of epistemic accountability and, in turn, are assuaged by cooperative epistemic acts, in which stereotyping and story "topping" entwine.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Arminen, I.
    (2004) Second stories: The salience of interpersonal communication for mutual help in Alcoholics Anonymous. Journal of Pragmatics, 36(2), 319–347. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2003.07.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2003.07.001 [Google Scholar]
  2. Bamberg, M.
    (2004) Talk, small stories, and adolescent identities. Human Development, 47(6), 366–369. doi: 10.1159/000081039
    https://doi.org/10.1159/000081039 [Google Scholar]
  3. (2006) Stories: Big or small: Why do we care?Narrative Inquiry, 16(1), 139–147. doi: 10.1075/ni.16.1.18bam
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.16.1.18bam [Google Scholar]
  4. Bamberg, M. , & Georgakopoulou, A.
    (2008) Small stories as a new perspective in narrative and identity analysis. Text & Talk, 28(3), 377–396. doi: 10.1515/TEXT.2008.018
    https://doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2008.018 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bromberg, J. B.
    (2012) Uses of conversational narrative: Exchanging personal experience in everyday life. Narrative Inquiry, 22(1), 165–172. doi: 10.1075/ni.22.1.11bro
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.22.1.11bro [Google Scholar]
  6. Chen, H. ( Producer ), & Chen, K.
    (Director) (2012) Caught in the web [Motion picture]. China: 21th Century Shengkai Entertainment Co., Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Ci, J.
    (2014) Moral China in the age of reform. New York: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139839228
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139839228 [Google Scholar]
  8. Clark, H. H.
    (1992) Arenas of language use. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Cohen, S.
    (2002) Folk devils and moral panics: The creation of the Mods and Rockers. London: Macgibbon and Kee.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Corrigan, P.
    (1993) Answering back: Power struggles in story and speech. In P. Ahonen (Ed.), Tracing the semiotic boundaries of politics (pp.103–120). Berlin, DE: Walter de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110859195.103
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110859195.103 [Google Scholar]
  11. De Fina, A.
    (2008) Who tells which story and why? Micro and macro contexts in narrative. Text & Talk, 28(3), 421–442. doi: 10.1515/TEXT.2008.020
    https://doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2008.020 [Google Scholar]
  12. De Fina, A. , & Perrino, S.
    (2011) Introduction: Interviews vs. “natural” contexts: A false dilemma. Language in Society, 40(Special Issue01), 1–11. doi: 10.1017/S0047404510000849
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404510000849 [Google Scholar]
  13. De Fina, A. , Schiffrin, D. , & Bamberg, M.
    (2006) Introduction. In A. De Fina , D. Schiffrin , & M. Bamberg (Eds.), Discourse and identity (pp.1–23). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511584459.001
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511584459.001 [Google Scholar]
  14. Deppermann, A.
    (2007) Using the other for oneself: Conversational practices of representing out-group members among adolescents. In M. Bamberg , A. De Fina , & D. Schiffrin (Eds.), Selves and identities in narrative and discourse (pp.273–301). Amsterdam, NL: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1075/sin.9.13dep
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sin.9.13dep [Google Scholar]
  15. Duranti, A. , & Goodwin, C.
    (Eds.) (1992) Rethinking context: Language as an interactive phenomenon. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Edwards, D. , & Potter, J.
    (1992) Discursive psychology. London, UK: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Fauna
    Fauna (2014, September10). Old man slaps youth for not giving up seat, then suddenly dies. chinaSMACK. Retrieved fromwww.chinasmack.com/2014/stories/old-man-slaps-youth-for-not-giving-up-seat-then-suddenly-dies.html
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Gao, Z. , & Bischoping, K.
    (2015, August). Identity, memory, and stigmatization of Chinese elders. Paper presented at theannual convention of American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Georgakopoulou, A.
    (2007) Small stories, interaction and identities. Amsterdam, NL: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/sin.8
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sin.8 [Google Scholar]
  20. Goodwin, C.
    (1987) Forgetfulness as an interactive resource. Social Psychology Quarterly, 50(2), 115–130. doi: 10.2307/2786746
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2786746 [Google Scholar]
  21. Hammersley, M.
    (2003) Conversation analysis and discourse analysis: Methods or paradigms?Discourse & Society, 14(6), 751–781. doi: 10.1177/09579265030146004
    https://doi.org/10.1177/09579265030146004 [Google Scholar]
  22. Haworth, K.
    (2006) The dynamics of power and resistance in police interview discourse. Discourse & Society, 17(6), 739–759. doi: 10.1177/0957926506068430
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926506068430 [Google Scholar]
  23. Heritage, J. , & Raymond, G.
    (2005) The terms of agreement: Indexing epistemic authority and subordination in talk-in-interaction. Social Psychology Quarterly, 68(1), 15–38. doi: 10.1177/019027250506800103
    https://doi.org/10.1177/019027250506800103 [Google Scholar]
  24. Hesketh, T. , & Zhu, W. X.
    (1997) The one child family policy: The good, the bad, and the ugly. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 314(7095), 1685–1687. doi: 10.1136/bmj.314.7095.1685
    https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7095.1685 [Google Scholar]
  25. Jefferson, G.
    (2004) Glossary of transcript symbols with an introduction. In G. H. Lerner (Ed.), Conversation analysis: Studies from the first generation (pp.13–31). Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.125.02jef
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.125.02jef [Google Scholar]
  26. Johanson, M.
    (2011, December6). Stars vs. airlines: The autumn of celebrity air rage. International Business Times. International Business Times. Retrieved fromwww.ibtimes.com/stars-vs-airlines-autumn-celebrity-air-rage-379598
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Kaixin Mahua group . ( Writer ), & Yan, F. , Peng, D.
    (Director) (2014) To help, or not help? [TV show]. Beijing, China: CCTV New Year’s Gala.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Koriat, A. , Adiv, S. , & Schwarz, N.
    (2015) Views that are shared with others are expressed with greater confidence and greater fluency independent of any social influence. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 20(2), 176–193.doi: 10.1177/1088868315585269
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868315585269 [Google Scholar]
  29. Koven, M.
    (2011) Comparing stories told in sociolinguistic interviews and spontaneous conversation. Language in Society, 40(Special Issue01), 75–89. doi: 10.1017/S0047404510000904
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404510000904 [Google Scholar]
  30. Labov, W.
    (1997) Some further steps in narrative analysis. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 7(1–4), 395–415. doi: 10.1075/jnlh.7.49som
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jnlh.7.49som [Google Scholar]
  31. Labov, W. , & Waletzky, J.
    (1967) Narrative analysis: Oral versions of personal experience. In J. Helm (Ed.), Essays on the verbal and visual arts (pp.12–44). Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Liinamaa, S.
    (2009) Complaining communities: Complaints choirs worldwide. Public, (39), 129–137.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Lumme-Sandt, K. , & Virtanen, P.
    (2002) Older people in the field of medication. Sociology of Health & Illness, 24(3), 285–304. doi: 10.1111/1467‑9566.00295
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.00295 [Google Scholar]
  34. Mazeland, H. , & Ten Have, P.
    (1996) Essential tensions in (semi-) open research interviews. In I. Maso & F. Wester (Eds.), The deliberate dialogue: Qualitative perspectives on the interview (pp.87–113). Brussels, BE: VUB University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. McKee, R.
    (1997) Story: Substance, structure, style and the principles of screenwriting. New York, N.Y.: HarperCollins.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Middleton, D. , & Edwards, D.
    (1990a) Conversational remembering: A social psychological approach. In D. Middleton & D. Edwards (Eds.), Collective remembering (pp.23–45). London, UK: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. (1990b) Introduction. In D. Middleton & D. Edwards (Eds.), Collective remembering (pp.1–22). London, UK: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Moerman, M.
    (1988) Talking culture: Ethnography and conversation analysis. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. doi: 10.9783/9780812200355
    https://doi.org/10.9783/9780812200355 [Google Scholar]
  39. Moita-Lopes, L. P.
    (2006) On being white, heterosexual and male in a Brazilian school: Multiple positionings in oral narratives. In A. De Fina , D. Schiffrin , & M. Bamberg (Eds.), Discourse and identity (pp.288–313). New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511584459.015
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511584459.015 [Google Scholar]
  40. Mu, H.
    (2000) Wishing that Beijing would treat outsiders gently. Popular Tribune, (2), 22–23.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Myers, G. , & Lampropoulou, S.
    (2012) Impersonal you and stance-taking in social research interviews. Journal of Pragmatics, 44(10), 1206–1218. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2012.05.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2012.05.005 [Google Scholar]
  42. Peng, P. , & Zhou, X.
    (2003) Giving up one’s seat: A reflection of morality. People’s Tribune, (11), 37–39.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Pomerantz, A.
    (1986) Extreme case formulations: A way of legitimizing claims. Human Studies, 9(2–3), 219–229. doi: 10.1007/BF00148128
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00148128 [Google Scholar]
  44. Potter, J. , & Wetherell, M.
    (1987) Discourse and social psychology: Beyond attitudes and behaviour. London, UK: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Qin, Z.
    (2013, November25). Have elders become bad, or have the bad people become old?People’s Court Daily.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Roberts, L. D. , & Indermaur, D.
    (2005) Social issues as media constructions: The case of “road rage.”Crime, Media, Culture, 1(3), 301–321. doi: 10.1177/1741659005057643
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1741659005057643 [Google Scholar]
  47. Ross, M. , & Buehler, R.
    (1994) Creative remembering. In U. Neisser & R. Fivush (Eds.), The remembering self: Construction and accuracy in the self-narrative (pp.205–235). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511752858.013
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511752858.013 [Google Scholar]
  48. Sacks, H.
    (1995) Lectures on conversation. ( G. Jefferson , Ed.). New York, NY: Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781444328301
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444328301 [Google Scholar]
  49. Stivers, T. , Mondada, L. , & Steensig, J.
    (2011) Knowledge, morality and affiliation in social interaction. In T. Stivers , L. Mondada , & J. Steensig (Eds.), The morality of knowledge in conversation (pp.3–26). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511921674.002
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511921674.002 [Google Scholar]
  50. Tajfel, H. , & Turner, J. C.
    (1979) An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In W. G. Austin & S. Worchel (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations (pp.33–74). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Tannen, D.
    (2007) Talking voices: Repetition, dialogue, and imagery in conversational discourse (2nd ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511618987
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511618987 [Google Scholar]
  52. Thomas, W. I. , & Thomas, D. S. T.
    (1928) The child in America: Behavior problems and programs. New York, N.Y.: Knopf.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Wang, J.
    (Photographer) (2004) I am not seeing it [digital image]. Retrieved fromnews.xinhuanet.com/newmedia/2005-09/05/content_3445583_12.htm
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Wu, R.-J. R.
    (2004) Stance in talk: A conversation analysis of Mandarin final particles. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.117
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.117 [Google Scholar]
  55. Wu, S. , & Wu, Q.
    (2013) Migrant youths in Beijing: a life history analysis of class reproduction. China Journal of Social Work, 6(1), 52–68. doi: 10.1080/17525098.2013.766624
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17525098.2013.766624 [Google Scholar]
  56. Zhang, N.
    (Photographer) (2005) Indifference [digital image]. Retrieved fromnews.xinhuanet.com/zgjx/2007-01/22/content_5635465.htm
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error