TWO RATIONALITIES IN THE AFFIRMATION OR NEGATION OF CONSUMER COMPLAINT NARRATIVES
Author: Torode, Brian
Source: Critical Studies, "Language-Meaning-Social Construction Interdisciplinary Studies", Edited by Colin B. Grant and Donal McLaughlin , pp. 141-161(21)
Abstract:In 1651, Thomas Hobbes proposed the application of the theory of momentum (known to him as Galileo's notion of 'eternal motion') to the analysis of discourse in speech, writing, and thought. Specifically, he proposed that a technical account was needed both of the starting, stopping, and continuation of 'trains of thought'. Hobbes strikingly anticipates the concern of modern Conversation Analysis (CA) to provide a technical account of the opening, closing and ongoing 'sequential structure' of face-to-face interaction. He shares both CA's interest in the formal organization, and CA's 'indifference' to the specific ideological content, of such interaction. Analysis of a consumer complaint call to a Dublin telephone help-line reveals the interplay of (i) an 'impossibilist' train articulated by Caller; (ii) a 'tautological' train articulated by Helper; and (iii) a 'mundane' train jointly articulated by both. The momentum initially exhibited by Helper's tautologies is first slowed by mundane considerations, and then brought to a halt by impossibilist contentions.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2001-11-01
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