A Counter Perspective

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Rebekah Johnson


It was with great interest that I read the Stubbe, Lane, Hilder, Vine, Vine, Marra, Holmes, and Weatherall (2003) article analyzing workplace interaction. It demonstrated the varied ways the same material could be dissected and the diverse conclusions that could be drawn from approaches of conversation analysis, interactional sociolinguisitcs, politeness theory, critical discourse analysis, and discursive psychology. However, I found myself disagreeing with the general analyses made by the writers in all five approaches. It seems that, in looking to properly use linguistic, paralinguistic, and discourse features in ways championed by each approach, the analysts tailored their discussions to fit with the general assumptions and foci inherent to each style, and in consequence, to ignore the big picture (or what I term the common sense view that we, as social beings, have of an interaction from our general social knowledge).

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