Accountability in Social Interaction

ISBN : 9780190210557

Jeffrey D. Robinson
376 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jul 2016
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Within the study of language and social interaction, the concept of 'accountability'-including related concepts, such as 'account' or 'motive,' 'accounting,' and 'being accountable'-has been of longstanding interest in terms of how interactants in both ordinary and organizational contexts manage their image or reputation, as well as how they achieve mutual understanding. However, these concepts are polysemous, with different senses being rather dramatic, such as accountability as 'moral responsibility' and accountability as 'intelligibility.' Even today this fact is not always remembered or fully recognized or appreciated by scholars, which has arguably slowed the development of these concepts. This volume brings together a collection of novel, conversation-analytic studies addressing accountability, with the goal of re-exposing its multiple senses, reiterating their interrelationships and, in doing so, breaking new conceptual ground and exposing new pathways for future research. The collection considers central theoretical issues, including turn taking, sequence and preference organization, repair, membership categorization, action formation and ascription, social solidarity and affiliation, and the relevance of context. Chapters range contextually, canvasing interactions between friends and family members, and during talk shows, broadcast news interviews, airline reservations, and medical visits. Chapters also range culturally, including English, Japanese, and Korean data.


1. Accountability in Social Interaction
Jeffrey D. Robinson
Section 1: Accountability and Trouble
2. On Failure to Understand What the Other is Saying: Accountability, Incongruity, and Miscommunication
Paul Drew & Claire Penn
3. Defending Solidarity: Self-Repair on Behalf of Other-Attentiveness
Douglas W. Maynard
4. Delicate matters: Embedded Self-Correction as a Method for Adjusting Possibly Available Inapposite Hearings
Jenny Mandelbaum
Section 2: Accountability, Stance, and Status
5. Political Positioning Sequences: The Nexus of Politicians, Issue Positions, and the Sociopolitical Landscape
Steven E. Clayman
6. Epistemic Asymmetry and Accountability in Service Interaction
Seung-Hee Lee
7. Subjective Assessments: Managing Territories of Experience in Conversation
Kaoru Hayano
Section 3: The Accountability of Action
8. Increments
Emanuel A. Schegloff
9. The Accountability of Proposing (vs. Soliciting Proposals of) Arrangements
Jeffrey D. Robinson & Heidi Kevoe-Feldman
10. When Speakers Account for their Questions: Ani-Prefaced Accounts in Korean Conversation
Stephanie Hyeri Kim
11. The Omnirelevance of Accountability: Off-Record Account Solicitations
Chase Wesley Raymond & Tanya Stivers

About the author: 

Jeffrey D. Robinson (MA, Communication, University of Southern California, 1992; Ph.D., Sociology, University of California at Los Angeles, 1999) is professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Portland State University, and an affiliate professor of radiation medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University. Previously, he held positions in the Departments of Communication at Penn State University and Rutgers University. His primary research field is Conversation Analysis, together with its applications in the field of medicine, including primary care and oncology. He has published widely in journals such as Research on Language and Social Interaction, Journal of Communication, Communication Monographs, Pediatrics, Annals of Family Medicine, and Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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