|Title||The uses of absurdity|
|Editor(s)||Harry van den Berg, Margaret Wetherell, Hanneke Houtkoop-Steenstra|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Book title||Analyzing Race Talk: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Interview Discourse|
This chapter is about how interviewees go about using absurdity in their expressions of their own views and their descriptions of others'. Expressing one's own views absurdly gets them registered, yet protected against the potential accusation that one “really meant it.” It is a way of doing what the discursive psychologists Edwards and Potter call “attending to stake and interest” (Edwards and Potter 1992). Absurdity can also feature in descriptions of others' views. That is a riskier proposition, but it can be done if you cloak it in a certain kind of concessionary form (the “show concession,)” Antaki and Wetherell 1999). If you do, the absurdity damages the opposition's case while seeming fairmindedly to yield something to it.