|Author(s)||Charles Antaki, Rebecca J. Crompton|
|Title||Conversational practices promoting a discourse of agency for adults with intellectual disabilities|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Conversation Analysis, Activities, agency, conversation, discourse empowerment, intellectual disability, personal control, questions|
|Journal||Discourse & Society|
In a qualitative study of 50 hours of videotapes of interactions between staff and adults with intellectual disabilities, in two different service environments, we identified conversational practices that arguably promoted – or failed to promote – a discourse of service-users’ personal agency in how they carried out everyday activities. Staff could treat the service-user as an autonomous, self-directed social individual by (a) casting the activity in which they were engaged as being located in a meaningful overall framework, (b) designing their turns at talk as suggestions and requests for the service-user to follow as a matter of choice and (c) implying a joint purpose shared between service-user and a larger group in which he or she was a stakeholder. We discuss these findings in light of recent developments in the drive to empower service-users who have intellectual disabilities.