|Author(s)||Candace West, Angela Garcia|
|Title||Conversational shift work: a study of topical transitions between women and men|
|Tag(s)||Gender identity, topical transition|
In this paper, we employ recent work in conversation analysis to assess the allocation of shift work –the specific procedures speakers use to produce topical transitions–in talk between women and men. Our examination of exchanges between unacquainted persons shows that most topic transitions are the product of speakers' collaborative activities or a means of coping with topics that die. However, some are the outcome of seemingly unilateral topic changes–and these are initiated by men. Discussion of our findings leads us to consider how categories such as female and male can become relevant to the determination of particular courses of conversational activity and thereby provide for the exercise of control over topics-in-progress.