Arminen1996

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Arminen1996
BibType ARTICLE
Key Arminen1996
Author(s) Ilkka Arminen
Title On the moral and interactional relevancy of self-repairs for life stories of members of Alcoholics Anonymous
Editor(s)
Tag(s) EMCA, Morality, Self-repair, Repair, Alcoholics Anonymous
Publisher
Year 1996
Language
City
Month
Journal Text
Volume 16
Number 4
Pages 449–480
URL Link
DOI 10.1515/text.1.1996.16.4.449
ISBN
Organization
Institution
School
Type
Edition
Series
Howpublished
Book title
Chapter

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Abstract

Repairs are an elaborate form of activity that serves as a resource for members to display their sensitivity to a context, recipient design, and their situationally occasioned identities. In the context of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, speakers also orient themselves in relation to the moral standards of AA when they design their talk. Occasionally they recognize that something they have said, or implied, is 'wrong' or 'inappropriate', and thereby seek to repair it. This paper studies moral work performed by three types of self-repair which occur in the oral life stories of members of Alcoholics Anonymous and in turns of talk at their meetings. It is shown that each of these types has specific uses in the context of AA. 'Corrective formulations' are used to repair the problematic implications of an earlier stretch of talk. They are part of impression management through which AA members avoid imposing their own moral standards upon others. Secondly, ordinary word replacement repairs display, in some cases, a moral orientation. AA members hearably design their talk in ways which make the AA's program of recovery relevant to themselves. Finally, a previously undescribed type of repair is analyzed. In this case, members substitute 'more factual' descriptions for 'more subjective' ones. Through this practice, members invoke emotional states that recipients can 'share' and identify with. As a whole, set-repairs are an essential resource for members to display their orientation to the AA context, and thereby to mutual help.

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