DeStefani2018a

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DeStefani2018a
BibType ARTICLE
Key DeStefani2018a
Author(s) Elwys De Stefani, Anne-Sylvie Horlacher
Title Mundane talk at work: Multiactivity in interactions between professionals and their clientele
Editor(s)
Tag(s) EMCA, Action prioritization, driving lessons, French, hairdressing, Italian, multiactivity, multimodality, service encounters, small talk, workplace interaction, institutional, small talk, mundane
Publisher
Year 2018
Language English
City
Month
Journal Discourse Studies
Volume 20
Number 2
Pages 221-245
URL Link
DOI 10.1177/1461445617734935
ISBN
Organization
Institution
School
Type
Edition
Series
Howpublished
Book title
Chapter

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Abstract

This article examines how participants coordinate concurrent activities in hair salon interactions and during driving lessons. In both settings, participants devote considerable time to chatting about mundane topics. This sort of conversation has traditionally been studied as an instance of small talk. The first part of the article retraces the epistemological origins of this notion. The analytical section shows how an analysis based on talk alone may lead researchers to distinguish small talk from task-directed talk, in line with previous studies. The subsequent analysis of the participants’ multimodal conduct reveals that what we call mundane talk is a social activity that participants coordinate with multiple other co-occurring courses of (professional) action. The article subsequently zeroes in on task-directed first pair parts and shows how, on occasion, participants prioritize certain activities over others. The analyses draw on video data of interactions that have taken place in French and Italian and are carried out with conversation analytic methods.

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