analysis, social organization, classroom talk

Friday, February 08, 2008

flooding out

mt morganJPG
Originally uploaded by angie cat

This morning I read a nifty little piece (book chapter) by Gail Jefferson:

Jefferson, G. (1985). An exercise in the transcription and analysis of laughter. In T. van Dijk (Ed.), Handbook of discourse analysis, Volume 3: Discourse and dialogue (pp. 25-34). London: Academic Press.

In the chapter, Jefferson examines transcription and the analysis of laughter. She introduces the perspective expressed by Sacks in his early work (attention to the mundane and everyday, and "order at all points"), and then examines talk where laughter appears (in the telling of a "dirty joke", for example). Jefferson takes Goffman's notion of laughter "flooding out" i.e. uncontained laughter while another is spealking, and shows that:

"Laughter, then, may not always be a matter of flooding out, to be accounted for as something that happens to a speaker such that he can't help lau:gh, but can be managed as an interactional resource, as a systematic activity that warrants and rewards more than a naming of its occurrence, but close attention to just how and where it occurs." (Jefferson, 1985, p. 34)

Monday, February 04, 2008

A word from Du Bois

Posted by Picasa

"Although transcribing is sometimes thought of as a kind of manual labour, merely a necessary means of producing certain valuable end products, in reality the process itself has tremendous potential for enlightening its practitioners, and for generating the level of keen perception and intimate knowledge that can translate into theoretical insight and new research directions." (p. 75)

Du Bois, J. W. (1991). Transcription design principles for spoken discourse research. Pragmatics, 1 (1), 71-106.