analysis, social organization, classroom talk

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


My friend Gillian Busch is midway through her study of families and mealtimes. She has been doing some very fine-grained analysis of her fascinating data. So, I thought of her study when when I came across some papers by Eric Laurier on his website. They are beautifully written and a number encompass the cafe. Last night i was reading one called Drinking up endings; Conversational resources of the cafe. Here's a sample:
"... we have seen then through a detailed description of one cafe visit ending how the very fact of drinking, rather than what substance people are drinking, eases the conversation along. In particular here we have seen how the last sips are involved in the last remarks on a converssation on a particular topic. There is no mechanical determinancy here as we have seen how one potential ending of both drinks and topic can be artfully extended by conversationalists. Alongside this it has hopefully become apparent how the movements and objects that accompany drinking become resources in talking together." (p. 14)

Saturday, November 22, 2008


My data had this interesting use of 'actually':
125 C: we're rea↑dy (0.2) can you help us get to the toy shop (0.2)
126 so we can buy some new juggling balls for ↑Hen↓ry
127 M: actually (0.4) can I just do it ((M lifts H's fingers off the mouse))

While searching today, I found a CA article about 'actually'.

Clift, R. (2001). Meaning in interaction: The case of actually. Language, 7 (7)

In writing about topic and actually she says:
"In all these cases, then, a topic is reopened by a speaker with an actually -prefaced turn AFTER that same speaker has initiated the closing down of that topic. Placed thus, actually is heard as registering a change of mind, undoing the committment expressed in the speaker's previous turn; the placement of actually turn-initially serves to link the speaker's prior and current turns, projecting back to the prior and offers the alternative version in the current turn." (pp. 267-268)

I looked back in my data and found M's prior turn. It was:
115 M: I'm not helping him

That's pretty interesting, and I'm going to have to go back to my analysis and think about. Previously, I had M's use of 'actually' as responding to the computer's talk (line 125), but my reading today puts a different take on it.

The author goes on to say:
"Note, too, that it does not attempt to repair the prior turn. repair serves to alter in some way a turn in progress or just delivered. yet such an option (in the form of, say, 'I mean + reformulation') is simply not possible in the environemnts cited here, because the actually-marked turn is in complete contrast to the speaker's previous turn. Nothing of the previous turn can be salvaged or amended; turn initial actually thus serves to make this reversal. Indeed, turn -initial actually can serve to display a revision of a prior stance even when that stance is not explicitly formulated." (p. 268)

Monday, November 17, 2008

woo hoo

I've just received news that my article has been accepted by the Journal of Classroom Interaction. I have some minor revisions to make but otherwise it's a goer. I'm very happy.

The history of the article:
-written as an AERA proposal in August 2006 -based on a chapter from my PhD but considerably reworked
-paper accepted (November 2006)and presented at an AERA roundtable in April 2007
-turned into a journal article with more reworking and sent off to the journal December 2007
-notified of its acceptance for publication in November 2008
-probably published 2009 I would think

No wonder I get excited (smile)- all that work to come to fruition in the form of a journal article.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

a team effort

by my side1
Originally uploaded by angie cat
I've had two weeks of frenzied activity completing this and that. Luckily, Angie helps me by sticking close by my side at all times when I'm feeling pressured. As the pic suggests, it takes reading, typing and a pussycat to get results.

Last week I attended the 6th Annual CA/MCA symposium in Brisbane. It was interesting to attend a small conference where just methodology people (kind of thing) were presenting. I've been waiting for this conference for a long time i.e. the idea of being able to meet up with lots of other folk employing ethnomethodology. I presented my Click on the Big Red Car materials although these are in their early days yet. Rather ambitiously i have in mind trying to work two papers out of the data, one a CA focused paper, perhaps for a sociological journal. The other paper would be for an early childhood audience and would address young children and computers. It feels good to be writing about the children and computers recordings because it has taken such a time to get the project underway (mind you -nothing like the time needed for my phD -smile). At the same time, i've had a bee-in-my-bonnet about extended sequences in CA work since my phD so writing about that is unfinished business.

I worked on my data analysis from the presentation today and couldn't help but think how much could be said from just a little bit of data collected. Really, the children and computer data could keep me going until retirement. However, I have to bring myself back into CA mode to do that. I say this because i've spent several months working on the transcription literature and really got myself in another headspace. prior to last week's conference i was really thinking that i'd moved too far away from Ca to get back in -kind of doubted if i wanted to. however, the conference last week worked to remind me that the methodology is very powerful, and i just like it, it fits. So, a burst of energy this week in relation to getting back into proper CA analysis of my data.

Monday, November 03, 2008

San Diego

Originally uploaded by angie cat

I've been checking the American Educational Researchers Association website daily for over three weeks. Actually I check it first thing in the morning, and throughout the day.

So, this morning I checked and found that my proposal for next year's conference has been accepted.

Davidson, C. (proposal accepted).Transcription matters: Issues for
qualitative researchers in education. Qualitative Methods SIG. Annual Conference of AERA, April 13-17, 2009. San Diego.

For those of you who don't know, the proposal for AERA is around 2,500 words and is reviewed by three members of aera, so getting a paper written and accepted takes a deal of planning, effort and time. I'm particularly happy to have this proposal accepted because it will be a paper for the Qualitative Methods SIG.

If my sister is reading this ... I'll be looking for a cat sitter for Angie.