analysis, social organization, classroom talk

Saturday, July 25, 2009

oh okay

After a writing frenzy over the last two months, I am now going to turn my hand to some new analysis. Yes, it is time for more conversation analysis and then the article I have promised myself ie a proper CA article. From experience, it takes several months for a new line of work and so I think it will take the rest of the year to produce that. I am going to use the children in cyberspace data and data that i haven't analysed thoroughly yet.

Today I have been looking over the recording and transcript of the children doing the lizard searches. There's such a lot in that. Previously I had completed a kind of rough characterization of the work of each turn in the interaction however i saw different things today. I think that is in part because of having attended the pragmatics conference where I attended a number of CA conferences. Anyhow, my attention was taken by the use of "oh", and "okay" and "oh okay". For example, in the following roughly transcribed section you see examples of these:

[M is a young boy not quite six, L is his mother and R is the researcher (me)]

M: ((looking at R)) it's pretty hard to find some letters
R: do you need a ↑help
M: yes
R: what are you looking for
M: 'r'
R: this
M: u::::::m
M: I definitely know where that is (2.0) 'e' again
((typing and looking at keyboard))
M: 'n' errr
M: okay what's the:::r letter that faces that way okay?
R: ['b'
M: [that ?
M: ((types))oh yeah
M: oops (2.0) I need to clear one out
R: can you do that?
M: I need to do a space
R: do you know how to do it
M: nuh
R: oh
L: ooh what don't you know how to do darl?
M: ((pointing))um:::: clea::r that letter out
L: that one (0.2) it's this one remember (0.6) is that the one
M: because I need to leave a space
L: oh (0.2) oh okay (0.2) yeah that bar which the- which one are you trying to:: to spell in
M: that one (0.4) °'b'°
L: okay so it's green that's right and that's the space (0.4)and then you do the next letter
M: ↑uh ↓oh
L: °now that°

So, okay is used in interesting ways here. I may make it the focus for my analysis and have started doing some reading. Schegloff has this to say:

"As "oh" can serve a possible closure to a sequence in which informing and information figure centrally, then so can "okay" and its variants serve for sequences in which various other actions .. figure centrally. AS we shall soon see, many sequences feature both of these characteristics, and parties oriented to closure in third position in such sequences may then deploy combinations of these closing "moves"" (2007, p. 123)

Schegloff's use of 'informing' and 'information' sparked my thinking since these seem central to many aspects of the children's use of computers as suggested in the transcript above.

I did a search and came up with the following which provides some excellent leads for further reading:

Same token different actions



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