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People Are Talking: Conversation Analysis and Symbolic Interaction

People Are Talking: Conversation Analysis and Symbolic Interaction

Chapter:
(p.244) 9 People Are Talking: Conversation Analysis and Symbolic Interaction
Source:
Symbolic Interaction and Cultural Studies
Author(s):
Deirdre Boden
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226041056.003.0015

When people come together, they talk. Not always, nor everywhere, but most of the time that is what they do. They talk in bed, on the phone, in the classroom, in the judge's chambers, in the physician's office, in jury deliberations and counseling sessions, on tea breaks and on airplanes, around the dinner table and across the boardroom, in crisis and in comfort. Talk is the stuff, the very sinew, of social interaction. The mundane or momentous talk of people in their everyday world is what conversation analysis studies. One way of characterizing talk is as language-in-action, and it is here, as thought becomes action through language, that conversation analysis meets symbolic interaction (and vice versa). Symbolic interactionists have long been concerned with language, thought, meaning, shared symbols, and social acts. This chapter examines conversation analysis and symbolic interaction, language and meaning, language-in-action, storytelling, and history as talk.

Keywords:   conversation analysis, symbolic interaction, language, meaning, language-in-action, storytelling, history, talk

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