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Interruption in conversational interaction, and its relation to the sex and status of the interactants

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Abstract

This study investigated interruptions in one type of natural conversational interaction — university tutorials. It sought to determine how frequency and type of interruption varies with the sex and status of interactants. The study found no sex differences in either the frequency or type of interruption used, contrary to the findings of some previous research. Status appeared, however, to have a significant effect. In terms of overall frequency of interruption, the high status individuals in these groups — tutors in university tutorial groups — were interrupted significantly more frequently than they themselves interrupted. Tutors were, however, found to use a significantly higher proportion ofthat specific type of interruption which has in the past been shown to correlate with ratings of ‘dominance’ than students. The findings of the study have implications for studies of social interaction which attempt to employ the concept of interruption as a measure of ‘power’ or ‘dominance’. © Mouton Publishers

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APA

Beattie, G. W. (1981). Interruption in conversational interaction, and its relation to the sex and status of the interactants. Linguistics, 19(1–2), 15–36. https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.1981.19.1-2.15

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