Taking Turns and Talking Ties: Networks and Conversational Interaction

  • Gibson D
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Abstract

Conversational encounters are permeable to network effects but not entirely so, for conversation is internally structured by sequential constraints and dependencies that limit the latitude people have to act on their relational commitments. The author analyzes the effects of hierarchical (superior-subordinate) and horizontal (friendship and co-working) networks on “participation shifts”—transitions in the identities of speakers and targets (addressees) that occur from one speaking turn to the next—in meetings of 10 groups of managers. The results point to a range of relational obligations and entitle- ments, such as the obligation subordinates have to bolster superiors’ control of the floor, and the way in which friendship and co-working ties get expressed through remarks made to third parties. The article is perhaps the first to link statistically network-analytic and con- versation-analytic levels of analysis

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Authors

  • David R. Gibson

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