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12 - Some variations in sequence organization

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 September 2012

Emanuel A. Schegloff
Affiliation:
University of California, Los Angeles
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Summary

Although the account of sequence structure built on the underlying resource of the adjacency pair has considerable scope and robustness, it should not be understood as an inflexible template which mechanically generates “parts” assigned to various participants. Rather it should be understood as an organizational resource – a kind of convergently oriented-to set of possible routes – which the participants draw on in charting and incrementally building a joint course of action.

There is, then, an underlying range of orderly structures and a set of practices for suiting those structures to the particulars of the moment in which the participants are acting. Because sequences are a major resource in implementing courses of action, we should expect their forms and trajectories to reflect (among other sources of variation) the contingencies of the courses of action being pursued through them. And because particular settings may be the site of distinctive activities and courses of action, variants of the sequence organization and practices we have been describing may show up with special clarity in “specialized settings,” whether specialized by virtue of the work which gets done in them (which will be our focus here) or by reference to other characteristics (e.g., the population which they specially mobilize and their interaction-relevant characteristics, the non-work activities specially pursued there, etc.).

This is not a vapid and shapeless “adaptation to context,” not an undisciplined “anything will do,” or “anything goes.”

Type
Chapter
Information
Sequence Organization in Interaction
A Primer in Conversation Analysis
, pp. 220 - 230
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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