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Answers and evasions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 January 2002

STEVEN E. CLAYMAN
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1551

Abstract

This article provides an overview of the dynamics of answering and resisting or evading questions in broadcast news interviews. After a preliminary examination of the practices through which answers are recognizably constructed, the analysis turns to the practices through which interviewees manage responses that resist the agenda of an interviewer's question. When resisting overtly, interviewees engage in various forms of “damage control.” When resisting covertly, interviewees take steps to render the resistance less conspicuous. Both sets of practices facilitate resistant responses by reducing the negative consequences that might otherwise follow. Such practices demonstrate that, although interviewees have developed practices for resisting questions, the norm of answering remains a salient feature of the contemporary broadcast news interview.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2001 Cambridge University Press

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