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1 - An introduction to conversation and gender

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Susan A. Speer
Affiliation:
University of Manchester
Elizabeth Stokoe
Affiliation:
Loughborough University
Susan A. Speer
Affiliation:
University of Manchester
Elizabeth Stokoe
Affiliation:
Loughborough University
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Summary

This book showcases cutting-edge research and current thinking by researchers writing on topics at the intersection of conversation analysis and gender. Work in this area has advanced rapidly over the past decade, and this edited collection provides the first comprehensive, book-length treatment of the field. Bringing together an international group of scholars, the chapters illustrate authors' perspectives on the operation of gender in interaction. Each chapter examines real-life audio or video interactions recorded across a range of ordinary and institutional settings, including face-to-face conversation, domestic telephone calls, children's play, mediation sessions, police–suspect interviews, psychiatric assessment and calls to telephone helplines.

The aims of this collection are both theoretical and methodological. At a theoretical level, we push forward the boundaries of our understanding of the relationship between conversation and gender, charting new territory as we present the most incisive and sophisticated thinking in the field. At a methodological level, the book offers readers a clear and practical understanding of precisely how gender is analysed using conversion analysis and related methodologies, by presenting detailed demonstrations of these methods in use. Although conversation is typically understood as referring to ‘talk-in-interaction’, several contributors analyse and reflect on the inextricable relationship between talk, gender and embodied conduct. This introductory chapter is divided into four sections. First, to contextualize the book's chapters and convey their distinctive analytic position, we provide a critical overview of conversation and gender research grounded in studies of either sex/gender ‘difference’ or gender identity ‘construction’.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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