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3 - Listening to the Sound of Silence: Methodological Reflections on Studying the Unsaid

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2019

Amy Jo Murray
Affiliation:
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Kevin Durrheim
Affiliation:
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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Summary

This chapter recommends that we study silence not merely as the absence of speech but also as the presence of non-speech, thereby featuring discursive absences as manifestations of active avoidance. By highlighting hesitations, the use of euphemisms, the use of effectively elusive generics, and the lexical gaps surrounding default assumptions we habitually take for granted, it offers an introduction to the sociological study of absence.

Type
Chapter
Information
Qualitative Studies of Silence
The Unsaid as Social Action
, pp. 59 - 70
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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