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Public and scholarly discourse has established the ‘coming-out story’ as a culturally significant narrative genre for gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identifying (LGBTQ) individuals. Yet what happens when this genre is disciplined and managed for institutional ends? This study examines the process of how several LGBTQ individuals learn to narrate their coming-out experiences through trainings for a university's LGBTQ-themed speaker panels. Data include ethnographic observations and audio recordings related to training activities such as practice tellings and peer feedback sessions. Analysis focuses on the discursive practices through which training participants manage a pair of narrative dilemmas that stem from an institutional variation of the coming-out genre. This article contributes to literature on narrative and genre by demonstrating how a regulated form of personal narrative is learned and enforced to achieve the larger ideological aims of an institution. It also contributes to knowledge about identity as a fluid concept. (Coming-out story, genre, narrative, identity, ideology, performance, LGBTQ)*
This article examines how the social meanings of phonetic variation in a British adolescent community are influenced by a complex relationship between ethnicity, social class, and social practice. I focus on the realisation of the happy vowel in Sheffield English, which is reported to be a lax variant [ε̈] amongst working-class speakers but is undergoing change towards a tense variant [i] amongst middle-class speakers. I analyse the acoustic realisation of this vowel across four female communities of practice in a multiethnic secondary school and find that the variable's community-wide associations of social class are projected onto the ethnographic category of school orientation, which I suggest is a more local interpretation of class relations. Ethnographic evidence and discourse analysis reveal that local meanings of the happy vowel vary further within distinctive community of practice styles, which is the result of how ethnicity and social class intersect in structuring local social practices. (Intersectionality, indexicality, social meaning, identity, ethnicity, social class)*
Based on conversation analysis (CA) of video-recorded therapy sessions, the article explicates a particular interactional project of positively evaluating client-reported behavior in psychotherapy. The analysis focuses on the therapist's actions that convey a positive evaluation of client-reported behavior that represents therapeutic progress. First, the data analysis revealed three components that constitute the evaluation project: discourse marker, compliment, and account. Second, the article shows that participants orient towards the observed evaluation project, both as a unified whole and as a combination of discrete and separate interactional turns. The article suggests that this evaluation project functions as a tool for achieving the institutional goal of reinforcing therapeutically desired behaviors. The empirical findings are discussed in relation to the Stocks of Interactional Knowledge, described in handbooks on dialectical behavior therapy (the specific setting in which the data were collected). (Professional-client interaction, adolescent, psychotherapy, evaluation, complimenting, conversation analysis)*
Until recently, the members of a community on the Andean-Amazonian agricultural frontier of Southern Peru have tended to limit their social ties to members of their own families. But the residents have begun to forge a ‘community’ through a semiotic distinction between private and public spaces, social practices, and domains of morality. Particular discursive phenomena in the asamblea ‘community meeting’ are deployed to create and maintain the community as a domain of action distinct from kin commitments, and participation in the asamblea offers a context in which to assume a novel political and moral subjectivity. Thus, the social organizational construct of the community is emergent in public interactions. The article concludes with a comparative analysis of public discourse in another comunidad nativa ‘indigenous community’ that has not embraced the notion of ‘community’, and demonstrates how code-switching allows leaders there to invoke both the private and public modes of social authority. (Amazonia, Andes, Matsigenka, Spanish, Quechua)*
Discourse markers (like, I don't know, etc.) are known to vary in frequency across English dialects and speech settings. It is difficult to make meaningful generalizations over these differences, since quantitative discourse-pragmatic variation studies ‘lack [a] coherent set of methodological principles’ (Pichler 2010:582). This has often constrained quantitative studies to focus on the form, rather than the function of discourse-pragmatic features. The current article employs a novel method for rigorously identifying and quantifying the referential function (set-extension) of general extenders (GEs), for example, and stuff like that, or whatever. We apply this method to GEs extracted from three corpora of contemporary North American English speech. The results demonstrate that, across varieties, (i) referential GEs occur at a comparable proportional rate in vernacular speech, and (ii) referential GEs are longer than nonreferential GEs. Collectively, these findings represent a step towards comparative quantitative studies of GEs' functions in discourse. (Discourse-pragmatic variation, general extenders, methodological approaches, American English, Canadian English)