ERIC Number: ED158611
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
The Nature of Conversational Structure in Family Interaction in Television Programming: An Analysis of Three Program Formats of Television Content in the U.S.A.
Davis, Leslie K.; Johnson, Fern L.
Research was conducted to examine selected formal features of conversational segments enacted by family members in three modes of television programming: documentary, prime time, and soap opera. A sample of videotape recordings for each program format was content-analyzed for: (1) segment length, (2) length of conversational turn, and (3) duration of interturn pauses. Also noted for each segment were the style of conversation (casual, personal, or intimate) and the size of participant grouping. Results indicate that: (1) segments of conversation are the longest in the soap opera format; (2) the ratio of turn time to interturn pause time in segments is approximately 3:1 in all program formats; (3) soap opera segments contain the greatest number of conversational turns per segment; (4) length of conversational turn is similar in prime-time and soap opera segments and shorter in documentary segments; (5) the longest segments of conversation occur among four-member groups in the documentary, among groups of five or more in prime time, and between dyads in the soap opera; and (6) the mean length of conversational turn per segment is longest and the longest single turn within each segment greatest in those conversations conducted in intimate style. The results together suggest that television format constrains the formal modes of interaction presented to the viewer and that regardless of format, formal stylistic features are modeled in some distinctive ways. (Author/AM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conversation; Hesitation
Note: Paper presented at the World Congress of Sociology (9th, Uppsala, Sweden, Aug. 14-19, 1978); For related document, see FL 009 728. ; Document marginally legible due to print quality