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ERIC Number: EJ886855
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2725
Marking the Turn: Obligation, Engagement, and Alienation in Group Discussions
Gibson, David R.
Social Psychology Quarterly, v73 n2 p132-151 2010
In group conversations, not speaking is the state of affairs experienced by most people most of the time; I refer to this as "conversational latency." Hypothesizing that conversational latency affects one's discursive options, I analyze the association between latency (operationalized as the number of turns that elapsed since the current speaker last spoke) and turn-initial words (e.g., but, oh) in twenty-nine experimental task groups, taking turn-initial words as indicators of the type of content a speaker proposes to produce. The findings suggest a model of group conversation in which conversational obligations weigh heaviest on the shoulders of the most recent contributors; those who contributed somewhat less recently remain engaged but have more latitude to take discordant positions; and those who have been quiet for longer periods are susceptible to "alienation from topic," as a result of which reentry is often accompanied by an attempt to change the topic. (Contains 2 figures, 6 tables and 21 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A