SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL PROPOSITIONS
NEEDED TO JUSTIFY
TRANSCRIPT AND DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
- In dialog, people negotiate definitions and facts to be jointly accepted("serious
- The outcome of these negotiations affects a person's life in a serious and important
- These negotiations are conducted through speech acts in accordance with well-known and
familiar procedures (see literature on speech acts).
- Winnings and losses are always negotiable and renegotiable.
- Styles of negotiating vary in effectiveness and can be modified through practice and
- Typically, negotiating steps or moves are not as explicit as expansion could make it
(see Labov & Fanshel for "expansion").
- Typically, negotiating steps or moves are indexed, cross-referenced, and available for
recall to the individuals involved ("retrieval of information").
- The best negotiating strategies lead to maximum satisfaction for both parties.
- Bad or ineffective negotiating strategies are wasteful and dangerous (leading to
negative emotions, stress, dysfunction, crisis, unpredictability, etc.).
- Good or effective negotiating strategies in dialog are productive, progressive, and
growth enhancing (leading to pro-social strivings, altruism, voluntarism, involvement,
- Characteristics of good negotiating strategies in dialog are:
- Each move has as its intention the building up of the other;
- Each move carries out this intentional set through various available speech acts.
- Each move performs or presents this intention through a particular speech act which is
being enacted in all its required sub-routines.
- Characteristics of bad negotiating strategies in dialog are:
- Each move's intention is to gain an advantage for the self.
- Each move carries out this intentional set through a particular available speech act
- Each move performs this intention through speech acts with their consequent influence on
- All of the above propositions apply as well to "interior dialog" and to
"discourse thinking" (see Jakobovits), with appropriate modifications.
- ATI propositions contained in this set are empirical descriptions of actual processes
persons go through spontaneously with or without explicit awareness or conscious knowledge
thereof while engaging in a dialog.
- Intentions: designate human striving issues (e.g., a person's striving to meet
obligations, responsibilities, expectations, plans, schedules, arrangements, roles, etc.).
(Included are: wants, desires, wishes, hopes, goals, purposes, ends, loves, attractions,
preferences, tendencies, conjoining, and so on.) (Note that all of these are valued or
"arrowed" and involve "pressure" or "force" or
- Speec acts designate planning issues in carrying out intentions; these plans or
procedures or routines are conventionalized (e.g., grammar and ritual) inaccordance with
particular speech communities and families. (Included are "How to's" such as
"How to promise", "How to challenge", "How to agree", etc.
see taxonomy of speech acts in the sociolinguistic literature.)
- Dialog performances or presentations designate mapping issues. These involve the
adjustments persons make to the setting in their utterance choice and in their
paralinguistic execution (e.g., style, verbosity, tone, rhythm, etc.- these being indices
of emotionality, affect, intention, mood, distance, etc., see Labov &Fanshel, and see
- Intentions-speech acts-performances coalesce in sets and series on the basis of
psychological dimensions such as:
- PSYCHOBIOLOGY: what is the person's "ruling love" and consequent
- ETHNICITY: what are the person's role models and consequent repertoire(see Labov,
Gumperz, Hymes, and others for descriptions)
C. PRAGMATICS: what are the person's instrumental resources (e.g.,
"facework", "putting up a good front", "saving appearances"
, "being opportunistic" etc.).
- Negotiating strategies in dialog cumulate in relationship which gives it its biographic
uniqueness as experience and life in community.
- Relationship activities are made visible in a transcript of a dialog, hence transcript
analysis is a tool for understanding and influencing the course of relationships (e.g.,
teacher-student relationships, therapist-patient relationship, husband-wife relationship,
parent-child relationship, and so on).
- Labov & Fanshel use transcript analysis to improve understanding of a
therapist-client relationship. For example, during the therapy interview or dialog,
therapist and client negotiate definitions and facts: Is info "X" evidence for
process Y or Z? Did the client assert herself properly when telling her Morn to come home
pa9"e 3in the way she did on the transcript? How does the client contribute to the
family's attitude towards her as being 'sickly' and needing supervision? Does the client
use appropriate moves to influence her aunt to help out with housekeeping? Etc...
- A similar approach needs to be developed for ESL teaching. For example, teaching talk
and dialog to non-English natives, teaching natives to use dialog more effectively,
teaching natives to read and think better, teaching natives and non-natives of English to
use language more effectively in interpersonal relations (as in parenting or in
relationship or in task situations such as jobs)
- Research and development suggestions:
- Integrating speech act theory through graphic methodology (see attached).
- Making up empirical norms for the distribution of speech acts in various situations or
settings which could be used to assess a person's speech act behavior under specified
conditions (e.g., how the course of a therapy or other relationship affects the
distribution of speech acts and the change of this distribution).
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