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The Sequential Production of Social Acts in Conversation

Wolfgang Ludwig Schneider
Human Studies
Vol. 23, No. 2 (Apr., 2000), pp. 123-144
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20011268
Page Count: 22
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The Sequential Production of Social Acts in Conversation
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Abstract

With reference to Mead, Peirce, speech act theory, conversation analysis, and Luhmann's phenomenological grounded version of systems theory, the paper tries to reconstruct actions as products of communication. A triadic sequence is identified as the elementary unit for the intersubjective constitution of an act. This unit combines three achievements: (a) the constitution of meaning by sequential attribution, (b) the intersubjective coordination of attributed meanings, and (c) the reproduction of rules, guiding the process of constitution and coordination of attributed meanings. Then, using the tools of systems theory and applying them to empirical results of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, it is shown how the rule scheme is integrated in a triadic sequence, functioning on three different levels of communication. Finally, a specific form of repair after next turn is discussed, relating it to the function of preserving the structure of conversational types. The analysis of such conversational types opens a possible realm of cooperation between conversation analysis and Luhmann's version of systems theory.

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