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A note on laughter in 'male–female' interaction

GAIL JEFFERSON
Discourse Studies
Vol. 6, No. 1, SPECIAL ISSUE: Scripted practices: special issue in honour of Hanneke Houtkoop-Steenstra (February 2004), pp. 117-133
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24048326
Page Count: 17
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Abstract

Working with interactional data, one sometimes observes that a type of behavior seems to be produced a great deal by one category of persons and not all that much by another category. But when put to the test of a straightforward count, the observation does not hold up: Category X does not after all do this thing significantly more often than Category Y does. It may then be that the apparent skewing of the behavior's distribution across categories is the result of selective observation; noticing with greater frequency those cases which conformed to some biased notion held by the observer of how these categories behave. But there seems to be another possibility. It may be that the observation has located, but only roughly and partially described, a complex of behaviors which the observation can then be seen to reflect, refer to, or constitute a 'gloss' for.

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