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Membership and language use : an investigation into the internal sequential organization of naturally… Gardner, Holly 1983

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MEMBERSHIP AND LANGUAGE USE: AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE INTERNAL SEQUENTIAL ORGANIZATION OF NATURALLY OCCURRING STORIES FROM A \ SOCIAL INTERACTION PERSPECTIVE By Holly Gardner A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology/Sociology) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1983 (c) Holly Frances Gardner, 1983 In presenting th i s thes is in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree ly ' ava i1 able for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thesis for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th is thes is for f inanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permission. Department of The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 i i ABSTRACT The research reported here constitutes an i n v e s t i g a t i o n into features of i n t e r n a l ordering of s t o r i e s narrated i n natural conversation. Following the work of Sacks, Schegloff and other s o c i o l o g i c a l analysts of conversational structure, t h i s report focuses on methodical ways i n which utterances are interpretable by reference to, e.g., sequential placement. An e x i s t i n g l i t e r a t u r e on the s o c i a l organization of the t e l l i n g of jokes and s t o r i e s suggests that s l o t s designed f o r utterance-types can be a n a l y t i c a l l y i d e n t i f i e d . The present study aims to show that there i s an i d e n t i f i a b l e p o s i t i o n , story c l o s i n g , which provides f o r orderly expectations concerning the items that may be found i n such a l o c a t i o n . The report argues that there are two independently describeable organizations which structure n a t u r a l l y occuring s t o r i e s : the course-of-action framework and an organization oriented to gi v i n g a grounding i d e n t i t y to the story's t e l l e r . The former i s concerned with the s e r i e s of connected, temporally unfolding events, marked by beginning and end, which the story proposes to represent by a sequence of utterances. In that s t o r y - t e l l e r s e x h i b it s e l e c t i v i t y and coherence, i t i s evident that such s t o r i e s are formulated from the point o' view of the character that t e l l e r a l l o c a t e s to s e l f within the na r r a t i o n . The l a t t e r organization provides f o r the story's r e c i p i e n t s a "members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation" of the i i i t e l l e r ' s character's point of view. I t does so by assigning to t e l l e r ' s character a s o c i a l i d e n t i t y which i s the locus of commonly known, s o c i a l l y organized motives and a t t i t u d e s . The story c l o s i n g i s a sequential p o s i t i o n that closes o f f the course-of-action from the t e l l e r ' s character's point of view. The expectation that such an item w i l l f i l l that s l o t can be used by the story's r e c i p i e n t s to decide among d i f f e r e n t p o s s i b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of a story's l a s t utterance. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION 1 I . STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 1 I I . THE FORM OF THE PRESENTATION 5 I I I . PLAN OF THE THESIS 11 2. ON ORDER IN CONVERSATION '. 22 I. CONVERSATION ANALYSIS 22 I I . CONVERSATIONAL STRUCTURE 28 A. Turn*, taking 29 B . Sequencing 32 C. O v e r a l l S t r u c t u r a l Organization 43 I I I . SUMMARY 52 3. STORY-TELLING IN NATURAL CONVERSATION 54 I. THE STRUCTURE OF STORY-TELLING 54 I I . THE FRAGILITY OF STORIES 62 A. E q u i v o c a l i t y 62 B. Subversive Hearings 65 I I I . THE MOTIVE POWER OF STORIES 67 IV. SUMMARY 71 4. THE STORY CLOSING 73 I. INTRODUCTION 73 I I . THE PROBLEM 75 A. The Joke 75 B. The Story Structure 76 C. The Squelch 78 D. The Punchline 81 E. The Interest of the Problem 83 I I I . THE INTERNAL CONSTRUCTION OF NATURALLY OCCURRING STORIES 84 A. A Problem Posed by a Na t u r a l l y Occurring Story 84 1. An I n i t i a l Consideration of the Story .86 2. The Course-of-Action Organization 90 3. A Pos s i b l e Ambiguity 91 4. Summary 98 V B . C o n s t r u c t i n g a F o r m a l S o l u t i o n t o t h e P r o b l e m 99 1. M e m b e r s h i p C a t e g o r i z a t i o n D e v i c e s 99 2. T h e R e l a t i o n B e t w e e n t h e Two D e v i c e s . . .107 3 . T h e G r o u n d i n g I d e n t i t y 1 1 4 G . L a s t U t t e r a n c e a s a n A n a l y t i c P o s i t i o n 117 D . S u m m a r y 120 I V . S K I P P I N G OUT OR H I D E - A N D - S E E K 125 A . T h e S t o r y ; 125 B . T h e P r o b l e m 126 C . T h e G r o u n d i n g I d e n t i t y a n d t h e C o u r s e -o f - A c t i o n 130 D . T h e T e l l i n g 1. T h e F i r s t U t t e r a n c e 134 2. T h e L a s t U t t e r a n c e 135 E . C o n c l u s i o n 138 V . SUMMARY 139 5. G I V I N G E X P L A N A T I O N S I N N A T U R A L L Y O C C U R R I N G S T O R I E S 143 I . T E L L E R ' S . P O I N T OF V I E W 143 A . P o s s i b l e C o m p l e t i o n P o i n t o f a S t o r y . 143 B . C o u r s e - o f - A c t i o n a n d W i t n e s s i n g 147 C . N o r m a l W i t n e s s i n g 147 D . T h e C o u r s e - o f - A c t i o n C h a r a c t e r 149 E . T h e G r o u n d i n g I d e n t i t y a n d t h e C o u r s e -o f - A c t i o n C h a r a c t e r 151 F . S u m m a r y 155 I I . T H E G R O U N D I N G R E L A T I O N A S A MEMBERS ' A D E Q U A T E S O C I O L O G I C A L E X P L A N A T I O N 156 A . M e m b e r s ' A d e q u a t e S o c i o l o g i c a l E x p l a n a t i o n s 156 B . A d e q u a t e S o c i o l o g i c a l E x p l a n a t i o n s V e r s u s F o r m u l a t i n g R e a s o n s 157 C . G i v i n g E x p l a n a t i o n s a n d M e m b e r s h i p p i n g 166 D . C o n c l u s i o n s 174 I I I . T H E J O K E 175 A . R e c a p s u l a t i o n o f t h e A n a l y t i c A p p a r a t u s 175 B . T h e P r o b l e m P o s e d b y t h e J o k e 175 C . T h e S q u e l c h O r g a n i z a t i o n a n d t h e P u z z l e -S o l u t i o n 176 I V . SUMMARY 179 6. T H E O R I Z I N G AND R E S E A R C H I N E T H N 0 M E T H 0 D 0 L 0 G Y 183 I . I N T R O D U C A T I O N 183 I I . R E L A T I O N S H I P B E T W E E N T H E O R Y AND R E S E A R C H I N ETHNOMETHODOLOGY 185 A . W i l s o n a n d t h e P r o b l e m o f I n f i n i t e R e g r e s s I 8 5 B . E t h n o m e t h o d o l o g i c a l T h e o r y a s P r e s u p p o s i t i o n o f R e s e a r c h 192 v i G . E t h n o m e t h o d o l o g i c a l T h e o r y a s G l o s s 193 D . C o n v e r s a t i o n A n a l y s i s a s S t r u c t u r e d A c t i v i t y 1 9 6 E . S u m m a r y 199 I I I . C O N C L U S I O N S 201 R E F E R E N C E S C I T E D . '20.7 A P P E N D I X 211 v i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to begin by thanking my advisory committee f o r t h e i r help and patience over the years i t took to complete t h i s work. My advisor, Dr. Roy Turner, taught me the d i s c i p l i n e i t s e l f and provided many invaluable suggestions, only some of which have been formally acknowledged i n the t h e s i s . I would also l i k e to thank my other two committee members, Dr. E l v i Whittaker and Dr. John O'Connor, f o r the help they gave me. One of the;?: most important forms of a i d required f o r the production of a doctoral t h e s i s i s f i n a n c i a l a i d . I am very g r a t e f u l to the S o c i a l Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the M.R. MacMillan Fellowship fund f o r providing me with f i n a n c i a l support. F i n a l l y , I would l i k e to thank my f r i e n d s and e s p e c i a l l y my family f o r the support they have given to me. 1 CHAPTER 1  INTRODUCTION I. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM This t h e s i s i s concerned with the i n t e r n a l organization of s t o r i e s t o l d i n natural conversation. The a n a l y t i c framework which I have applied to the study of n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s i s derived from the work of Harvey Sacks i n conversation a n a l y s i s . The impetus f o r the development of t h i s method of analysis comes from the following considerations. I t i s a commonplace observation among s o c i o l o g i s t s that, when taken out of context, the utterances produced by natural speakers are open to multiple i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . S o c i o l o g i s t s examining an utterance are able to a r r i v e at a wide v a r i e t y of d i f f e r e n t p o s s i b l e versions of what the speaker r e a l l y meant by i t . Without the context of the utterance's production, i t i s nearly impossible to decide on the actual intended meaning. The assertion that meaning i s dependent on context does not go very f a r towards helping us understand the way hearers i n ordinary conversations use context to analyze the meaning of utterances. Conversation analysts are concerned with spec-i f y i n g c e r t a i n aspects of the a n a l y t i c work of hearers, i n p a r t i c u l a r the use of t h e i r knowledge of the sequential organ-i z a t i o n of utterances. They are in t e r e s t e d i n i d e n t i f y i n g 2 a n a l y t i c p o s i t i o n s i n n a t u r a l l y occurring t a l k . The s l o t following a greeting, f o r example, i s an a n a l y t i c p o s i t i o n . Conversation-a l i s t s f e e l that i t should "be occupied by a c e r t a i n type of item, a return greeting. They can use that expectation i n i n t e r p r e t i n g the utterance that does occur i n that p o s i t i o n . The work that i s reported i n t h i s t h e s i s addresses i t s e l f to the i n t e r n a l sequential organization of n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s . S p e c i f i c a l l y , the sequential p o s i t i o n with which I am concerned i s the story c l o s i n g p o s i t i o n . The a n a l y s i s reported here i s concerned with how story r e c i p i e n t s use t h e i r expectations as to what should occupy the story c l o s i n g i n order to i n t e r p r e t the utterance that does so occur. Central to the discussion of i n t e r n a l story organization presented i n t h i s report i s the concept of members1 adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanations. I argue that s t o r y - t e l l e r s b u i l d into t h e i r s t o r i e s explanations f o r how t h e i r characters have understood the events that compose the s t o r i e s . The type of explanations which they produce bear some s i m i l a r i t y to the types of explanations given by s o c i o l o g i s t s i n producing t h e i r analyses. S t o r y - t e l l e r s often r e l y on t h e i r s o c i a l l y organized knowledge of the motives and concerns that are attached to cer-t a i n s o c i a l categories i n order to convey and account f o r t h e i r characters' perspectives on the s t o r i e s ' events. This i s not unlike accounts produced by s o c i o l o g i s t s who argue that s o c i a l categories such as age, sex and socio-economic status can explain 3 much human behaviour and a t t i t u d e s . The i n i t i a l impetus f o r analyses of the p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods used by people i n g i v i n g accounts of everyday scenes a r i s e s from the observations made by ethnomethodologists on the way i n which sociology i s embedded i n the attempts of lay people to make sense of the world around them. For example, Zimmerman and P o l l n e r write: In terms of both the substantive themes brought under examination and the formal properties of the structures examined, p r o f e s s i o n a l and lay s o c i o l o g i s t s are i n t a c i t agreement. For example, while the s o c i o l o g i s t and the policeman may entertain very d i f f e r e n t theories of how a person comes to be a juvenile delinquent, and while each may appeal to disparate c r i t e r i a and evidence f o r support of t h e i r respective versions, they have no trouble i n agreeing that there are persons recognizable as juvenile delinquents and that there are structured ways i n which these persons come to be juvenile delinquents. I t i s i n t h i s agreement— agreement as to the fundamental and ordered existence of the phenomenon independent of i t s having been addressed by some method of i n q u i r y — t h a t p r o f e s s i o n a l and la y s o c i o l o g i s t s are mutually oriented to a common f a c t u a l domain. The agreement ind i c a t e s sociology's profound embedded-ness i n and dependence upon the world of everyday l i f e . Not only does the a t t i t u d e of everyday l i f e f u r n i s h the context of s o c i o l o g i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n , i t also seems to f u r n i s h s o c i a l - s c i e n t i f i c inquiry with a leading conception of i t s order of f a c t and program of research...(Zimmerman and P o l l n e r 1 9 7 0 : 8 1 ) . This embeddedness of s o c i o l o g i c a l research i n commonsense perceptions of the world i s not s u r p r i s i n g to s o c i o l o g i s t s nor does i t , i n i t s e l f , constitute a c r i t i q u e of the s o c i o l o g i c a l e n t e r p r i s e . A conventional response to t h i s s i t u a t i o n i s to adopt more sophisticated methods f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g s o c i o l o g i c a l arguments than those used by lay people. While lay people o f f e r d escriptions of scenes and of s o c i a l phenomena and 4 while they also put forward explanations f o r these states of a f f a i r s they do so i n a manner that lacks the r i g o u r of the procedures used by s o c i o l o g i s t s . The response of ethnomethodologists to the observed embed-dedness of s o c i o l o g i c a l reasoning i n everyday reasoning has been d i f f e r e n t . Instead of concentrating on developing be t t e r methods f o r answering the questions asked by lay people they chose to examine the production of the commonsense world which they f e l t conventional s o c i o l o g i s t s were taking f o r granted. They began asking questions such as the following: ...How are members going about the task of i n v e s t i g a t i n g the scenes of t h e i r actions so that they see and report patterning and structure i n those scenes? How are events being analyzed so that they appear as connected? By what procedures are de s c r i p t i o n s being done so that they portray order? How i s the f a c t u a l character of such accounts es-tablished? and How i s the sense or appearance of a world i n common and common understanding concerning i t s shared features accomplished? (Zimmerman and Wieder 1970:290). For ethnomethodologists, everyday conversations became an important research s i t e because i t i s p r i m a r i l y here that members produce t h e i r accounts of the world around them. "Member" or "membership" means "mastery of natural language" (Ga r f i n k e l and Sacks 1970:342). The term i s used by ethnomethodologists to point to a concept of human reasoning that d i f f e r s from the p i c -ture implied by t r a d i t i o n a l l o g i c . Where t r a d i t i o n a l ' l o g i c fav-ours a form of reasoning i n which statements are meaningful regardless of context and i n which discourse should proceed 5 i n a step-"by-step manner from premise to conclusions, ethnometh-odologists have argued f o r the irremediable r e l i a n c e of discourse on context and of the need f o r p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods to connect the statements of a discourse and to form them in t o a meaningful whole. These p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods are not amen-able to l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s . They cannot be reduced to a step-by-step procedure. Their a b i l i t y to convey sense to people depends on membership. Membership may be defined as the a b i l i t y to use p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods to make sense of t a l k . The d i s c u s s i o n of members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanations contained i n Chapter 5 of t h i s report i s an examination of the use that hearers make of one p r a c t i c a l reasoning method, members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanations, to understand s t o r i e s . The s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n points i n two d i r e c t i o n s . F i r s t , because s t o r i e s are descriptions or accounts of past events, i t contributes to an understanding of how events are put together i n order to produce a coherent experience f o r an actor. Second, because hearers use t h i s method f o r understanding s t o r i e s and responding to them, the i n v e s t i g a t i o n contributes to an under-standing of how actors are able to create coherent conversations i n which the p a r t i c i p a n t s o r i e n t t h e i r utterances to each other. I I . THE FORM OF PRESENTATION T y p i c a l l y , within conversation a n a l y s i s , there are two ways 6 of conceiving of an a n a l y t i c problem. I d e a l l y , the s o l u t i o n to one should inform the other. The f i r s t type of problem i s a theo-r e t i c a l problem, that i s , one;,which emerges from considerations of the t h e o r e t i c a l basis of conversation analysis and which t i e s i n t o work that has already been done i n the f i e l d . The problem as I have just stated i t , i s a t h e o r e t i c a l one. I t derives i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e from the concern that conversation analysts have f o r examining the contextual nature of speech. I t also expands work that has already been done i n the area. I would l i k e b r i e f l y to summarize that work. Both Sacks and Jefferson have investigated the sequential organization of s t o r y - t e l l i n g . Their work i s concerned with the sequential f i t between a story and the ongoing conversation. Sacks i d e n t i f i e d a two-utterance p a i r preceding an a c t u a l t e l l i n g , the story preface, i n which the p o t e n t i a l t e l l e r would i n d i c a t e that she wished to t e l l and story, g i v i n g the r e c i p i e n t s the opportunity to refuse or accept the t e l l i n g . This was followed by the t e l l i n g i n which the primary r i g h t to speak i s granted to the t e l l e r . A f t e r the t e l l i n g , a p o s i t i o n c a l l e d the story response p o s i t i o n becomes a c t i v e . This s l o t gives the story r e c i p i e n t s the opportunity to demonstrate that they understood the story (Sacks 197^-a) . G a i l Jefferson's work on the sequential organization of a s t o r y - t e l l i n g emerged from the recognition that a s t o r y - t e l l i n g temporarily suspends the turn-taking system and t h i s suspension 7 must be both accounted f o r by the t e l l e r and smoothly f i t i n t o the ongoing conversation. A f t e r the s t o r y i s over, i f t h e - s t o r y response has not served to r e - a c t i v a t e turn-by-turn t a l k , i t i s up to the t e l l e r to get i t going again ( J e f f e r s o n 1978:229)• The work of J e f f e r s o n and Sacks addressed the f i t between a s t o r y - t e l l i n g and the ongoing conversation. The a n a l y s i s presented i n t h i s t h e s i s i s intended as a c o n t r i b u t i o n to the work done on s t o r y - t e l l i n g i n t h a t i t concerns i t s e l f w i t h the i n t e r n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n of s t o r i e s . Whereas the s t o r y p r e f a c e , the s t o r y response and the r e - a c t i v a t i o n of turn-by-turn t a l k occurs between a s t o r y and the surrounding conversation, I am i n t e r e s t e d i n the p o s s i b l e existence o f a n a l y t i c p o s i t i o n s w i t h -i n s t o r i e s . The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of a t h e o r e t i c a l problem leaves the ana-l y s t without a s t r a t e g y f o r s o l v i n g t h a t problem. I n order to be able to proceed i t i s o f t e n necessary to formulate the second k i n d of problem i n conversation a n a l y s i s . T h i s second type of problem i s one t h a t a r i s e s out of a s p e c i f i c p i e c e of data. The s o l u t i o n to t h a t s p e c i f i c problem should be one which e l u c i d a t e s a t h e o r e t i c a l problem. An example o f t h i s procedure comes from Sacks (1971a)• He looked a t a s t o r y t h a t was f o l l o w e d by a proverb, "they need some kin d a i d o l . . . something to look up t o " . The s t o r y was about a twelve-year o l d g i r l who had p i c t u r e s of the B e a t l e s on her 8 c e i l i n g and would l i e i n her bed at night s t a r i n g up at them. The story i s t o l d by her seventeen-year o l d brother who was puzzled by h i s s i s t e r ' s behaviour. The proverb was uttered a f t e r the story's completion by a seventeen-year old g i r l , Louise. Sacks observed that the proverb could be heard as a pun on the story but none of the r e c i p i e n t s seemed to notice the pun. The l i t t l e g i r l had the p i c t u r e s on the c e i l i n g and the comment r e f e r s to "looking up to someone". Sacks asks why the pun was not heard. The s o l u t i o n to the problem involved asking i f the p o s i t i o n following a story was an a n a l y t i c one, one which hearers expected to be f i l l e d by c e r t a i n types of items. Sacks noticed that the l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the proverb, the one necessary to hear the pun, merely conveyed a gen e r a l i z a t i o n of the o r i g i n a l puzzle. The puzzle was why the s i s t e r stared up at p i c t u r e s of the Beatles and the response s a i d only that a l l l i t t l e g i r l s need pic t u r e s to stare up a t . The f i g u r a t i v e or p r o v e r b i a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the utterance, however, provided an explanation of the puzzle. Louise s a i d that the s i s t e r d i d t h i s because g i r l s her age needed to have i d o l s . This led Sacks to ask about the types of items that tended to follow a s t o r y - t e l l i n g . He noticed that often a story was followed by an utterance which displayed the r e c i p i e n t ' s under-standing of the story. In the story under consideration here the t e l l e r was puzzled by the events he was recounting and the r e c i p i e n t i n d i c a t e s that she understands t h i s by providing 9 him with an explanation. The l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the res-ponse does not d i s p l a y that understanding because i t merely gen-e r a l i z e s the strange behaviour. I f the t e l l e r d i d not understand why h i s s i s t e r had pi c t u r e s of the Beatles on her c e i l i n g there i s no reason to suppose that he w i l l understand why a l l l i t t l e g i r l s need these p i c t u r e s . The s o l u t i o n to the s p e c i f i c problem posed by the preceding data can be used to throw l i g h t on a t h e o r e t i c a l problem that would be of i n t e r e s t to conversation analysts. I f the meaning of utterances i s not guaranteed by a one-to-one correspondence between the words and t h e i r meanings how do co n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t s know that they are understanding each other? Sacks discovered that there were many places i n conversation i n which speakers could check up on the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s that were being given to t h e i r utterances. The story response p o s i t i o n i s one such place: i f "a story has been misunderstood t e l l e r s can often i n f e r the misunderstanding by what i s sa i d i n the story response. They can then c o r r e c t the hearers. The a n a l y s i s of the i n t e r n a l organization of n a t u r a l l y occ-u r r i n g s t o r i e s with which t h i s t h e s i s i s concerned i s presented through the exploration of a problem posed by a piece of data. The problem that I w i l l be concerned with involves: ; the punch-l i n e of a d i r t y joke. The joke has already been given a n a l y t i c treatment by Harvey Sacks (1978). Sacks had i d e n t i f i e d two organizations that were operating i n the joke. The f i r s t was a story organization b u i l t around a 10 puzzle and a s o l u t i o n . In the joke, a mother stands outside of her three daughters' bedroom doors on t h e i r honeymoon night. She hears sounds coming from the f i r s t two rooms but only s i l e n c e from the t h i r d . She i s puzzled as to why there were no sounds and, i n the morning, i n v e s t i g a t e s . As a r e s u l t of her i n v e s t i g a t i o n , she f i n d s the s o l u t i o n . The s o l u t i o n i s i n f e r r a b l e from the punchline of the joke. The second organization also culminates i n the punchline. The l a t t e r , Sacks argues, i s a squelch of the mother by "the third-daughter. The punchline takes a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c form f o r squelches i n which a member of a powerless category uses a r u l e taught to her by a member of a powerful category i n order to j u s t i f y an ob-vious v i o l a t i o n of another r u l e that the l a t t e r would have endorsed. The problem to be examined concerns the surprise of the punch-l i n e . The joke's audience could expect that the punchline would contain a s o l u t i o n to the puzzle. A very standard form that jokes take i s to construct a story which introduces a puzzle at some point and then provides the s o l u t i o n to the puzzle i n the punch-l i n e . The squelch, however, came as a su r p r i s e . The question i s what made the squelch s u r p r i s i n g . Since jokes use a story structure, I suggest that the answer to the question may l i e i n the organization of s t o r i e s rather than i n devices that are p e c u l i a r to jokes. S p e c i f i c a l l y , the problem turns at t e n t i o n to the l a s t utterance of a story. I s l a s t utterance an a n a l y t i c p o s i t i o n which sets up r e c i p i e n t s to hear c e r t a i n types of items? I f so, what type of item i s the squelch such that i t s presence i n that p o s i t i o n would be s u r p r i s -ing? The conversational material has come from several sources. F i r s t , I have drawn on s t o r i e s that have already been c o l l e c t e d and subjected to analysis by Harvey Sacks. These s t o r i e s have been transcribed from audio tapes by G a i l J e f f e r s o n (Sacks 1978, Sacks 1 9 7 0 a ) . I have been c o l l e c t i n g tapes of natural conversations f o r four years. I began my c o l l e c t i o n during a seminar concerned with the ethnography of communication i n which members of the seminar contributed t h e i r tapes to a data bank. I continued to tape conversations with acquaintances throughout the next year. Fellow students have as s i s t e d me by making t h e i r tapes a v a i l a b l e to me . I I I . THE FLAN OF THE THESIS . The plan of the thesis i s as follows. Chapter 2 contains a b r i e f discussion of the ethnomethodological theory of language which underlies the work. In addition, i t consists of a review of research that has been done i n conversation a n a l y s i s . The reason why the two must be taken i n conjunction i s one that i s 12 consistent with ethnomethodological theory, which argues that i t i s not possible to d e f i n i t i v e l y describe general propositions which l o g i c a l l y imply p a r t i c u l a r studies. I t i s not possible because ethnomethodologists have argued that a l l generalizations are r e f l e x i v e l y r e l a t e d to the p a r t i c u l a r s subsumed under them. The generalizations lack a c l e a r sense when removed from the p a r t i c u l a r studies that they recommend. G a r f i n k e l and Sacks (19?0) argue that formulating i s not the locus of r a t i o n a l i t y i n everyday l i f e . By formulating they mean the a b i l i t y to say, i n so many words, what i t i s one i s doing. The reason that formulating i s not where r a t i o n a l i t y resides i s because every formulation depends on the context of i t s pro-duction and on the very thing i t i s formulating f o r i t s sense. A l l formulations are occasioned formulations. This includes the formulations which ethnomethodologists propose about the nature of language and about t h e i r topic of i n q u i r y . The discussion of conversation a n a l y s i s i s not to be treated as a set of l i t e r a l propositions which l o g i c a l l y define the under-pinnings of the p r a c t i c e . I t does not stand to the summaries of a c t u a l a n a l y t i c i n q u i r i e s as premise stands to conclusion or as "theory" stands to "review of the l i t e r a t u r e " . Instead, i t i s to be read i n conjunction with those i n q u i r i e s . Through the mutual i n t e r p l a y of i n d e x i c a l formulations of the p r a c t i c e and concrete examples of i t I hope to show the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g features of conversation a n a l y s i s . 13 There are two reasons f o r presenting such a lengthy review of the work that has been done i n conversation a n a l y s i s . F i r s t , access to the work i s d i f f i c u l t since much of i t , i n c l u d i n g a large body of Sacks' work, i s unpublished. Second, I wanted to show that while conversation analysts have r e s i s t e d making pro-grammatic statements c h a r a c t e r i z i n g t h e i r d i s c i p l i n e , they are approaching t a l k with a consistent perspective. In spite of the many d i f f e r e n t topics that analysts have chosen to examine, t h e i r work can be organized under a l i m i t e d number of headings which i l l u s t r a t e the way that they conceive of order i n natural conver-s a t i o n . The studies themselves are summarized under three headings. The f i r s t i s turn-taking. The problem of turn-taking concerns the manner i n which c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t s decide when one speaker's turn i s over and another's i s to begin. The turn-taking system that was described by Sacks, Schegloff and Jef f e r s o n (1978) also provides r u l e s f o r the assignment of next speakership. The next aspect of conversational structure to be discussed i s sequential organization. This r e f e r s to the way i n which the order i n which utterances are produced influences how those u t t -erances w i l l be inte r p r e t e d . For example, the f a c t that an utterance has followed a question w i l l be important f o r p a r t i -cipants i n determining what was meant by i t . F i n a l l y , the o v e r a l l structure of conversation w i l l be ex-amined. This section w i l l describe the methods by which p a r t i -cipants enter into and terminate a conversation. 14 Chapter 3 i s concerned with the work that has been done i n conversation a n a l y s i s on n a t u r a l l y occuring s t o r i e s . The f i r s t aspect of s t o r y - t e l l i n g to be discussed i s the way i n which s t o r i e s are f i t t e d into an ongoing conversation. Sacks discovered that prospective s t o r y - t e l l e r s often produce a one utterance turn before t e l l i n g t h e i r story. He characterizes t h i s as the "story preface". This preface i n d i c a t e s to hearers that the speaker wants to t e l l a story and asks f o r permission to suspend the turn-taking system i n order that t h i s might be done. The hearers then respond to the .preface by e i t h e r accepting the o f f e r of a story or r e j e c t i n g i t . Following the t e l l i n g , the story r e c i p i -ents produce t h e i r story response. The major task of story r e c i p i e n t s i s to understand the story and the response i s , among other things, an i n d i c a t i o n or di s p l a y that understanding has occurred. The next aspect of s t o r y - t e l l i n g to be discussed i s the f r a -g i l i t y of s t o r i e s . S t o r i e s are f r a g i l e i n the sense that the r e c i p i e n t s are not bound to hear the story i n exactly the manner that t e l l e r s would wish them to. The former can challenge the s i g n i f i c a n c e of a story, can doubt that the story was true, can examine the story with respect to t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s or can make inferences about the motives of t e l l e r s i n t e l l i n g the story. Because of the p o s s i b i l i t y of unwanted transformations which r e c -i p i e n t s might perform on a story, t e l l e r s often b u i l d i n defenses against these transformations. The t h i r d aspect of s t o r y - t e l l i n g discussed i n Chapter 3 i s 15 the motive power of s t o r i e s . This r e f e r s to t h e i r p o t e n t i a l f o r being t o l d and r e - t o l d . Sacks argues that most s t o r i e s have a very short motive power. I f they are t o l d even days a f t e r the event they report r e c i p i e n t s tend to f i n d them uninteresting; not worth being t o l d . The examination of s t o r i e s that do have a strong motive power, that can be r e t o l d years a f t e r the o r i g -i n a l event, gives analysts an i n s i g h t into the r o l e of story-t e l l i n g i n our conversations. The purpose of Chapter 4 i s to propose a problem i n story-t e l l i n g and to b u i l d an a n a l y t i c apparatus.that can be used to solve the problem. The problem of the d i r t y joke i s presented here. The a n a l y t i c apparatus was developed from an a n a l y s i s of several n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s . I t i s argued that n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s are composed of two organizations, the course-o f - a c t i o n organization centred around the t e l l e r ' s character's p o i n t of view and the grounding i d e n t i t y . The course-of-action organization r e f e r s to the f a c t that s t o r i e s are composed of a s e r i e s of utterances which describe a group of connected, temp-o r a l l y unfolding events with a beginning and an end. The ground-ing i d e n t i t y i s introduced to allow r e c i p i e n t s to make sense of the t e l l e r ' s character's point of view with regard to the events of the course-of-action. The story c l o s i n g , i t i s argued, is-an a n a l y t i c p o s i t i o n which reports an event that can close o f f the' course-of-action from the t e l l e r ' s character's point of view. Before returning to the problem posed by the d i r t y joke, Chapter 5 provides a more general discussion of the r e l a t i o n s between the grounding and the course-of-action. I t i s argued that "th--. former provides a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explan-a t i o n f o r the t e l l e r ' s character's point of view i n the l a t t e r . The chapter also examines how the use of members' adequate socio-l o g i c a l explanations i n s t o r i e s f i t s i nto the ongoing conversation and helps create sociable r e l a t i o n s between the t e l l e r and the r e c i p i e n t s . I then return to the problem of the d i r t y joke. The mother, according to Sacks, acts as a guide f o r the joke's audience i n that i t i s her point of view that the l a t t e r are f o l l o w i n g . As such, she assumes the r o l e of the t e l l e r i n n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s . Her r e l a t i o n to the events of the course-of-action i s that something puzzling has happened and she wants to solve the puzzle.. The mother's discovery of the puzzle and her i n v e s t i g a t i o n , r e s u l t i n g i n the s o l u t i o n , are the events which make up the course-of -action of the joke's story. Since the punchline solves the puzzl i t closes o f f the course-of-action from the mother's point of view. As such, i t c o n s t i t u t e s an expectable item f o r f i l l i n g the story c l o s i n g . The mother-daughter power struggle which underlies the squelch, on the other hand, also grounds the puzzle. That i s , i t provides a members' adequate; s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation as to why the mother was i n a p o s i t i o n to investigate i n the f i r s t place and why she wanted the puzzle solved. She was a "mother" checking up on her "daughters". Because the mother-daughter power struggle was being 17 heard as the grounding, i t was not expected that the story c l o s i n g would report the daughter's answering move to her mother. Grounding i d e n t i t i e s are not supposed to move through time l i k e the course-of -action events. Because of t h i s the squelch i s heard as a surprise when i t appears i n the story c l o s i n g or the joke's punchline. Chapter 6 i s concerned with formulating the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the t h e o r e t i c a l perspective introduced i n Chapter 2 and the research into story structure that occupies Chapters 4 and 5. The f i r s t p o s s i b l e r e l a t i o n to be examined was suggested by Thomas Wilson (1972) . He argued that ethnomethodology was a l i m i t e d empirical science i n which data stood i n the r e l a t i o n of evidence to the generalizations proposed i n the theory. This p o s i t i o n i s c r i t i c i z e d on the grounds that ethnomethodological theory t r e a t s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between generalizations and par-t i c u l a r behavioural displays as one of i t s major problems. The theory denies the l o g i c a l connection between the two that i t i s necessary to assume i n order to t r e a t the l a t t e r as evidence f o r the former. The second p o s i t i o n to be c r i t i c i z e d i s that ethnomethodolog-i c a l theory stands as a set of presuppositions which ground the research. I t i s argued that i n order to be a presupposition the theory must have a c l e a r sense independently of the research i t implies. I argue that i n order to understand what some of the basic concepts of the theory mean, concepts such as " i n d e x i c a l i t y " , " p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods" and "accounts", i t i s necessary to 18 r e f e r to the research that has been done under the auspices of ethnomethodological theory. The two are r e f l e x i v e l y connected; one does not presuppose the other. I t i s then argued that ethnomethodological theory i s a gloss f o r a p i c t u r e of language that i s not easy to grasp. Conversa-t i o n a n a l y s i s Is"characterized as an a c t i v i t y , not a set of des-c r i p t i o n s , which gives researchers;~,practice at grasping what the theory glosses. I would l i k e here to b r i e f l y discuss my reason f o r i n c l u d i n g t h i s chapter i n a t h e s i s on s t o r y - t e l l i n g . The major t h e o r e t i c a l idea contained i n t h i s report i s that of membership, a gloss\intend-' ed to point to a p i c t u r e of human reasoning that departs from the p i c t u r e of l o g i c a l reasoning informing many reports i n socio-logy. Work on membership concerns i t s e l f with the way i n which sense i s produced and conveyed through the structure and context of a piece of discourse. The concepts of membership and p r a c t i c a l reasoning are also relevant to the reading of a piece" of work i n sociology. Socio-l o g i c a l reports derive t h e i r understandability from more than the combination of word meanings of which they are composed. They are also produced i n a context and presented i n a format that i s suggestive of c e r t a i n ideas. Readers may bring to bear on t h e i r reading of one piece of work expectations that derive from a t r a -d i t i o n of s o c i o l o g i c a l r e p o r t i n g . What I am p a r t i c u l a r l y concerned about i s the expectations 1 9 brought by readers i n t o t h e i r understanding of the t a c i t channel which expresses the., form of reasoning used by the writer i n con-veying the report's substantive message. Much work i n sociology has been done under the auspices of an i d e a l of l o g i c a l discourse. The w r i t e r intends to use l o g i c a l empirical methods to convince the reader of the writer's p o s i t i o n . The expectation ,that these auspices w i l l be relevant f o r reading s o c i o l o g i c a l work i n general has become taken f o r granted since i t expresses the form of reasoning preferred by many s o c i o l o g i s t s . I t has become part of the context of any s o c i o l o g i c a l work's production. The structure or format of a s o c i o l o g i c a l report can conform to or contradict the messages conveyed i n t h i s t a c i t channel. One aspect of t h i s structure i s the l a s t chapter which very commonly reports the conclusions of the study. Given the existence of a t a c i t channel of expectations evoking a l o g i c a l p i c t u r e of the discourse, the presence of a "conclusions" chapter seems to r e -i n f o r c e the idea of a step-by-step l i n e a r argument moving from premise to conclusions. I f e l t that to use the l a s t chapter as a "conclusions" chapter would leave the t a c i t channel, that of the implied form of reasoning used by the writer i n communicating to the reader, untouched. Since the messages conveyed i n that t a c i t channel have been influenced by previous work which based i t s e l f on a d i f f e r e n t i d e a l of reasoning I f e l t that to leave i t untouched would weaken the claimed g e n e r a l i t y of the r e l i a n c e of reasoning on membership. I 20 wanted to t i e the t a c i t channel into the substantive message of the work by arguing i n Chapter 6 that not only do the subjects i n my work (the conversationalists) depend on membership and p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods but. I also depended on them to le a r n and convey the concepts themselves. Thi s chapter has been intended to introduce the major issues addressed i n t h i s report. I would now l i k e to turn to a more d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n of conversation a n a l y s i s . 21 NOTES I would p a r t i c u l a r l y l i k e to thank Jeanette Auger, David A l l e g u i r e and L o i s Spiegel f o r contributing t h e i r tapes. 22 CHAPTER 2 ON ORDER IN CONVERSATION I. CONVERSATION ANALYSIS Conversation analysts argue that behaviour i s methodical and therefore describable. Since these concepts are so c e n t r a l to the enterprise i t i s important to examine them. The group of people i n our society whose a c t i v i t i e s are recognized as paradigmatically methodical are s c i e n t i s t s . Scien-t i s t s can describe t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s by reference to the methods used to produce them. For example, a report of an experiment w i l l d e t a i l the procedures a s c i e n t i s t used to a r r i v e at the f i n d i n g s . I t w i l l do so i n a way that i s c l e a r enough to allow other s c i e n t i s t s to reproduce the procedures and so reproduce the f i n d i n g s . Thus, s c i e n t i s t s are seen to engage i n a c t i v i t i e s that are objective and r a t i o n a l : objective because t h e i r procedures and r e s u l t s are r e p l i c a b l e by other s c i e n t i s t s ; and r a t i o n a l because the connection between the procedures and the r e s u l t s i s so c l e a r that i t i s d i f f i c u l t to imagine that any other influences than the desire to know i f a hypothesis i s true or not a f f e c t e d the a c t i v i t i e s . S o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s have not been as confident about the ob-j e c t i v i t y and r a t i o n a l i t y of the ordinary person-in-society. 23 Much of s o c i o l o g i c a l , and psychological, theory has been devoted to e i t h e r an explanation or a co r r e c t i o n of the so- c a l l e d i r r a t -i o n a l i t y of people's behaviour. I t has been noticed that, unlike the behaviour of s c i e n t i s t s , ordinary people's behaviour does not seem to be describably methodical and therefore describably r a t i o n a l . People a r r i v e at conclusions about the s o c i a l world and act on the ba s i s of them without being able to s a t i s f a c t o r i l y explicate the procedures they used. Since they cannot give a c l e a r account of t h e i r methods i t i s often assumed that i r r a t i o n a l forces l i e behind the conclusions. This observation has set f o r s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s two tasks: 1. To i d e n t i f y the i r r a t i o n a l forces that i n t e r f e r e with the methodical r a t i o n a l i t y of actors; 2. In doing so, to produce a type of discourse that i s not beset by the same lack of method and i r r a t i o n a l i t y that characterizes ordinary t a l k . G a r f i n k e l and Sacks characterize the l a t t e r task as the "remedial p r a c t i c e s of p r a c t i c a l s o c i o l o g i c a l reasoning": The i n d e x i c a l properties of natural language assure to the technology of s o c i o l o g i c a l i n q u i r i e s , l a y and pro-f e s s i o n a l , the following unavoidable and irremediable p r a c t i c e as t h e i r earmark: Where ever and by whomever p r a c t i c a l s o c i o l o g i c a l reasoning i s done, i t seeks to remedy the i n d e x i c a l properties of p r a c t i c a l discourse; i t does so "in the i n t e r e s t s of demonstrating the r a t i o n a l a c c o u n t a b i l i t y of everyday a c t i v i t i e s ; and i t does so i n order that i t s assessments be warranted by methodic obser-vation and report of situated, s o c i a l l y organized p a r t i c u l a r s of everyday a c t i v i t i e s which of course include p a r t i c u l a r s of natural language. The remedial p r a c t i c e s of p r a c t i c a l s o c i o l o g i c a l reasoning are aimed, at accomplishing a thoroughgoing d i s t i n c t i o n between objective and i n d e x i c a l expressions with which to make possible the s u b s t i t u t i o n of objective f o r i n d e x i c a l expressions. At present that d i s t i n c t i o n . . . p r o v i d e s pro-f e s s i o n a l sociology i t s i n f i n i t e task (Garfinkel and Sacks 1970:339) • 24 Indexical expressions are words whose meaning depends on the occasion of t h e i r use. Taken out of context, they lack a stable r e f e r e n t . Paradigmatic examples of i n d e x i c a l expressions are pronouns and context-bound references to time and place such as " e a r l i e r " or "over there" but G a r f i n k e l and Sacks argue that i n d e x i c a l i t y pervades a l l language use including that of s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s . I ndexical features are not p a r t i c u l a r to laymen's accounts. They are f a m i l i a r i n the accounts of p r o f e s s i o n a l s as w e l l . For example, the natural language formula, "The objective r e a l i t y of s o c i a l f a c t s i s sociology's fundamental" p r i n c i p l e " , i s heard by p r o f e s s i o n a l s according to occasion as a d e f i n i t i o n of a s s o c i a t i o n members' a c t i v i t i e s , as t h e i r slogan, t h e i r task, aim, achievement, brag, sales p i t c h , j u s t i f i c a t i o n , discovery, s o c i a l phenomenon, or research c o n t r a i n t . Like any other i n d e x i c a l expression, the transient circumstances of i t s use assure i t a definiteness of sense as d e f i n i t i o n or task or whatever, to someone who knows how to hear i t . Further, as Helmer and Rescher showed, on no occasion i s the formula assured a definiteness that exhibits structures other than those that are exhibited by pointed reference ( G a r f i n k e l and Sacks 1970:338-339)-In order to see how s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s are able to draw conn-ections among i n d e x i c a l i t y , lack of method and i r r a t i o n a l i t y i t i s u s e f u l to consider the following imaginary scene. A patient accuses her t h e r a p i s t of being evasive. The t h e r a p i s t challenges the patient to explain, by describing the therapist's evasive behaviour,-how she came to the conclusion that he was evasive. A f t e r a few unsuccessful attempts, the patient r e a l i z e s that she cannot give an adequate d e s c r i p t i o n of the behaviour that l e d her to that conclusion. Under these circumstances i t would prob-ably not be d i f f i c u l t f o r the the t h e r a p i s t to convince the patient that she was using the t h e r a p i s t to act out unconscious h o s t i l i t y 25 to her father and not i n t u i t i n g the evasiveness i n the act u a l behaviour of the t h e r a p i s t . The psychological theory provides both an explanation of the conclusion and shows that i t was i r -r a t i o n a l , that i t was not a true d e s c r i p t i o n of the ther a p i s t ' s behaviour and so must be an expression of something e l s e . People use words l i k e "evasive" without c l e a r l y d e f i n i n g what they mean by them. They depend on the a b i l i t y of other per-sons i n a.scene to understand the sense of a claim that someone i s evasive' without being able to c l e a r l y describe the methods they used to a r r i v e at that description.; In everyday l i f e people have l i t t l e trouble i n gi v i n g descriptions, drawing conclusions and accounting f o r t h e i r behaviour i n a manner understandable to others i n spite of t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to say i n so many words how they d i d i t . For example, a husband may say to h i s wife that he i s "going out". The wife reports t h i s to a f r i e n d , des-c r i b i n g ' the husband as "evasive", "unwilling to say where he was going". The f r i e n d understands what she means and agrees with the wife. A s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t , however, i s studying evasive-ness i n f a m i l i e s and i s t r y i n g to set up an operational d e f i n -i t i o n of i t , that i s , a d e f i n i t i o n that describes the methods f o r f i n d i n g instances of "evasive" behaviour. He observes that, "I'm going out" cannot be unambiguously coded as evasive because there are many instances when i t does not count as evasive. On asking the wife how she a r r i v e d at her conclusion, the wife can not say without r e f e r r i n g to so many s i t u a t i o n a l v a r i a b l e s (such as, "he's been out three times already t h i s week" or, "he always used to t e l l me where he's going") that the s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t 26 cannot code i t as "evasive" without g i v i n g up h i s hope of f i n d i n g an "objective" d e f i n i t i o n of evasiveness. I f the husband denies that he was being evasive, then the s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t has the option of t r e a t i n g the wife as "overly suspicious" and the conclusion " i r r a t i o n a l " . •" ' G a r f i n k e l and Sacks would argue that the d i f f e r e n c e between the woman's d e f i n i t i o n of evasive behaviour and the one the s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t was t r y i n g to create was not a matter of o b j e c t i v i t y but of d i f f e r e n t purposes. In speaking to her f r i e n d the wife does not have to come up with any more reasons f o r thinking her husband was evasive than the one she gave. The f r i e n d , i n f a c t , would probably think she was acting strangely i f she gave a " s o c i a l s c i e n t i f i c " d e f i n i t i o n and then proceeded to show how the behaviour f i t the definition .s::Eurther, i n constructing h i s "operational" d e f i n i t i o n the s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t must s t i l l r e l y on the common sense reasoning of h i s colleagues i n producing a d e f i n i t i o n that i s o bjective " f o r a l l p r a c t i c a l purposes", a f a c t that has allowed the sociology of knowledge room to f i n d the same i r r a t i o n a l i t y i n s o c i a l s c i e n t i f i c discourse as i s found i n ordinary speech. G a r f i n k e l and Sacks observe that s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s f i n d the d i f f e r e n c e between t h e i r t a l k and ordinary t a l k i n t h e i r a b i l i t y to formulate a c t i v i t i e s , that i s , to say i n so many words what they are doing. S o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s consider the o r d e r l i n e s s and r a t i o n a l i t y of t h e i r discourse to l i e i n the formulating i t s e l f . G a r f i n k e l and Sacks argue against t h i s p o s i t i o n by examining how formulating works i n everyday l i f e . They observe that people often 2? formulate what they are doing. An example would be a mother saying to her c h i l d , "I'm t e l l i n g you to go to bed". Here "I'm t e l l i n g you" formulates f o r the c h i l d what i t i s that the mother i s doing i n saying "Go to bed". G a r f i n k e l and Sacks then point out that persons do not always formulate what they are doing and that i f they were to do so t h e i r behaviour might be considered strange, boring or stupid. For example, the mother would not say to her husband as he walked through the door, "I'm asking you how your day went". To understand the sense of a formulation, hearers have to have mastery of the language. When the mother says, "I'm t e l l i n g you to go to bed", the c h i l d understands that she i s not engaged i n c l a r i f y i n g the sense behind "go to bed". That i s , the mother i s not saying "I'm t e l l i n g you" because she thinks the c h i l d might have heard "go to bed" as a l i n e i n a story. Rather, "I'm t e l l i n g you" i s being used to r e i n f o r c e the order "go to bed". I t has the same kind of use as "or e l s e " . The c h i l d knows t h i s because she understands the language; she i s competent i n the use of expressions''". I f formulations themselves are i n d e x i c a l ; i f they depend on occasions of use f o r t h e i r meaning, then they cannot be the locus of r a t i o n a l i t y i n everyday l i f e . We take as the c r i t i c a l import of these phenomena that they f u r n i s h s p e c i f i c s f o r the observation that f o r the mem-ber i t i s not i n the work of doing formulations f o r conver-sation that the member i s doing (the f a c t that our conversational a c t i v i t i e s are accountably r a t i o n a l ) . The two a c t i v i t i e s are neither r a t i o n a l nor interchangeable (Garfinkel and Sacks 1970:355)• 28 •> R a t i o n a l i t y and s e n s i b i l i t y are not elements added on to conversational a c t i v i t i e s i n the form of c l a r i f i c a t i o n s ; rather they are b u i l t into the conversational a c t i v i t i e s themselves. As persons give orders, ask questions and produce descriptions they also provide f o r the r e c o g n i z a b i l i t y of those orders, ques-ti o n s and d e s c r i p t i o n s . I f they d i d not, any s p e c i f i c formulation would not make sense. The capacity to produce and understand appropriate utterances i n the society i s c a l l e d membership. The notion of member i s the heart of the matter. We do not use the term to r e f e r to a person. I t r e f e r s instead to mastery of natural language, which we understand i n the following way. We o f f e r the observation that persons, because of the f a c t that they are heard to be speaking a natural language, somehow are heard to be engaged i n the objective production and objective d i s p l a y of commonsense" knowledge of everyday a c t i v i t i e s as observable and reportable phenomena. We ask what i t i s about natural language that permits speakers and auditors to hear, and i n other ways to witness, the objec-t i v e production and objective d i s p l a y of commonsense actions, and p r a c t i c a l s o c i o l o g i c a l reasoning as well (Garfinkel and Sacks 1970:3^2). The purpose of conversation analysis i s to show how language works so that i n s p i t e of the irremedial i n d e x i c a l i t y of t a l k people can produce understandable utterances i n a methodical manner. The studies demonstrate the or d e r l i n e s s of conversation. I I . CONVERSATIONAL STRUCTURE Research into conversation has demonstrated that order and structure extend beyond the sing l e sentence. Three orders of conversational organization have been examined by analysts; turn-29 •it-t aking mechanisms, sequencing and o v e r - a l l structure. A. Turn-taking Sacks, Sbhegloff and J e f f e r s o n constructed a formal a n a l y s i s of the turn-taking system used "by members of our culture to order speakers i n conversation (19?8) . Their i n t e r e s t i n doing so arose out of a concern to f i n d an organization which was both context-f r e e and context-sensitive. They had observed that conversation was capable of handling a wide v a r i e t y of i n t e r a c t i o n a l s i t u a t i o n s and a c t i v i t i e s . I t could accomodate i n t e r a c t i o n among close f r i e n d s or complete strangers; i t could be used to transmit gossip or to transact business. Any o r d e r l i n e s s i t contained must therefore be able to use the s p e c i f i c content of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r a c t i o n s to b u i l d i t s formal structure. One aspect of the o r d e r l i n e s s of conversation they observed was the a l l o c a t i o n of speaker turns. That i s , conversation usually proceeds at a r a p i d pace while producing 'few. gaps, or stretches of s i l e n c e , and l i t t l e overlap, where more than one speaker t a l k s at the same time. Conversation must, therefore, contain r u l e s which allow f o r a wide v a r i e t y of a c t i v i t i e s to be done while min-imizing gaps and overlaps. Some aspects of the organization of conversation must be expected to have t h i s context-free, context-sensitive status, f o r , of course, conversation i s a v e h i c l e f o r i n t e r -a c t i o n between p a r t i e s with any p o t e n t i a l i d e n t i t i e s , and with any p o t e n t i a l f a m i l i a r i t y . I t began to look to us as i f the organization of turn-taking f o r conversation might be such a thing. That i s to say, i t appeared to have an approp-r i a t e sort of general abstractness and l o c a l p a r t i c u l a r i z a t i o n p o t e n t i a l (Sacks, Schegloff and J e f f e r s o n 1978:10). 30 The turn-taking system they describe has two components; the turn-constructional component and the t u r n - a l l o c a t i o n component. The former defines the basic u n i t s out of which turns are composed. In our society t h i s u n i t i s generally the sentence i t s e l f but depending on the previous utterance i t could be a word or a phrase or a clause. These units are protectable; hearers are able to a n t i c i p a t e the type of unit that i s being constructed when a speaker s t a r t s to t a l k . This allows them to l i s t e n f o r the f i r s t p o s s i b l e completion po i n t of the turn. At the f i r s t p o ssible completion poi n t other speakers may s t a r t t a l k i n g . This i s r e f e r r e d to as the transition-relevance place. That i s , i f a sentence i s begun, another p a r t i c i p a n t may s t a r t to t a l k when a whole sentence has been produced. I f no one else t a l k s then, the current speaker may continue on u n t i l the next po s s i b l e completion po i n t . One consequence of the turn-constructional machinery i s that speakers who want to b u i l d a r e l a t i v e l y long utterance may have to use a very complex syntax to avoid l o s i n g t h e i r turn. They may have to begin a new sentence before they have f i n i s h e d t h e i r f i r s t one i n order to delay the transition-relevance place. The second component of the turn-taking system organizes who w i l l speak at the transition-relevance p o i n t . There are three ordered methods f o r a r r i v i n g at a next speaker. The f i r s t i s "current speaker s e l e c t s " . During the course of her turn the current speaker may choose the next speaker by, f o r example, ask-ing a question of a p a r t i c u l a r hearer. So i f current speaker 31 says, "Mary, what do you think): of my new car?" then on, the com-p l e t i o n of the question Mary has both the r i g h t and the o b l i g a -t i o n to speak. I f the current speaker does not choose a next speaker before the transition-relevance place, any hearer may s e l f - s e l e c t . I f two or more begin to t a l k , f i r s t s t a r t e r has the r i g h t to continue. I f no one begins to speak a f t e r the transition-relevance place the current speaker may s e l f s e l e c t ; that i s , continue with the turn u n t i l the next transition-relevance point. These three methods of a l l o c a t i n g next speaker are ordered with "current speaker s e l e c t s next" having the highest p r i o r i t y . The model they have described, then, i s a l o c a l management system that i s i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y administered by the p a r t i c i p a n t s to a conversation. I t would be possible to construct a turn-taking system whose turn s i z e s and speaker a l l o c a t i o n s were de-termined beforehand. A debate, f o r example, uses that type of s t r u c t u r e . Turn^taking i n conversation works through "current turn" and "next turn". Further, i t i s up to the present conver-s a t i o n a l i s t s to administer the system and i n so doing they must take account of the possible actions of each other. This applies even i f one party has been s i l e n t f o r most of the conversation. The f a c t that she might speak up at any transition-relevance place a f f e c t s the d i s t r i b u t i o n of turns between two p a r t i c i p a n t s who have been speaking. With three p a r t i e s , d i f f e r e n t i a l d i s t r i b u t i o n of turns becomes relevant. While turn s i z e remains relevant a bias 32 toward smaller turn s i z e i s introduced. With the introduc-t i o n of a t h i r d party, "next turn" i s no longer guaranteed to (or obliged for) any current nonspeaker. While i n two-party conversation, a current nonspeaker can .pass any given transition-relevance place that i s non-obligatory...with f u l l assurance of being "next speaker" at some point, with three or more-parties t h i s i s not assured. Should a current non-speaker i n t e r e s t e d i n speaking next not s e l f - s e l e c t at a next transition-relevance place then some other current non-speaker might s e l f - s e l e c t , and i n h i s turn s e l e c t someone el s e , and so f o r t h ; or current speaker might continue, and i n h i s continuation s e l e c t some other current nonspeaker (1978:23). The turn-taking system then provides a way f o r hearers to a n t i c i p a t e when they w i l l be able to speak without being accused of i n t e r r u p t i n g . I t also permits them to minimize over-lapping t a l k by i t s orderly a l l o c a t i o n of next speaker. Most importantly, i t can do t h i s without predetermining who w i l l speak, f o r how long they w i l l speak and what they w i l l say. I t i s f o r t h i s rea-son that conversation i s adaptable to so many occasions and a c t i v i t i e s . B. Sequencing A n a l y t i c studies of sequencing are concerned with three char-a c t e r i s t i c s of conversation; i t s economy, understandability and coherence. Conversations are s t r i k i n g l y economical. Speakers always convey much more than what, i n so many words, they say. G a r f i n k e l asked h i s students to write down a conversation between them and people they knew (Garfinkel 1967:27)• He then i n s t r u c t e d them to explain to him what each c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t had a c t u a l l y conveyed to 33 the other through t h e i r utterances. Before the students found that the task of completely e x p l i c a t i n g the conversation was .im-po s s i b l e they had produced t r a n s l a t i o n s of i t which were much longer than the o r i g i n a l . The meaning of what was sa i d extended f a r beyond the utterances which said i t . In s p i t e of the economy of conversations, p a r t i c i p a n t s are us u a l l y able to understand each other. They do not need s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s turning t h e i r i n d e x i c a l speech into objective speech i n order to make t h e i r utterances sensible to each other. They are able to concert actions, accomplish accasions and e s t a b l i s h r e l a t i o n s h i p s while operating with what Goffman c a l l s "normatively r e s i d u a l " ambiguity: Commonly a spe.aker cannot explicate with p r e c i s i o n what he meant to get across, and on these occasions i f hearers think they know p r e c i s e l y , they w i l l l i k e l y be at l e a s t a l i t t l e o f f . Indeed, one r o u t i n e l y presumes on a mutual understanding that doesn't quite e x i s t . What one obtains i s a working agreement, an agreement ' f o r . a l l p r a c t i c a l purposes'. But that, I think, i s quite enough. The edging i n t o ambiguity that i s often found i s only s i g n i f i c a n t , I think, when i n t e r p r e t i v e u n c e r t a i n t i e s and descrepancies exceed c e r t a i n l i m i t s or are i n t e n t i o n a l l y induced and sus-tained...or are exploited a f t e r the f a c t to deny a legitimate accusation concerning what the speaker indeed by and large had meant. A serious request f o r a rerun on grounds of f a u l t y r e c e p t i o n i s to be understood, then, not as a request f o r complete understanding..'.but f o r understanding that i s on a par with what i s o r d i n a r i l y accepted as s u f f i c i e n t — u n d e r -standing subject to, but not appreciably impaired by, 'norm-a t i v e l y r e s i d u a l ' ambiguity (1976:261). F i n a l l y , conversations have a coherence to "them. By t h i s , I mean that p a r t i c i p a n t s do not f e e l that they are j u s t randomly throwing out t a l k . Instead, they are t a l k i n g to each other and are producing u t t e r -ances out of the previous course of the conversation i n an orderly 34 manner. The observation that conversations have an intensive sequen-t i a l organization r e f e r s to the f a c t that the understandability of a p a r t i c u l a r utterance depends onr-a hearer r e f e r r i n g to pre-vious utterances. The examination of sequential organization i s designed to elaborate and sp e c i f y the way that the meaning of words depends on the context of t h e i r use. Central to the sequential organization of conversation i s the adjacency p a i r . Adjacency p a i r s have the following charac-t e r i s t i c s . They are two utterances long and the utterances are adjacently placed with d i f f e r e n t speakers producing each ut t e r -ance, or part. The two parts of adjacency p a i r s are ordered; f i r s t parts come f i r s t and second parts second. So, f o r example, i n the adjacency p a i r (question/answer) a question properly comes f i r s t and the answer second. F i n a l l y , the f i r s t part of an ad-jacency p a i r s e l e c t s the type of second part that w i l l be done. A question s e l e c t s an answer rather than a return greeting. Adjacency p a i r s have the property of c o n d i t i o n a l relevance. This means that i f a second part i s withheld a f t e r a f i r s t part has been produced, the second part can be spoken of as "absent". The problem of c o n d i t i o n a l relevance i s formulated to address two problems...The f i r s t of these i s : how can we r i g o r o u s l y t a l k about two items as a sequenced p a i r of items, rather than as two separate units, one of which might happen to follow the other? The second problem i s : how can we, i n a s o c i o l o g i c a l l y meaningful and rigorous way, t a l k about the absence of an item: numerous things are not present at any point in a conversation, yet only some have a relevance that would allow them to be seen as "absent"...By c o n d i t i o n a l relevance of one item on another we mean: given the f i r s t , the second i s expectable; upon i t s occurrence i t can be seen to be o f f i c i a l l y absent...(Schegloff 1968:1083). 35 When a greeting i s not returned, f o r example, inferences can be made about the one who d i d not return i t . She can be reported to others as angry or snobbish. Another property that adjacency p a i r s have i s t h e i r freedom of occurrence i n a conversation. There are some items that can't go j u s t anywhere. "Goodbyes" and "Helios", f o r example, are us u a l l y r e s t r i c t e d to the endings and beginnings of conversation r e s p e c t i v e l y . F i r s t p a i r parts can go anywhere, incl u d i n g the 2 middle of an utterance, except a f t e r another f i r s t p a i r part . This makes them very useful t o o l s f o r p a r t i c i p a n t s whenever they wish to get another p a r t i c i p a n t ' s t a l k c l o s e l y aligned to t h e i r own. They may, f o r example, want to get another speaker to t a l k to some topic or to f i n d out whether there i s agreement among p a r t i c i p a n t s . They can then use the f i r s t part of an adjacency p a i r to get the other to c l a r i f y or modify her remarks. As w i l l be discussed l a t e r , adjacency p a i r s can also be used to achieve concerted entry into and out of a conversation. Anita Pomerantz has described a two utterance p a i r that d i f f e r s from an adjacency p a i r . She c a l l s i t a chained a c t i o n . What d i s -tinguishes chained actions from adjacency p a i r s i s that the f i r s t p art s e l e c t s one of two possible types of responses. The selec-t i o n of one of these responses then defines what type of action was done with the p a i r . The example she gives i s compliments which have both a d e s c r i p t i v e or.lassessive aspect to them and a r i t u a l i s t i c one. Compliments produce assessments of var-ious items. They say, f o r example, that a dress i s b e a u t i f u l 36 or a car i s powerful. As assessments, the appropriate second part i s agreement or disagreement. Compliments are also types of supportive interchanges. These are two-part actions which are designed, to d i s p l a y the kind of r e l a t i o n s h i p that two people have with each other. Offerings and i n v i t a t i o n s are other actions that contain a r i t u a l i s t i c aspect. The second part of supportive interchanges i s acceptance/rejection. Compliments can be followed by agreement or disagreement, thus emphasizing t h e i r assessment character. They may also be followed by an acceptance or r e j e c t i o n , with the r e c i p i e n t t r e a t -ing them more as r i t u a l i s t i c o f f e r i n g s (Pomerantz 1978)* There have been several attempts by analysts to examine the sequential nature of a s e r i e s of utterances l a r g e r than a p a i r . Schegloff, f o r example, observed that sometimes a second part of an adjacency p a i r can be temporarily withheld without being found absent. He's thinking ofiinterchanges such as the following: A: Are you coming tonight? B: Can I b r i n g a guest? A: Sure. B: I ' l l be there. Between the i n v i t a t i o n and the acceptance, p a r t i c i p a n t s have produced a question/answer p a i r . Schegloff r e f e r s to the l a t t e r as an i n s e r t i o n sequence (Schegloff 1972:78). The a n a l y t i c problem that Schegloff set himself was to des-c r i b e what features an inserted f i r s t part had to show i n order 37 f o r the producer of the o r i g i n a l f i r s t part not to f i n d an absence. The s p e c i f i c i n s e r t i o n sequence he examined came from a transcribed telephone c a l l . B has i n v i t e d A to v i s i t her home. A l : I don't know ju s t where t h e — u h - - t h i s address//is. B l : Well where do—which part of town do you l i v e ? A2: I l i v e at four ten east Lowden. B2: (gives d i r e c t i o n s ) (Schegloff 1972). Schegloff t r e a t s A l as a request f o r d i r e c t i o n s , B l and A2 c o n s t i t u t e the i n s e r t i o n sequence, and B2 i s the answer to A l . Schegloff begins the an a l y s i s by describing the way that p a r t i c i -pants formulate places f o r each other. A problem f o r conversa-t i o n a l i s t s i s how, out of the numerous ways that a place can be i d e n t i f i e d , can they s e l e c t the proper i d e n t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h i s occasion. One method i s to perform a membership an a l y s i s of the r e c i p i e n t and use that analysis to s e l e c t the appropriate form-u l a t i o n . One r e s u l t of that analysis would be to f i n d out where the r e c i p i e n t i s located. T h i s w i l l give the speaker two resourct f o r i d e n t i f y i n g her own l o c a t i o n . F i r s t , i t t e l l s the speaker where the r e c i p i e n t w i l l be s t a r t i n g from. Secondly, i t gives the speaker an idea of what sor t s of places along the way the r e c i p i e n t w i l l be f a m i l i a r with. The second consideration should be f a m i l i a r from the previous d i s c u s s i o n . We have already suggested that recog-n i z a b i l i t y of l o c a t i o n a l formulations i s r e l a t e d to member-ship, and p a r t i c u l a r l y to the l o c a l l y organized knowledge a t t r i b u t a b l e to t e r r i t o r i a l l y based membership clas s e s . Where someone l i v e s can be informative about what they know, what formulations of what places w i l l be r i g h t f o r them (Schegloff 1972:111). Schegloff then argues that A can hear B's inserted question 38 as a way to get the type of information she w i l l need i n order to comply with A's request f o r d i r e c t i o n s . I t i s heard as a pre-sequence, s p e c i f i c a l l y a pre-direction-giving-sequence. 'Pre-sequences'...are utterances produced as s p e c i f i c a l l y p refatory to some a c t i v i t y . The- term 'pre-sequence' i s an aggregating term to c o l l e c t various s p e c i f i c cases, such as p r e - i n v i t a t i o n s , p r e - o f f e r s , pre-warnings, etc. (Schegloff 1972:109). I f the producer of a f i r s t part can hear the i n s e r t i o n f i r s t p art as a presequence to the production of a second part she w i l l not hear that the second part was absent. Another type of utterance organization i s the side sequence described by J e f f e r s o n (1972)• In the course of an ongoing act-i v i t y a speaker may produce a remark that i s i n c o r r e c t , not under-standable or otherwise challengeable. There then ensues a b r i e f segment i n which the statement i s questioned, an answer given and the ongoing a c t i v i t y resumed. There are, then, three parts to t h i s organization: the ongoing a c t i v i t y , the side sequence and the return to ongoing a c t i v i t y . J e f ferson argues that side sequences are subsidiary to the ongoing a c t i v i t y . They are not designed to r e d i r e c t or terminate the a c t i v i t y but only to c l a r i f y or correct one item i n i t . They are l i k e "timeouts" i n organized games and are often ended by an utterance whose purpose i s to resume the interrupted a c t i v i t y ; utterances l i k e "okay go ahead". The return i s usually begun by something that J e f f e r s o n c a l l s a resumption marker. These are expressions l i k e "so" or "anyway", expressions which indi c a t e that 39 the current utterance i s not responsive to the immediately p r i o r one hut to an e a r l i e r utterance. J e f f e r s o n and Schenkein have described a p a i r which they c a l l a consecutive p a i r (1978). The d i s t i n c t i v e feature of a consecutive p a i r i s that the f i r s t utterance i s not a f i r s t p a i r p a r t but i s a move i n a l a r g e r action sequence. They developed t h i s concept out of a consideration of the following s i t u a t i o n . A group of men were standing outside of a house when a newspaper boy approached them. The boy asked them i f they were i n t e r e s t e d i n subscribing to h i s newspaper,which was a l o c a l paper. One. man t o l d the boy that he didn't l i v e i n the area and then suggested that he ask the others. When the boy red i r e c t e d h i s appeal to the remaining men, one of them said, "whaddiyou think uh Beany" and the other r e p l i e d , "I don't go faw i t " . The salesboy then asked them to reconsider t h e i r d e c i s i o n . J e f f e r s o n and Schenkein characterize these events as an ex-panded _action sequence with the following parts; an appeal, a pass, a re d i r e c t e d appeal, a conference pass, a r e j e c t i o n and an acknowledgement. The appeal i s l i k e a request. The, salesboy i s asking the men to subscribe to the paper. The proper response to an appeal i s acceptance or r e j e c t i o n . Following an acceptance or r e j e c t i o n , the turn should pass back to the appealer who should then d e l i v e r the acknowledgement. The acknowledgement i s a re s -ponse to the acceptance or r e j e c t i o n of the appeal. The reason that J e f f e r s o n and Schenkein c a l l the above s i t -40 uation an expanded action sequence i s because the passes and r e -d i r e c t e d appeal come between the more basic a c t i o n sequence which i s appeal, acceptance/rejection and acknowledgement. The two passes are characterized by the f a c t that they do not constitute e i t h e r an acceptance or a r e j e c t i o n of the appeal. The f i r s t pass merely states that the person who received the appeal was an inappropriate r e c e i v e r . The newspaper was a l o c a l one and presumably i n choosing someone to s e l l a subscription to the boy had looked f o r a resident of the area. The man was not a resident of the area and so was not a proper person to appeal to. The second pass, the conference pass, also does not perform an acceptance or r e j e c t i o n . I t s producer avoids g i v i n g e i t h e r by conferring with a fellow p o s s i b l e subscriber. That man r e j e c t s the appeal and the salesboy produces h i s acknowledgement which i n t h i s case consisted of a plea to the men to reconsider. Je f f e r s o n and Schenkein noted that i n between an appeal and an acceptance/rejection alot'.of other types of utterances, such as d i f f e r e n t kinds of passes, may be i n t e r j e c t e d . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between the acceptance/rejection and acknowledgement i s much stronger. The authors d i d not observe any utterances separating those two. They c a l l them a "consecutive p a i r " and argue that c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t s o r i e n t to the f a c t that an acknowledgement w i l l f o l low a r e j e c t i o n . In producing the various passes, J e f f e r s o n and Schenkein surmise that the men were t r y i n g to avoid being the ones to produce the r e j e c t i o n i n order to avoid being the r e c i p i e n t 41 of the acknowledgement (1978:168-169). A problem f o r sequential analysis which was .brought up by Goffman i s the issue of an utterance's reach. Speakers may pro-duce an utterance which i s responsive not to the p r i o r utterance but to the e n t i r e a c t i o n s e r i e s that transpired before i t . Fur-ther, i n producing the responsive utterance a speaker may e s t a b l i s h r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y that the s t r e t c h of utterances i t i s responding to i s a d i s c r e t e s e r i e s . He gives as an example the following telephone c a l l : G: (telephone rings) A: Hell o G: I s t h i s the Y? A: You have the wrong number. G: Is t h i s K l f i v e , double four, double 0? A: Double four, double s i x . G: Oh, I am sorry. (Goffman 1976:285). In t h i s case i t i s c l e a r that G i s apologizing f o r i n i t i a t -ing the ent i r e i n t e r a c t i o n rather than o f f e r i n g condolences- to A f o r having a number l i k e double four, double s i x . A problem f o r conversation a n a l y s i s would be to describe how i t i s that people hear the referent of the apology c o r r e c t l y . I t i s u n l i k e l y that the s o l u t i o n would be a r r i v e d at through sequential a n a l y s i s . t Rather, t h i s example seems to require a consideration of o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r a l organization, a t o p i c that w i l l be discussed 'in the next se c t i o n . In the introduction to t h i s section I stated that conversa-t i o n was economical. I t should now be c l e a r that much of that economy i s provided f o r by the"sequential organization of t a l k . 42 For example, i f A asks B where she i s going tonight B need only r e p l y "to the movies" instead of having to say, "I am going to the movies tonight". A can use her knowledge of question/answer p a i r s to hear that i n saying "to the movies" A means, "I am going to the movies tonight". Further, speakers can r e l y on the f a c t that t a l k i s s e q u e n t i a l l y organized to d i s p l a y that t h e i r u t t e r -ance i s responsive to the previous utterance. . Sacks (1972) pointed out that speakers can r e l a t e t h e i r present utterance to any p r i o r one by attaching a phrase that i d e n t i f i e s the intended target utterance. One could say, "Last week you asked me where I was that day you were looking f o r me and I've j u s t remembered. I was at school". Or, "I disagree with that remark you made about the e l e c t i o n s a few minutes ago". I f a speaker had to v e r b a l l y ident-i f y the target utterance everytime she wanted to r e l a t e her current one to i t conversation would become unmanageably expanded and cumbersome. Sequential organization allows a speaker to respond to l a s t utterance without repeating i t . I t allows a maximization of understandability•while minimizing the length of utterances. In providing f o r understandability sequential organization also produces the coherence of t a l k . I suggest that the notion of coherence might be concept-u a l i z e d as follows: from the point of view of the speaker, coherence i s achieved through the. sequencing of sentences or sentence-like units...with t h i s constraint: each sentence must be selected and placed so as to show i t s relevance to the ones that have .occurred e a r l i e r i n the sequence. From the point of view of the i n t e r p r e t e r the relevance of the notion i s not i n achieving coherence, but rather i n under-standing or analyzing -it.:.' For t h i s , the s e l e c t i o n and 43 placement procedure can be reversed. Each sentence i n a coherent discourse can be assumed to be interpretable, and can be examined f o r the achievement of that i n t e r p r e t a b i l i t y (Merritt'1976:316-31?). That i s , i n the economical production of understandable speech c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t s c l o s e l y t i e t h e i r utterances together; i n d i c a t -ing thereby that they are speaking to each other and not ju s t ran-domly producing utterances. For analysts and f o r each other t h e i r t a l k i s coherent. G. O v e r a l l S t r u c t u r a l Organization Analysts have also been interested i n how p a r t i c i p a n t s enter i n t o a state of t a l k , how they move into t o p i c a l t a l k and how they emerge from t o p i c a l t a l k into the c l o s i n g o f f of a conversation. The o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r a l organization of conversation provides the mechanisms through which these problems are solved. Much of the research on o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r a l organization has used telephone conversations as data. The claim i s made, however, that the a p p l i c a b i l i t y of the findings extend to face-to-face i n t e r a c t i o n . When two i n d i v i d u a l s come into each others' presence, e i t h e r p h y s i c a l l y or through the telephone, a question a r i s e s as to whether they w i l l engage i n conversation and i f so how they can co-ordinate entry into that conversation. What i s involved i n the second part of the question i s (a) es t a b l i s h i n g the a v a i l a b i l i t y of each other f o r i n t e r a c t i o n and (b) deciding who w i l l i n i t i a t e the i n t e r a c t i o n . Schegloff argues that f o r telephone conversations at l e a s t the use of a summons/answer type adjacency p a i r solve these problems (Schegloff 1968). ' 4 4 While examining the opening section of telephone c a l l s Schegloff formulated what he r e f e r r e d to as the " d i s t r i b u t i o n r u l e " . This r u l e simply stated that answerer spoke f i r s t . I t accounted f o r each c a l l i n h i s corpus except the following: ( P o l i c e make c a l l ) Receiver i s l i f t e d , and there i s a one second pause. P o l i c e : Hello Other: American Red Gross P o l i c e : H e l l o , t h i s i s P o l i c e Headquarters... In t h i s c a l l , the c a l l e r spoke f i r s t . The question that Schegloff faced was whether to simply dismiss t h i s case as a rare v i o l a t i o n of the d i s t r i b u t i o n r u l e or to reformulate the problem of openings i n order to understand how the p o l i c e o f f i c e r could, i n a lawful, methodical way, produce the f i r s t utterance. His d i s c u s s i o n of summons-answers arose out of the l a t t e r choice. The d i s t r i b u t i o n r u l e treated answerer's " h e l l o " as the f i r s t move i n the i n t e r a c t i o n . Schegloff proposed that the telephone's r i n g be heard as the f i r s t move instead. The r i n g acted as a summons and answerer's " h e l l o " as an answer to the summons. In-t e r n a l l y , summons/answer i s an adjacency p a i r . Upon the production of a summons an answer i s c o n d i t i o n a l l y relevant. I f i t does not occur i t can be found as absent. By contrast with t h i s possible organization of QA seq-uences, the following may be noted about SA sequences. The co n d i t i o n a l relevance of an A on an S must be s a t i s f i e d within a constraint of immediate jux t a p o s i t i o n . That i s to say, an item that may be used as an answer to a summons w i l l not be heard to con s t i t u t e an answer to a summons i f i t occurs separated from the summons (Schegloff 1 9 6 8 : 1 0 8 4 ) . 45 Since an answer i s c o n d i t i o n a l l y relevant i t s absence allows the summoner to make inferences about the summoned. The summoned may be thought to be angry or snobbish. On the other hand, she may not have heard the summons or be i n some way s o c i a l l y absent; asleep, preoccupied or unconscious. I f there i s no answer, the summoner may repeat the summons i n order to f i n d out why there was no answer. This analysis accounts, then, f o r the p o l i c e o f f -i c e r ' s " h e l l o " i n the deviant case. I t i s a repeat summons pro-duced a f t e r an answer was found absent. The summons/answer sequence thus solves the problem of who should speak f i r s t . I t also has another property which f a c i l i -tates entry into a conversation. This i s the "nonterminability of SA sequences". Nonterminability r e f e r s to the f a c t that the SA sequences cannot end a conversation. The answer not only closes o f f the SA sequence, i t also s e l e c t s the summoner as the next speaker. Often the answer i s produced with a questioning intonation such as "Yes?" or "Hello?". The summoner then not only has the r i g h t to speak again but also the o b l i g a t i o n . SA sequences e s t a b l i s h the a v a i l a b i l i t y of both p a r t i c i p a n t s . A summons i s a request to enter into conversation and the answer i s an agreement. I t also co-ordinates entry into the conversa-t i o n by not ju s t administering the f i r s t turn but the f i r s t three turns. We now see that the summons i s a p a r t i c u l a r l y powerful way of generating a conversational i n t e r a c t i o n . We have seen that i t requires, i n a strong way, that an answer be 46 returned to it...Moreover, i t seems to be the case that the answer returned to i t has the character of a question. The consequence..of t h i s i s two-fold: ( l ) that the summoner now has, by v i r t u e of the question he has e l i c i t e d , the o b l i g a t i o n to produce an answer to i t , and (Z) the person who asked the question thereby assumes an o b l i g a t i o n to l i s t e n to the t a l k he has obligated the t e l l e r to produce. Thus, sheerly by v i r t u e of t h i s two-part sequence, two p a r t i e s have been brought together; each has acted; each by h i s action has produced and assumed f u r t h e r o b l i g a t i o n s ; each i s then a v a i l a b l e ; and a p a i r of r o l e s has been invoked and aligned (Schegloff 1968: 1091). Telephone conversations are a useful source of data f o r con-ve r s a t i o n a n a l y s i s because they sometimes rev e a l f a c e t s of the structure of t a l k that are not apparent i n face-to-face i n t e r -a c t i o n . There i s a part of openings c a l l e d the recognition seq-uence which i s usually done nonverbally, through v i s u a l clues. In t h i s sequence, two possible interactants look at each other to see i f they know each other. In telephone conversations r e c -o g n i t i o n must be done through verbal i d e n t i f i c a t i o n or through voice sample. Recognition over the telephone r a r e l y precedes greetings. Instead, the greeting sequence i s commonly used as a v e h i c l e f o r g e t t i n g the recognition sequence done (Schegloff 1979)• Consider the following opening: A: (telephone rings) B: Hello A: Hi B: H i The r i n g i s the summons and answerer's " h e l l o " the answer. This i s followed by a second adjacency p a i r , " h i / h i " , the greeting sequence. However, infused into the greeting sequence i s another 47 ' adjacency p a i r , the recognition sequence. C a l l e r ' s " h i " indicates ! both that she recognizes the answerer and that the answerer should recognize her from the voice sample alone. Answerer's " h i " i n -dicates that she does i n f a c t recognize c a l l e r . This recognition work becomes apparent when i t f a i l s . Schegloff gives an example: A;. Hello? C: Hello Charles (0.2) C: This i s Yolk A: Oh h e l l o Yolk (Schegloff 1979:37). The pause by answerer a f t e r "Hello Charles" i s interpreted by the c a l l e r as a f a i l u r e of recognition, not a r e f u s a l to r e -turn the greeting. C a l l e r "upgrades the resources" f o r recog-n i t i o n by o f f e r i n g h i s name and the answerer returns the greeting. I f r ecognition were not being asserted through the greeting seq-uence answerer could have s a i d " h e l l o " back without leading the c a l l e r to i n f e r that he had been recognized. One apparent f i n d i n g that emerges from the preceding discussion i s that much of what occurs by reference to the rec o g n i t i o n issue happens In sequences of quite d i s t i n c t l y other types. I t i s t i e d not to a form of sequence, but i s o v e r l a i d onto sequences of various types by v i r t u e of the p o s i t i o n i n g of t h e i r f i r s t part, that p o s i t i o n i n g being f i r s t , and, more p a r t i c u l a r l y i n our treatment, second turn of the conversation. These p o s i t i o n s are defined by reference to the o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r a l organization of the conversation. They are the f i r s t turns of i t s respective p a r t i c i p a n t s , and much of the material we have been exploring pertains to an organization b u i l t around f i r s t turns of p a r t i c i p a n t s . That organization appears to run p a r a l l e l to whatever other org-a n i z a t i o n operates there...running underground as long as they run compatibly; but i f they don't the one we have been examining takes p r i o r i t y . I t i s a neat b i t of architecture that has the i n i t i a l turns r e g u l a r l y composed of greetings, one of the very few sequence types...which do not have a l t e r -, native second parts. Thereby, a gap a f t e r the f i r s t does 48 not r e f l e c t on trouble i n s e l e c t i n g which of the a l t e r -native seconds w i l l be done. Indeed, one would have thought that nothing could be more uncomplicated than f i n d i n g the return to a greeting; the same litem returned w i l l do the trick...Nonetheless, as we have seen, f i r s t greetings are followed by delays, and recognition trouble turns out to be the issue. The underlying organization surfaces i n the greeting sequence (Schegloff 1979:61-61). The beginning ._• of conversations r e l y strongly, then, on the use of adjacency p a i r s . So f a r the e n t i r e beginning section has moved through a s e r i e s o f ^ p a i r s ; summons/answers, re c o g n i t i o n / recognition, greeting/greeting. A consequence of t h i s i s that every i n t e r a c t i o n a l move produced by one party i s closed o f f by the other party i n the very next utterance. Once an answer i s given the summons/answer sequence i s over. Likewise with greet-ings. I n t u i t i v e l y , we know that an e n t i r e conversation does not proceed i n that paired manner. A conversation i s not composed of a s e r i e s of d i s c r e t e p a i r s . Instead, p a r t i c i p a n t s can sustain concerted t a l k on a s i n g l e t o p i c over a large s t r e t c h of u t t e r -ances. They must then move from theppairwise structure of the opening to the t o p i c a l structure of the body of the conversation. One option i s f o r a p a r t i c i p a n t to introduce a f i r s t topic a f t e r the greetings. The opening section has already established that both p a r t i c i p a n t s recognize each other and are a v a i l a b l e f o r f u r t h e r conversation. They can now proceed with i t . And t h i s often happens. A c a l l e r w i l l say, f o r example, "I wanted to i n -v i t e you to my party Saturday night", and t a l k about the party w i l l follow. Sacks suggests that p a r t i c i p a n t s may be hesitant to produce 49 a f i r s t topic (1970a) . The reason f o r t h i s hesitancy i s that by p u t t i n g an item i n F i r s t Topic a speaker claims f o r i t a spe-c i a l status. Sacks argued that F i r s t Topic i s an a n a l y t i c ob-j e c t . I t i s not l i k e second or t h i r d t o p i c which are Items that j u s t happen to come up second or t h i r d . For one thing, p a r t i c i -pants can report a c a l l to another by saying, "The f i r s t thing she s a i d was..." and thereby ind i c a t e the importance of the item to the c a l l e r . P a r t i c i p a n t s may have things that they want to t e l l each other but are not prepared to defend t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e by p l a c i n g them i n F i r s t Topic. They may p r e f e r to have the item " n a t u r a l l y " emerge within ongoing t o p i c a l t a l k . There are a s e r i e s of objects that speakers can use to avoid F i r s t Topic. These are objects l i k e , "Are you busy?", "How are you?" and, "What's been happening with you?". The s t r a t e g i c impor-tance of these objects i s that they can e i t h e r be done as a s e r i e s of paired items, so as to remain part of the opening, or they can e l i c i t t o p i c a l t a l k . E i t h e r way they allow p a r t i c i p a n t s to avoid F i r s t Topic. The problem of c l o s i n g s i s also d e a l t with methodically by members. Sacks and Schegloff pose the problem t h i s way: The turn-taking system has provided f o r an i n d e f i n i t e number of trans-i t i o n relevance places to be generated. At each possible comple-t i o n point e i t h e r another speaker should s t a r t or the present speaker take another turn. I f neither happens, p a r t i c i p a n t s w i l l notice the s i l e n c e as a s i l e n c e within the conversation. Because i t i s within the conversation, the s i l e n c e can be a t t r i b u t e d to 50 ' one of the p a r t i c i p a n t s and i t s meaning can be i n f e r r e d . I t w i l l be i n t e r p r e t e d as some p a r t i c i p a n t ' s meaningful s i l e n c e . The problem f o r c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t s , then, i s to terminate t r a n s i t i o n r elevance ( S c h e g l o f f and Sacks 19?4). The i n i t i a l s o l u t i o n they propose i s th a t p a r t i c i p a n t s use t e r m i n a l markers t h a t take the form of an adjacency p a i r ; most commonly, "goodbye/goodbye". The advantage of t h i s s o l u t i o n i s t h a t by having both p a r t i c i p a n t s i n v o l v e d i n t e r m i n a t i o n the c l o -s i n g takes the form of an agreement. We are then proposing: i f where t r a n s i t i o n relevance i s to be l i f t e d i s a systematic problem, an adjacency p a i r s o l u t i o n can work because: by p r o v i d i n g t h a t t r a n s i t i o n relevance i s to be l i f t e d a f t e r the second p a i r p a r t s ' o c c u r r -ence, the occurrence of the second p a i r p a r t can then r e v e a l an a p p r e c i a t i o n of and agreement to the intendedness of c l o -s i n g now which a f i r s t p a i r p a r t of a t e r m i n a l exchange r e -v e a l s i t s speaker to propose ( S c h e g l o f f and Sacks 19?4:240-241) . There are two disadvantages, however. F i r s t , t h i s s o l u t i o n does not answer the question of how a f i r s t p a i r p a r t i s recognized. "Good-bye" i s not the only expression used to terminate a conver-s a t i o n . Some of the terms used such as "see you", "thank you" or "you're welcome" can a l s o be used i n other p a r t s of a conversation without being heard as te r m i n a t i o n markers. I f they are to be heard as t e r m i n a t i o n markers then there must be something about t h e i r placement which so i d e n t i f i e s them. The second disadvantage r e l a t e s back to the d i s c u s s i o n of F i r s t Topic. People may have something they want to t a l k about but not i n F i r s t Topic. They would r a t h e r j u s t have i t come up 51 i n the conversation. I f by the time the conversation comes to a close the topic s t i l l hasn't come up the terminal exchange makes no p r o v i s i o n f o r i t to be mentioned. The f i r s t p a i r part i s too c l o s e l y connected to the second p a i r part to make anything but the l a t t e r n atural and unnoticed. I t i s not that one can't mention something a f t e r a f i r s t good-bye, but i n doing so i t i s made noticeable and so given the s p e c i a l status one avoided g i v i n g i t by avoiding F i r s t Topic. Schegloff and Sacks argue that "good-byes" are recognized as terminal markers when they occur at the end tSf a " c l o s i n g sec-t i o n " . This section includes "possible pre-closings". The f i r s t proper way of i n i t i a t i n g a c l o s i n g section that we w i l l ' discuss i s one kind o f . . . ' p r e - c l o s i n g ' . The k i n d of p r e - c l o s i n g we have i n m-ind takes one of the follow-ing forms, 'We-ell...', 'O.K....', 'So-eo', etc. (with down-ward intonation contours), these forms c o n s t i t u t i n g the e n t i r e utterance. These pre-closings should properly be c a l l e d 'possible pre-closings', because providing the r e l e -vance of the ' i n i t i a t i o n of a c l o s i n g section i s only one of the uses they have. One feature of t h e i r operation i s that they occupy the f l o o r f o r a speaker's turn without using i t . to produce e i t h e r a t o p i c a l l y coherent utterance or the i n i -t i a t i o n of a new t o p i c . With them a speaker takes a turn whose business seems to be to 'pass', i . e . to i n d i c a t e that he has not now anything more or new to say, and also to give a 'free' turn to a next who, i n that such an utterance can be treated as having broken with any p r i o r topiclf can with-out v i o l a t i n g t o p i c a l coherence take the occasion to i n t r o -duce a new t o p i c (Schegloff and Sacks 1974:246). Possibl e pre-closers are recognized as possible pre-closers only when they are placed at the end of a t o p i c . Their placement within a topic gives them other kinds of uses. Conversations are, then, organized i n such a way as to provide members with ord e r l y methods f o r entering into them, f o r moving 52 into t o p i c a l t a l k and f o r co-ordinating t h e i r closure. I I I . SUMMARY-In the previous section three-orders of conversational organ-i z a t i o n were discussed; turn-taking, sequential organization and o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r a l organization. Each order consists of a set of r u l e s which allow p a r t i c i p a n t s to solve some of the tasks that engaging i n i n t e r a c t i o n poses. They allow them to solve t e c h n i c a l problems such as a l l o c a t i n g speaker turns, e s t a b l i s h i n g the intended meanings of s p e c i f i c utterances and co-ordinating entry into and e x i t out of p a r t i c u l a r conversations. More deeply, these r u l e s allow p a r t i c i p a n t s to experience the world as a place where people can coherently t a l k to each other about things they know of i n common. That i s , the continuously successful transmission of meaningful utterances and a c t i v i t i e s accomplished by r e l y i n g on unexplicated shared methods of understanding reaffirms f o r members the existence of an i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e world that l i e s behind the words. 53 N O T E S For a fu r t h e r discussion of t h i s issue see Heritage and Watson 1979:123-162. 2 Unless i t is. the f i r s t part of an i n s e r t i o n sequence which w i l l he discussed l a t e r . 54 CHAPTER 3 STORY-TELLING IN NATURAL CONVERSATION The previous chapter discussed some of the methods whereby turn-by-turn t a l k i s generated, administered and terminated. In the course of a conversation a speaker may propose that turn-by-turn t a l k be temporarily suspended i n order f o r a story to be t o l d . C onversationalists may form up past events to be f i t t e d into and used i n the present i n t e r a c t i o n . In t h i s chapter research into s t o r y - t e l l i n g w i l l be discussed under three headings; the struc-ture of s t o r y - t e l l i n g , the f r a g i l i t y of s t o r i e s and the motive power of s t o r i e s . I. THE STRUCTURE OF STORY-TELLING Je f f e r s o n argues that t e l l e r s must account f o r suspending turn-by-turn t a l k . One account a v a i l a b l e i s that the story has some r e l a t i o n to l a s t utterance. A current speaker's remarks may remind a hearer of a story. I t i s then up to the prospective t e l l e r to methodically integrate the story into the conversation. This can be done whether or not the story i s t o p i c a l l y continuous with the previous t a l k . I f i t i s not t o p i c a l l y continuous a t e l l e r can use e i t h e r a "disjunct marker" such as "oh" or "by the way" or an "embedded r e p e t i t i o n " of the words i n the l a s t utterance which reminded her of the story, such as "speaking of". Usually 55 the two devices are combined. The point i s that s t o r i e s should be l o c a l l y occasioned; triggered by the ongoing t a l k , and not ju s t randomly f i t t e d into any sile n c e that comes up. A f t e r the t e l l i n g , turn-by-turn t a l k should be methodically re-engaged. I f a story doesn't e l i c i t t o p i c a l l y continuous t a l k i t i s up to the t e l l e r to use aspects of the story to get turn-by-turn t a l k going again (Jefferson 1978:229). Sacks analyzed the course of a t e l l i n g into three ' s e r i a l l y ordered and adjacently placed type of sequences (l9?4a). These are the preface, the t e l l i n g and the response. Because a s t o r y - t e l l i n g proposes that turn-by-turn t a l k be temporarily suspended, i t i s often preceded by a two utterance sequence i n which the t e l l e r o f f e r s to t e l l a story and r e c i p -i e n t s can accept or r e j e c t the o f f e r . The f i r s t part of the pre-face i s t y p i c a l l y short, only one utterance long, whose f i r s t p o s s i b l e completion point i s i t s a c t u a l completion p o i n t . Pre-face f i r s t parts often contain a c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the events and when they took place. For example, "Last night something r e a l l y great happened". This gives the r e c i p i e n t s information which they can use to decide i f they w i l l accept or r e j e c t the o f f e r . They may respond by saying, f o r example, "Listen, .I'm having an operation soon and I'm i n no mood to hear anything great", or "Yeh, I know, you passed your exams". I t also allows the r e c i p i e n t s to hear when the story i s over. They cannot use sentence formation since, by d e f i n i t i o n , s t o r i e s take more than 56 one utterance to produce. The ch a r a c t e r i z a t i o n given i n the pre-face contains an i n s t r u c t i o n as to when they may respond; wait u n t i l something that could he said to be " r e a l l y great" has been of f e r e d and then respond. The response to a preface f i r s t part, i f i t i s an acceptance of the o f f e r , t y p i c a l l y uses a question format, "Oh, what happened?", fo r example. The t e l l e r i s then obliged to t e l l the story. Within the t e l l i n g sequence r e c i p i e n t s have r e s t r i c t e d r i g h t s to speak. Normally, t h e i r within-story utterances are l i m i t e d to requesting c l a r i f i c a t i o n i f they have not heard properly or have not understood, and r e g i s t e r i n g understanding by using u t t e r -ances such as "uh huh". The primary task of the r e c i p i e n t s - i s to understand the story (Sacks 1968). As they are l i s t e n i n g , they can use the preface to c o r r e c t l y place t h e i r "uh huhs". For example, a woman i s proposing to t e l l her f r i e n d a story. She prefaces i t by saying, "Say d i d you see anything i n the>paper l a s t night or hear anything on the l o c a l radio?". Her next u t t e r -ance, - "Ruth Henderson and I drove down to Ventura yesterday" i s followed by the r e c i p i e n t saying, "Mm hm" (Sacks 1970e) . The r e c i p i e n t ' s utterance allows the t e l l e r to continue a story that the r e c i p i e n t knows i s not over yet. She knows that the story i s not over because neither the newspaper nor the radio would be ex-pected to report her fr i e n d ' s t r i p to Ventura. The r e c i p i e n t i s using the preface as a t o o l to t e l l her how to l i s t e n . At a story's recognizable completion a response on the part 57 of the r e c i p i e n t becomes relevant. The purpose of the response i s to show understanding. The f a c t that a response i s given r i g h t a f t e r the story ending without an appreciable pause i s one d i s p l a y of understanding. I t at l e a s t shows that t h e l r e c i p i e n t was grasp-ing the point of the story s u f f i c i e n t l y to recognize i t s ending. In the story r e f e r r e d to above the r e c i p i e n t can show some kind of understanding when she has heard a newsworthy item. She can, at that point, report that she d i d not hear about the accident that the t e l l e r has described. Often r e c i p i e n t s use the story preface to formulate t h e i r response. For example, i f the preface stated, "Something r e a l l y weird happened today" then at the recognized completion point the r e c i p i e n t can say, "How-weird". Recipients, however, havei-imore powerful ways of showing understanding. They may t e l l another story that i s s i m i l a r to the f i r s t or produce an explanation f o r the events i n the story. Both techniques involve the r e c i p i e n t s i n analyzing s t o r i e s and using the r e s u l t s of t h e i r a nalysis to construct t h e i r responses. These responses can help conversation analysts to describe the way that s t o r i e s are l i s t e n e d to. The story that begins with the t e l l e r and Ruth Henderson d r i v i n g to Ventura continues by describing a t e r r i b l e car wreck that the two women saw on the way home. This i s followed by the r e c i p i e n t saying she hadn't heard anything about i t on the news. The conversation proceeds through t h i s topic f o r a few utterances and then the r e c i p i e n t says: 58 You know, I looked and looked i n the p a p e r — I think I t o l d you f - f o r that f - f a l l over at the Bowl that night. And I never saw a thing about i t , and l//looked i n the next couple of evenings...Never saw a t h — a mention of i t (Sacks 1 9 7 0 e ) . The report of the car accident i s thus followed by a story about another accident, a f a l l at the Bowl. In a lecture delivered i n 1970 Sacks proposed that an analysis of the s i m i l a r i t i e s between the two s t o r i e s should provide valuable clues as to how s t o r i e s are l i s t e n e d to and how events are formed up into s t o r i e s (Sacks 1970e)Y. He observes that both s t o r i e s are about accidents. I n i t i a l l y , then, one could propose that r e c i p i e n t s show t h e i r understanding of a story by producing a second one that i s t o p i c a l l y s i m i l a r . This a n a l y s i s , however, runs into a problem. The two s t o r i e s are about d i f f e r e n t kinds of accidents; one about an automobile wreck and the other about a f a l l . They are, i n that sense, t o p i c a l l y d i s s i m i l a r . T o p i c a l organization i s too weak i n i t s s p e c i f i c a t i o n as to what does and what doesn't constitute s i m i l a r i t y to solve the problem of second story production. The next observation that Sacks makes i s that both s t o r i e s contain the same characters; a witness and vi c t i m s . Recipients may analyze a story f o r i t s character composition and then t e l l a story with the same characters. Sacks suggests that t h i s i s l i k e l y to generate i n t e r a c t i o n a l problems. The r e c i p i e n t may f i n d a story i n which she was a v i c t i m and there were a l o t witnesses s t a r i n g at her. I t may portray accident witnesses as 5 9 -callous- curiosity-seekers rather than concerned onlookers. The s o l u t i o n that Sacks a r r i v e s at i s that the r e c i p i e n t analyzes the story to f i n d out what kind of character the t e l l e r was and then f i n d s a story i n which she was the same character. In the f i r s t story the t e l l e r was a witness to an accident; i n the second story the r e c i p i e n t was a witness to an accident. The r e c i p i e n t has not only displayed understanding but has also aligned h e r s e l f with the t e l l e r ; they can continue t h e i r t a l k from the same p o s i t i o n , as accident witnesses. In addition to the information i t provides about how s t o r i e s are l i s t e n e d to, the second story i s also suggestive i n regards to how events are stored. T y p i c a l l y , a second story i s produced immediately a f t e r a f i r s t and may concern events that happened years previously. I f r e c i p i e n t s can produce these s t o r i e s so quickly i t i s reasonable to suppose that they are sto r i n g memories i n s i m i l a r ways. A very general r u l e seems to be that i t i s the r i g h t and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of each person to store experiences i n terms of her connection with them even i f the part she played would be regarded by others as i n c i d e n t a l . A r u l e l i k e t h i s pro-vides a methodical way f o r people to tap others' memories i n or-der to f i n d out i f t h e i r experiences are unique or common. One only has to t e l l a story and the r e c i p i e n t w i l l analyze i t to determine the character t e l l e r i s i n the story. I f ! t h e r e c i p i e n t was ever i n a s i m i l a r p o s i t i o n , that story can be made a v a i l a b l e to the t e l l e r on the story's completion. 6o Recipients can also show understanding by providing an explanation or appreciation of the story's events. Often t h i s w i l l take the form of a. one utterance proverb-like a s s e r t i o n . They may produce what Ryave c a l l s " s i g n i f i c a n c e statements" (Ryave 1978). Longer explanations can also occupy the response p o s i t i o n . Sometimes these explanations are strangely p a r a s i t i c on the s t o r i e s they are responsive to. Two examples are c i t e d by Sacks. In one, already c i t e d , a teenage boy i s t e l l i n g the other patients i n a group therapy session about h i s younger s i s t e r ' s Beatle picture c o l l e c t i o n . He says that she has pasted the pi c t u r e s on her c e i l i n g . One of the other patients, a teenage g i r l , responds, "Mm, they need some kinda i d o l , y'know, something to//look up to" (Sacks 1971a). She chooses a p r o v e r b i a l statement that explains the s i s t e r ' s behaviour with regard to the Beatles. The explanation centres on the need that young g i r l s have f o r i d o l s . Her choice of phrasing, however, puns on the s i t u a t i o n i t explains. That i s , the s i s t e r has the p i c t u r e s on her c e i l i n g and the explanation states that they need "something to look up to " . This punning r e l a t i o n s h i p i s not as rare as one might think. Another example i s taken from a radio c a l l - i n t a l k show. A b l i n d woman c a l l s to complain about the treatment she i s accorded on the New York t r a i n s . She says that f e l l o w - t r a v e l l e r s do not respect her white cane; they w i l l not give her the r i g h t of way. The explanation that the t a l k show host gives her i s pervaded with v i s u a l terms. He says; Well they probably do, once they see i t . . . u h ; you see what 61 happens, with s p e c i a l l y with New Yorkers, i : s ? that they get a : l l preoccupie:;d with t h e i r own problems...with the f a l l o u t an' the p o l l u t i o n , en the//be-en the lan d l o r d . . . and they don't notice (Sacks l ° 7 0 f ) . Not only are v i s u a l terms strewn throughout the explanation but the host also manages, to turn the complaint around on the b l i n d woman. She has a problem, blindness, which prevents her from seeing. But the people on the t r a i n also have problems that prevent them from seeing so she should be more sympathetic. Like second s t o r i e s , these explanations take very l i t t l e time to pro-duce. They demonstrate how responses can be c l o s e l y t i e d to t h e i r s t o r i e s . Not only do they say something about the story; they do so by using l i t t l e b i t s and pieces of i t . More s i g n i f i c a n t l y , ' they work without e i t h e r t e l l e r or r e c i p i e n t being aware of how they are working. For conversation analysis, an important accomplishment would be to specify the constraints which s t o r y - t e l l e r s work under. In t h i s section two of these constraints have been i d e n t i f i e d . F i r s t , t e l l e r s have to f i t t h e i r s t o r i e s into the ongoing conversation. They have to show how t h e i r story i s relevant to the present i n t e r -a c t i o n . Second, they have to take account of the r e c i p i e n t s of the story; to determine whether or not the maintenance of the r e l a -t i o n s h i p i s threatened by the story. In the next section, I want to discuss another constraint that s t o r i e s are subject to; the need f o r t e l l e r s to protect t h e i r s t o r i e s against possible unfav-ourable hearings. 6 2 I I . THE FRAGILITY OF STORIES In s p i t e of the f a c t that s t o r i e s usually concern events that happened, to the t e l l e r and not to the r e c i p i e n t s , t e l l e r s do not have complete freedom to put forward any version of those events they choose. Recipients have the power to challenge the importance t e l l e r s imbue the events with, to doubt the t r u t h of the s t o r i e s or to searchithe story f o r t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s . Two aspects of the f r a g i l i t y of s t o r i e s I now want to discuss are e q u i v o c a l i t y and subversive hearings. A. E q u i v o c a l i t y Sharrock and Turner use the term "equivocality" to r e f e r to the following s i t u a t i o n s . There are some s t o r i e s that r e c i p i e n t s can, and that t e l l e r s foresee that r e c i p i e n t s can, a r r i v e at two s p e c i f i a b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of. Further, the two i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s stand i n a p a r t i c u l a r r e l a t i o n s h i p to each other. One i s what r e c i p i e n t s recognize as the " o f f i c i a l " version t e l l e r s are pro-moting; the version that, i f questioned, t e l l e r s would i n s i s t was r e a l l y meant. The other i s an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that i s s t r u c t u r a l l y provided f o r by the circumstances from which the story arose and which undercuts the o f f i c i a l one. Sharrock and Turner a r r i v e d at the preceding d e f i n i t i o n while examining c a l l s made by c i t i z e n s to the p o l i c e . They noticed that the normal complaint was d e l i v e r e d i n one utterance on c a l l e r ' s 63 f i r s t turn at t a l k . There were other c a l l s where c a l l e r ' s f i r s t t u r n was longer, tended to ramble and was "packed with excessive d e t a i l and unfocussed" (Sharrock and Turner 1978:173)- They f u r t h e r observed that one c l a s s of these inelegant complaints were ones i n which the c a l l e r s made reference to the p a r t i c u l a r people- they were complaining about. Most complaints that the p o l i c e receive do not i d e n t i f y , or even r e f e r to, the c u l p r i t s . Thus a c a l l saying, "My car has been stolen", implies a car t h i e f but does not a c t u a l l y r e f e r to one. A c a l l which complains about the noise the neighbours are making, or the a c t i v i t i e s of a group of teenagers down the st r e e t , i s one which r e f e r s to those complained about. These c a l l s r a r e l y take the form of a normal complaint. Instead, c a l l e r s tended to present t h e i r complaints i n the form of a story. D e t a i l s were often designed to show p o l i c e that c a l l e r s d i d not have a p r i v a t e grudge against the ones they complained about. C a l l e r s would, f o r example, mention transgressions on the part of the complained-abouts that happened months ago but which they d i d not report, showing that they were not just waiting f o r an excuse to complain. They would also account f o r how i t was that, i n merely going about t h e i r day to day routine, they could c o l l e c t the information they are now reporting. They t r i e d to show that they d i d not go out of t h e i r way to c o l l e c t "suspicious" i n c i d e n t s . Also, they were often hesitant to give p o l i c e the names of those they were complaining about. 64 The c a l l e r s were b u i l d i n g defenses against a possible undesired i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that the p o l i c e might make of t h e i r s t o r i e s . They recognized that to i d e n t i f y p a r t i c u l a r v i o l a t o r s i s to create an equivocal s i t u a t i o n . I t i s equivocal f o r the following reason. One purpose of the p o l i c e i s to remedy complainable states of a f f a i r s . A d i r e c t e f f e c t of t h i s remedial function i s that people who are complained about get into trouble. The s p e c i f i c subver-sive use that can be made of the organization i s to cause trouble f o r those that a c a l l e r has a priv a t e grudge against. This p o s s i b i l i t y i s foreseeable by both the p o l i c e and the p u b l i c . Sharrock and Turner write: Complainants i n the course of seeking such remedies as the cessation of a nuisance, the removal of an abandoned car, and so on, may i n the course of a complaint's d e l i v e r y assign complained-againsts an i d e n t i t y derivable from the structure of the complainable, thus rendering i n c i d e n t a l the f a c t that p o l i c e remedial action w i l l cause trouble f o r some (known) p a r t i e s . Such trouble takes i t s proper place as side e f f e c t . Complainants who name those p a r t i e s , then, perhaps r i s k the assessment that t h e i r complaint was motivated by just the i n t e n t i o n to involve complained-againsts i n p o l i c e trouble, with the consequence that the complainable now can be r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y viewed as merely the occasion to set the machinery i n a c t i o n . Hence we are i n a p o s i t i o n to propose a r a t i o n a l i t y i n c a l l e r s ' r e f u s a l to name complained-againsts: To do s o — t o name names—is to allow f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y that what they seek i s other than what p o l i c e a c t i o n i s designed f o r , namely, the s e t t l i n g of p r i v a t e scores (19?8:185-186). Most organizations and s i t u a t i o n s provide f o r s p e c i f i c sub-ver s i v e uses to be made of them. Recipients know those uses and employ them to transform the s t o r i e s they hear i n a way that t e l l e r s would not want. To prevent t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y , t e l l e r s often introduce 65 elements into t h e i r s t o r i e s that defend against i t . E q u i v o c a l i t y i s thus a constraint on s t o r y - t e l l i n g . B. Subversive Hearings Another hazard that s t o r y - t e l l e r s must take account of i s the f a c t that r e c i p i e n t s may be l i s t e n i n g to s t o r i e s with atten-t i o n to t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s and not those of t e l l e r s . That i s , s t o r i e s reveal, and often are constructed to r e v e a l , facets of the t e l l e r . They say something about what the t e l l e r i s l i k e and what kinds of things can be expected of her. T e l l e r s put consid-erable work into providing that s t o r i e s say good things about them. Recipients may be l i s t e n i n g f o r things that the t e l l e r wouldn't want revealed. In order to prevent such hearings, s t o r i e s are often defensively designed. I f the p o s s i b i l i t y of subversive hearings i s to be shown to a f f e c t the way that t e l l e r s b u i l d s t o r i e s then i t must also be shown that c e r t a i n s i t u a t i o n s make s p e c i f i c subversive hearings s t r u c t u r a l l y relevant. Recipients may have an i n d e f i n i t e number of p r i v a t e motives that are brought to bear on t h e i r hearings of s t o r i e s . For t e l l e r s to take measures against subversive hearings they must have access to those motives that are i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e l y a v a i l a b l e . For example, Sacks analyzes a story of a date t o l d by a teenage g i r l to a teenage boy (Sacks 1971c) . I t goes: One night-I.was with t h i s guy that I l i k e d a r e a l l o t . An' uh we had come back from the show, we had gone to the Ash 66 Grove f o r awhile, 'n we were gonna park. An' I can' t stand a car. 'n he//has a small car...So we walked to the hack house an' we stayed there h a l f the night. We didn't go to bed t o — e ' e a c h other,'.-..but i t was so comfortable an' so// nice...Y'know? There's everything p e r f e c t . Sacks argues that the story i s defensively designed against a s p e c i f i c hearing that the r e c i p i e n t might give i t . I t describes a date that the t e l l e r went out on. Because the r e c i p i e n t i s a teenage boy he may be l i s t e n i n g to f i n d out what kinds of things Louise, the t e l l e r , w i l l do with whom on a date; e i t h e r f o r h i s own purposes or those of h i s male f r i e n d s . She takes t h i s possible hearing into account by i n c l u d i n g such features as that she r e a l l y l i k e d the boy i n the story (she doesn't do t h i s with just anybody), and that she only went into the back house with him because she hates cars. This second p r o v i s i o n r e f e r s to the f a c t that f o r teenagers the normal place, f o r the negotiation of sex i s i n a parked car. For a teenage g i r l to claim that she r o u t i n e l y goes into a house with a boy she i s dating i s to suggest that her a v a i l -a b i l i t y i s easier than she might wish i t thought. Louise therefore b u i l d s into the story a d i s p l a y of her knowledge of the normal place f o r negotiating sex on a date and an account of why that place was not used. Subversive hearings, l i k e the " u n o f f i c i a l " version of equi-vocal s t o r i e s , are s t r u c t u r a l l y provided f o r and a v a i l a b l e to t e l l e r s , r e c i p i e n t s and analysts. Unlike equivocal s t o r i e s , how-ever, s t o r i e s which allow of subversive hearings do not involve r e c i p i e n t s i n undercutting the o f f i c i a l v e rsion. In the above 6? story, even i f Ken, the r e c i p i e n t , does give a subversive hearing to Louise's story he s t i l l hears i t as what she intended i t to be, a d e s c r i p t i o n of a romantic evening. He w i l l just have gotten something extra out of the story, the terms of Louise's a v a i l a b i l i t y , which i s something that neither the r e c i p i e n t nor the t e l l e r would claim the story i s about. I t i s derivable from i t , not the point of i t . E q u i v o c a l i t y and subversive hearings are only two of the dangers that s t o r y - t e l l e r s must defend themselves against. They s u f f i c e , however, to i n d i c a t e that s t o r y - t e l l i n g i s an i n t e r a c t i o n a l venture i n which t e l l e r s must attend to the s o c i a l l y structured r e l a t i o n -ship between themselves and the r e c i p i e n t s and between themselves and the events that make up the story. I I I . THE MOTIVE POWER OF STORIES The motive power of s t o r i e s r e f e r s to t h e i r p o t e n t i a l f o r being t o l d and r e - t o l d . Most s t o r i e s t o l d i n ordinary conver-sati o n have a very short motive power. I f they are not t o l d soon a f t e r the events have a c t u a l l y occurred they probably w i l l not be t o l d at a l l . A powerful account f o r t e l l i n g a story i s that i t i s news (Sacks 1 9 7 0 a ). Something has just happened to the t e l l e r and so she recounts i t to a r e c i p i e n t she thinks might be i n t e r e s t e d . A few days l a t e r the story w i l l no longer be news and so wi'll not be t e l l a b l e . Timing i s an important constraint on s t o r y - t e l l i n g . 68 Another constraint on the appropriateness of a t e l l i n g i s the determination of who may t e l l a p a r t i c u l a r story (Sacks 19?8: 26l). E a r l i e r , a general r u l e was proposed which stated that each person has the r i g h t and o b l i g a t i o n to monitor events i n terms of» t h e i r part i n the events. This r u l e i n h i b i t s the r e t e l l i n g of s t o r i e s by r e c i p i e n t s of them. For example, A may t e l l B about something that happened to her yesterday. In most cases, B can then t e l l a few close f r i e n d s who also know A but i t i s u n l i k e l y that the story would t r a v e l much f u r t h e r . Moreover, i f B were always t e l l i n g s t o r i e s about things that happened to other people, r e c i p i e n t s may consider B e i t h e r overly secretive or experience poor. Some s t o r i e s escape the two l i m i t a t i o n s of timing and owner-ship. Sacks gives as an example a story t o l d by an employee i n an insurance company to a f e l l o w employee (Sacks 19716.) . I t i s the r e c i p i e n t ' s l a s t day of work; he i s leaving to go back to school. The story has been triggered by a conversation the two men were having whose theme was the f u t i l i t y of making money when the work you are doing bores you. The story concerned an insurance salesman that the t e l l e r , Tony, had met while he was working i n a department store as a manager trainee. The insurance man had t o l d him that he had gone to acting school with K i r k Douglas but had to leave because he had a family to support. The point Tony makes of the story i s , "Circumstances p r e v a i l where you have to do something not exactly to your l i k i n g " • 69 Tony, then,v-tells the r e c i p i e n t a story about an insurance man that was t o l d to him many years ago. The approach that Sacks takes to analyzing the motive power of the story i s to compare the s i t u a t i o n that the t e l l e r and the r e c i p i e n t were i n at both times of the t e l l i n g . The o r i g i n a l story was t o l d by a man s e l l -ing insurance to a manager trainee. I t i s a story about f a i l e d prospects t o l d to a person who, at that point i n h i s l i f e , had good prospects. Sacks argues that the s i t u a t i o n of s e l l i n g i n sur-ance was not i n c i d e n t a l to the t e l l i n g . Buying insurance i s an a c t i v i t y i n which future prospects are a relevant consideration. Buyers must t r y to a n t i c i p a t e t h e i r future circumstances as a way of c a l c u l a t i n g how much and what kind of insurance to buy. Sales-men have an i n t e r e s t i n turning buyers' a t t e n t i o n to the issue of prospects i n order to get them to buy insurance. When the o r i g i n a l r e c i p i e n t comes to t e l l the story he has become someone with f a i l e d prospects. He never became the man-ager he was t r a i n i n g to become. He i s t e l l i n g i t at a point i n the conversation where the t o p i c i s doing something you don't want to do f o r money, something which he might be seen to be doing. The new r e c i p i e n t i s an employee who i s going back to school, who now has prospects. The story has become Tony's story and can serve as a defense of h i s p o s i t i o n . In order to comesto terms with the issue of motive power: i t i s necessary to move beyond the conception of conversation that has so f a r been proposed. In the introduction i t was argued that 70 n a t u r a l language i s orderly i n s p i t e of i t s i n d e x i c a l properties. Because i t i s orderly members' t a l k can be analyzed so as to s p e c i -f y i t s methodicality. One way that theoorderliness of natural language has been demonstrated by analysts i s by e x p l i c a t i n g the r u l e s of conversation; that i s , r u l e s of turn-taking, sequencing, entering and e x i t i n g . The strategy of the discussion so f a r has been to -treat conversation as a s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t system. This strategy had the advantage of organizing a great deal of the mat-e r i a l on conversation a n a l y s i s and of showing how an attention to the d e t a i l s of conversation could r e s u l t i n a rigorous a n a l y s i s . I t may have become apparent i n the discussion of the f r a g i l i t y of s t o r i e s and i n the analysis of Tony's story that conversation i s not a s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t system. The o r d e r l i n e s s ofnnatural l a n -guage extends beyond the r u l e s of conversation. Conversation i s a system that both services, and i s served by, a deeper structure; that of the s o c i a l l y organized knowledge and a c t i v i t i e s which can be glossed as a c u l t u r e . The sense i n which I am using the term "cu l t u r e " i s informed by Turner's use of "deep structure": I borrow the term "deep structure" from transformational grammar. Although I am not able to provide i t s s o c i o l o g i c a l use with the kind of t e c h n i c a l s p e c i f i c a t i o n that i t possesses i n i t s o r i g i n a l domain, I f i n d i t u s e f u l i n the following kind of way: I use i t to r e f e r to the s o c i a l - o r g a n i z a t i o n a l features which members must be assumed to consult i n order to make routine sense of events and a c t i v i t i e s . I take i t as absolutely fundamental i n the a n a l y s i s of t r a n s c r i p t s that the a n a l y s i s s h a l l explicate not (or not only) the syn-t a c t i c properties of utterances and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s , but p r i m a r i l y such procedures f o r d i s p l a y i n g or invoking s o c i a l -o r g a n i z a t i o n a l features as p a r t i c i p a n t s must be assumed to employ i n contructing t h e i r own and "processing" others' utterances (Turner 1972:453)-71 The insurance salesman's story was analyzed by Tony to f i n d that i t was a story about f a i l e d prospects being t o l d to one with good prospects. The s o c i a l - o r g a n i z a t i o n a l referent i n the story i s that of careers, and, i n the f i r s t t e l l i n g , insurance s e l l i n g . I t i s a story about f a i l e d prospects; t h i s i s the way that Tony heard i t and the way that he stored i t . Many years l a t e r , when h i s p o s i t i o n i n the story i s reversed and he needs a defense of i t to one with prospects, the story i s re- a c t i v a t e d . ..The structure of careers i s a resource used by r e c i p i e n t s to understand the story. I n turn, the story i s of use to Tony i n the present i n t e r a c t i o n . The a c t i v a t i o n of s t o r i e s about s o c i a l organization through the t o p i c a l structure of conversations and the use of s o c i a l organ-i z a t i o n a l knowledge to analyze s t o r i e s demonstrates one aspect of the deep i n t e g r a t i o n between r u l e s of conversation and i t s l a r g e r system, the s t r u c t u r i n g of s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . IV. SUMMARY This section has been concerned with the analysis of story-t e l l i n g . S t o r i e s must be f i t t e d into a conversation; they r a r e l y make a place f o r themselves. T y p i c a l l y , they are l o c a l l y occasioned, set o f f by the l a s t utterance. Because they suspend turn-by-turn t a l k t h e i r production must be accounted f o r . Further, t e l l e r s must b u i l d into t h e i r s t o r i e s ways f o r r e c i p i e n t s to l i s t e n f o r t h e i r completion. P o s s i b l e completion point of a sentence i s not 72 operative as a t u r n - a l l o c a t i o n mechanism during a t e l l i n g . The preface furnishes some clues f o r the r e c i p i e n t s but the problem of recognizing completion has not yet been f u l l y solved by analyst Understanding i s the major task of r e c i p i e n t s . At a story's completion i t i s up to them to produce a response that demonstrate t h e i r understanding. Twovof the ways that they can do- t h i s i s by producing an explanation of the story's events or by t e l l i n g a second story whose production r e f l e c t s the analysis that was per-formed on the f i r s t story. An analysis of the methods by which people understand each other i s weakened by focusing only on the r u l e s of conversation. Sequencing i s one powerful method f o r generating economical yet sensible t a l k . However, p a r t i c i p a n t s also integrate t h e i r know-ledge of s o c i a l l y organized a c t i v i t i e s and s i t u a t i o n s , such as the "normal" date or the hazards of careers, to structure t h e i r conversations. Because they are members, analysts share t h i s . knowledge and, as Turner argues, must use i t both as topi c and resource f o r t h e i r a n a l y t i c work: The s o c i o l o g i s t , having made h i s f i r s t - l e v e l d e c i s i o n on the basis of members' knowledge,.fmust then'pose as pro-blematic how utterancesieome o f f as recognizable unit act-i v i t i e s ' . This requires the s o c i o l o g i s t to- explicate the  resources he shares with the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n making sense of utterances i n a s t r e t c h of t a l k . At every step of the way, i n e v i t a b l y , the s o c i o l o g i s t w i l l continue to employ h i s s o c i a l i z e d competence, while continuing to make e x p l i -c i t what these resources are and how he employs them. I see no a l t e r n a t i v e to these procedures, except to pay no e x p l i c i t a t t e n t i o n to one's s o c i a l i z e d knowledge while con-t i n u i n g to use i t as an indispensable a i d . In short, socio-l o g i c a l d i s c o v e r i e s are i n e l u c t a b l y discoveries from within the society(l974:205). 73 CHAPTER 4  THE STORY CLOSING I. INTRODUCTION The purpose of t h i s chapter i s to propose a problem i n conversation a n a l y s i s and then to b u i l d an a n a l y t i c apparatus which can be used to solve i t . The problem arose from my read-ing of an analysis which Sacks had performed on a joke-(Sacks 1 9 7 8 ) . I w i l l begin by summarizing Sacks' a n a l y s i s of the joke. The problem i t s e l f i s dependent on that a n a l y s i s f o r i t s i s o l -a t i o n . Sacks has shown that the joke i s constructed from two-organizations; a story structure b u i l t upon a puzzle and s o l u t i o n and a power r e l a t i o n s h i p which culminates i n a squelch. He also points out that the punchline contains two items; one from each type of organization. The punchline contains a s o l u t i o n to the puzzle. The joke also r e f e r s to a power r e l a t i o n between a mother and her daughters. The punchline contains a squelch of the mother by one of her daughters. Sacks observes that while the audience would expect to f i n d a s o l u t i o n to the puzzle i n the punchline, i t s occupation by the squelch comes as a su r p r i s e . At the same time that the squelch i s s u r p r i s i n g i t i s not d i s r u p t i v e . By that I mean that 74 the squelch does not represent a r a d i c a l change i n t o p i c . A d i s r u p t i v e surprise might, f o r example, be one i n which the l a s t l i n e of a joke introduced new characters or events that were i r r e l e v a n t to the characters and events so f a r presented. The squelch i s p e r f e c t l y consistent with the previous develop-ment of the joke, nonetheless i t comes as a sur p r i s e . The problem that I wish to investigate i n t h i s report i s why the squelch should come as a sur p r i s e . There are t h e o r e t i c a l reasons f o r pursuing t h i s problem. As has been in d i c a t e d i n the previous dis c u s s i o n of conversation a n a l y s i s , one of i t s major i n t e r e s t s i s i n discovering a n a l y t i c p o s i t i o n s i n n a t u r a l l y occurring t a l k . The s l o t following a greeting, f o r example, i s an a n a l y t i c p o s i t i o n . P a r t i c i p a n t s f e e l that i t should be occupied by a c e r t a i n type of item, a return greeting. I f jokes use a story organization, and i f an utterance occupying the l a s t p o s i t i o n i n a joke comes as a surprise, i t could be because that p o s i t i o n i n n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s i s an a n a l y t i c one and the squelch was a type of item that does not usually occupy i t . I f we can describe the a n a l y t i c p o s i t i o n of l a s t utterance, t h i s should contribute to the understanding of the i n t e r n a l structure of n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s . The apparatus w i l l be developed through the ana l y s i s of several n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s which were c o l l e c t e d i n a seminar concerned with the study of t a l k . The joke i t s e l f w i l l r" 75 not be returned to u n t i l the following chapter. I I . THE PROBLEM Av The Joke The joke was t o l d by a seventeen-year o l d boy to h i s f r i e n d s i n a group therapy session. His twelve"-yea-r' o l d s i s t e r had t o l d i t to him the night before and h i s preface i n d i c a t e s that he i s repeating i t because he was shocked that h i s young s i s t e r would know a d i r t y joke. That i s , he r e a l i z e s that the boys he t e l l s i t to w i l l f i n d i t a b i t immature f o r t h e i r taste and so use's i t to say something i n t e r e s t i n g about h i s s i s t e r and not something to be appreciated i n i t s own r i g h t . This i s the joke: KEN: There were these three g i r l s and they just got married?...So f i r s t of a l l that night they're on t h e i r honeymoon the mother-in-law says well why don't you a l l spend the night here and then you can go on your honeymoon i n the morning. The f i r s t night, the mother walks up to the f i r s t door and she hears t h i s "uuooo-ooo-ooo:, second door i s "HHHOHHhhh", t h i r d door there's nothin'. She stands there f o r about twenty f i v e minutes waitin' f o r somethin' to happen. Nothin 1. Next morning she t a l k s to the f i r s t daughter and she says "how come you-how come you went YAAAaaa l a s t night" and the daughter says, "Well i t tickled,".^Mommy" . Second g-Irl'iX'-."How., come you screamed." "Oh, Mommy i t hurts." T h i r d g i r l , walks up to her. "Why diSin't you say "anything l a s t night." "WELL you t o l d me i t was always impolite to ta l k with my mouth f u l l . " (Sacks 1978:250-251). 76 Sacks' a n a l y s i s of the joke i s given i n two p a r t s . The f i r s t p a rt i s concerned with e x p l i c a t i n g the construction of the joke as a story while the second i s concerned with describing the organization of squelches. B. The Story Structure This joke, Sacks points out, uses a story format. I t describes a s e r i e s of events which follow each other from begin-ning to end i n the order they are t o l d and which are connected to each other through a puzzle-solution structure. The story i s divided into two sections; the " f i r s t night" sequence and the "next morning" sequence. In the f i r s t section a puzzle i s posed: Why were there no sounds coming from the t h i r d daughter's bedroom? The second section i s composed of the mother's i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the puzzle and the s o l u t i o n to i t . The s o l u t i o n i s i n f e r r a b l e from the l a s t l i n e of the joke which i s also the joke's punchline. Sacks' claims that the coincidence of the story's s o l u t i o n and the joke's punchline represents a p e r f e c t meshing of story and joke: The " f i r s t night" sequence y i e l d s a puzzle and the "next morning" sequence y i e l d s a s o l u t i o n to the puzzle (where that i t s e l f i s an ordered business; f i r s t puzzle, then s o l u t i o n ) . And the s o l u t i o n i s n i c e l y positioned; i . e . , i t s occurrence matches the a r r i v a l at the joke's punch l i n e . We want to see that the a r r i v a l at the story's puzzle s o l u t i o n and the joke's punchline with that kind of f i t might take some kind of constructional work; 77 i . e . , there could be a puzzle posed at some point i n a story and a s o l u t i o n to the puzzle positioned at some point i n the story. I f the thing i s also a joke, the punchline of the joke w i l l occur somewhere r e l a t i v e to the s o l u t i o n of the puzzle...A more or l e s s perfect meshing would involve that the punchline of the joke i s the same event as the s o l u t i o n to the story's puzzle. We have, then, ,-,a story structure-type p e r f e c t l y co-operating with a joke structure-type i n these two sequences (Sacks 1978:253). Sacks then turns h i s a t t e n t i o n to the construction of the puzzle. I t i s , he argues, elegantly presented. I t uses a min-imum number of-occurrences to e s t a b l i s h one event as puzzling. The mother stands i n front of each daughter's bedroom door. She acts as a guide f o r the r e c i p i e n t s . That i s , the joke's r e c i p i e n t s can use the mother's point of view to follow the events. She hears sounds coming from within the f i r s t two rooms. I t . : i s c l e a r , Sacks claims, that i t i s the sounds she i s i n t e r -ested i n because upon hearing each sound she moves on to another door. From the t h i r d daughter's bedroom, there i s no sound. A f t e r waiting f o r quite awhile, the mother gives up. Sacks argues that i t i s j u s t the minority character of the t h i r d door which makes the lack of sound puzzling. There i s l i t t l e i n t r i n s i c reason f o r f i n d i n g a h a l f hour of s i l e n c e p u z z l i n g . Rather, the audience has been set up f o r t h i s hearing by the reports of sounds at the f i r s t two doors and by the mother's r e a c t i o n upon encountering them. Sacks emphasizes the economy of t h i s structure: 78 / This array of events provides the mother with a puzzle:,. Why no sound at the t h i r d door. Now there i s a construc-t i o n a l element to the puzzle sequence (which appears as w e l l i n the s o l u t i o n sequence) and that i s the use of three components i n a p a r t i c u l a r order: two sounds followed by one s i l e n c e . This i s an i d e a l construction: a perfect economical use of a number of components to get a puzzle; i . e . , i t turns out that you need at l e a s t three to get the s i l e n c e as a puzzle, and you also need no more than three to get the s i l e n c e as a puzzle. Suppose there were two daughters; at the f i r s t door sound, at the second door s i l e n c e . So? One was sound and one was s i l e n c e . There's no p a r t i c u l a r issue as to why there was s i l e n c e ; we could equally well wonder why there was sound. But the two sounds s u f f i c e to make the s i l e n c e noticeable. And you don't need four, f i v e , or eleven doors...Three s u f f i c e . Three i s the minimal but s u f f i c i e n t number f o r making the minority event p e c u l i a r and therefore focusable-on as a puzzle. And the arrangement which has the s i l e n c e occurring l a s t works to b u i l d up an appreciation of the expectable, normal, majority character of the sounds (Sacks 1978:254). To sum up: The joke uses a story format which has a pu z z l e - s o l u t i o n construction. The puzzle i s presented by juxta-posing the lack of sound at the t h i r d door against the presence of sound at the other two. The l a s t utterance provides the s o l u t i o n to the puzzle. That utterance also stands as the punch-l i n e of the joke. G. The Squelch Sacks was i n t e r e s t e d i n more than describing the structure of the story. He wanted to show that jokes can be r a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s which are used to transmit valuable information to members of c e r t a i n groups. Jokes have an advantage over nat-u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s i n that they have a stronger motive power. S t o r i e s concern t e l l e r s and are designed f o r p a r t i c u l a r r e c i p i e n t s . They must be f i t t e d into an ongoing conversation i n a way that jokes do not. Jokes can go i n t o nearly any s i l e n c e i n nearly any conversation. They are therefore more l i k e l y to be transmitted to a wider audience than are s t o r i e s . D i r t y jokes have a wide transmission range but also have a c e r t a i n r e s t r i c -t i o n . They are not to be t o l d to just anybody by anybody. The r e s t r i c t i o n placed on t h e i r transmission tends to l i m i t c i r c u l -a t i o n to a c e r t a i n group. A d i r t y joke would be a r a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n i f i t conveyed information, other than that which makes i t d i r t y , of value to the group throughout which i t moves un r e s t r i c t e d . With that kind of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , l e t ' s suppose that the elaborate constructional aspects we considered e a r l i e r warrant our t r e a t i n g these objects as " r a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s " d i r e c t e d to packaging and transmitting information. Now, what sort of r a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n might d i r t y jokes be? One might be l e d to f i g u r e that the information i n a d i r t y joke i s i t s obscene information. That would be i r r a t i o n a l , since t h e i r obscene character serves as a r e s t r i c t i o n on t h e i r passage. A v e h i c l e which, by v i r t u e of i t s obscenity, has a r e s t r i c t i o n on i t s passage, would be r a t i o n a l l y e x p loited i f i t were used to pass information other than that which r e s t r i c t s that passage. Thus, i f there are any s o r t s of information which i t ' s relevant to pass, which i t ' s also relevant to pass r e s t r i c t e d l y , then such things could be put i n t o d i r t y jokes, where the obscenity serves as a "cover" f o r other information. The d i r t i n e s s aspect of the d i r t y joke, might then, be simply a formal aspect of the joke having to do with i t s transmission and not p a r t i c u l a r l y with i t s information, so that i n some i d e a l form one might have d i r t y jokes whose information had nothing to do with sex (Sacks 1978:262). Sacks argues that the joke under consideration here contains information which would be of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t to twelve-year o l d g i r l s . That i s the group among who the joke i s to c i r c u l a t e . The information i t contains concerns r u l e use. The punchline of the joke i s a squelch of the mother by the daughter. I t takes, Sacks argues, a standard form f o r squelches i n which a members of a lower category squelches a member of a higher category by v i o l a t i n g a r u l e enforceable by the higher category under the auspices of following a r u l e endorsed by the l a t t e r . Sacks argues that c h i l d r e n face a problem with r u l e use. They le a r n that i n order to escape from d i r e c t supervision on the part of t h e i r parents they must follow r u l e s . However, they also f i n d out that r u l e s are subject to i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . They do not apply i n a l l s i t u a t i o n s that they could possibly apply That poses a v a r i e t y of d i s t i n c t problems f o r c h i l -dren, since some of the time, i n following a r u l e , they turn out to be behaving i n c o r r e c t l y and are then corrected or sanctioned by adults, and come to learn that they aren't freed from adult supervision by v i r t u e of the f a c t that they follow the ru l e s they're t o l d . And they can't get a handle on the s i z e of the problem; i . e . , they can't come up with a systematic, general s o l u t i o n . They can only " l e a r n by experience" when a r u l e w i l l turn out to be i n -c o r r e c t l y applied. And, that r u l e s w i l l turn out to be i n c o r r e c t l y applied by them operates to preserve adult authority over them, which allows the adults to engage i n c o r r e c t i o n , sanction, etc., f o r what might seem l i k e p r i v a t e , capricious i n t e r e s t s (Sacks 1978:265) . The problem a r i s e s f o r c h i l d r e n as to whether t h i s s i t u -a t i o n i s general or just a feature of t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r parents. 81 f• i The d i r t y joke shows that the ambiguity of r u l e use i s a general problem. I t also shows a favoured c h i l d ' s way of dealing with the problem; turn i t to one's advantage. That i s , c h i l d r e n learn that they can argue against being punished f o r a r u l e v i o l a t i o n by saying that they were just following another r u l e . This type of s o l u t i o n can be turned into a squelch as i t i s i n the d i r t y joke (Sacks 1978:265). D. The Punchline I would now l i k e to turn to the problem with which t h i s report i s concerned. The joke uses a story format constituted by a puzzle-solution construction. The s o l u t i o n i s i n f e r r a b l e from the l a s t utterance which i s also the punchline. The punch-l i n e derives i t s power from the f a c t that i t i s a squelch. The problem that I am i n t e r e s t e d i n i s why the squelch should come as a surprise f o r the joke's audience. Sacks writes: Given the squelch operation, some components of the story become rather more c r u c i a l than they might i n i t i a l l y have seemed. For example, that i t i s a "mother" i n t e r -a c t i n g with a "daughter". Had someone else interrogated the g i r l s , then each of the answers i s a s a t i s f a c t o r y and understandable explanation. But f o r the t h i r d answer to be a squelch, i t needs a "mother" doing the asking of "her daughter". That explanation to someone else, i . e . , "My mother t o l d me i t was impolite to t a l k with my mouth f u l l " , wouldn't be a squelch of the asker. So, while there i s a s e r i e s of i d e n t i t i e s of the g i r l s i n the joke (they're introduced as " g i r l s " , c o l l e c t e d as " s i s t e r s " , that they got married makes them "wives"), they l a r g e l y function as "daughters" and that i d e n t i t y i s c r u c i a l f o r t h i s event, which i s the surprise of the joke's structure. While we're prepared f o r some sort of i n t e r p r e t a b l y obscene punch l i n e , we have not been l e d to expect a squelch, as well (Sacks 1978:264). 82 Because the joke i s a d i r t y one, i t i s expectable that the l a s t utterance would have an obscene reference. Likewise, the audience can expect the l a s t utterance to be a s o l u t i o n to the puzzle. The f i r s t part of the joke presented a puzzle. I t was a puzzle f o r the mother who i s a c t i n g as a guide f o r the audience. The "next morning" sequence reports the mother's search f o r a s o l u t i o n . Her i n t e r r o g a t i o n of the f i r s t two s i s t e r s sets the audience up to f i n d the sexual implications of the t h i r d daughter's answer. That i s , the other two daughters' answers to the mother's questions both allude to sexual a c t i v i t y and so the t h i r d daughter's replay w i l l also be heard as a l l u d i n g to sexual a c t i v i t y (Sacks 1978:256). I t i s therefore not s u r p r i s i n g that the l a s t utterance has obscene i m p l i c a t i o n s . I t i s expectable. I t i s also expectable that the l a s t utterance would provide a s o l u t i o n to the puzzle. The joke uses a f a i r l y standard format f o r jokes i n that i t f i r s t i d e n t i f i e s a puzzle and then gives a s o l u t i o n i n i t s punch-l i n e . In t h i s respect, the joke works l i k e a r i d d l e with the f i r s t p a rt a c t i n g as the r i d d l e ' s question and the second part as the r i d d l e ' s answer. I t i s not anticipat'able that the s o l u t i o n would have some-thing to do with o r a l sex. Nothing i n the story leads to that expectation on the part of the audience.- However, i t i s also not p a r t i c u l a r l y s u r p r i s i n g . The squelch i s not a n t i c i p a t a b l e . In addition, i t does come as a s u r p r i s e . The problem i s what i t i s about the construction of the joke that would make one 83 aspect of i t s l a s t utterance, i t s character as a squelch, a su r p r i s e . E. The In t e r e s t o f the Problem I want now to argue that t h i s problem i s one f o r which Sacksian a n a l y s i s i s well suited. F i r s t , the joke uses a story format. I t somehow works so that an item that occupies a c e r t a i n p o s i t i o n i n the story, l a s t utterance, i s heard i n a p a r t i c u l a r way, as s u r p r i s i n g . T h i s observation brings up the p o s s i b i l i t y that the reason f o r the surprise may l i e i n the or-ganization of n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s rather than i n the p a r t i c u l a r features of jokes. Jokes c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y contain a surprise i n t h e i r punchline. That i s one of t h e i r features. The p o s s i b i l i t y a r i s e s , however, that there i s something about the organization of n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s which allows the punchline of any p a r t i c u l a r joke to be heard as a surp r i s e . I f t h i s were the case i t would mean that jokes used the struc-ture of. n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s to construct one of t h e i r standard features, a surprise ending. I f so, then the examination of how a joke achieves that feature should shed l i g h t on the i n t e r n a l construction of n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s . More s p e c i f i c i a l l y , the surprise ending turns one's at t e n t i o n to l a s t utterance, the story's c l o s i n g . Is l a s t utterance an a n a l y t i c object? 84 ' '( The squelch works through the s o c i a l organization of mothers and t h e i r teenage daughters. I t references a c o n f l i c t that i s s o c i a l l y recognized as one which i s common to mothers and daughters; a c o n f l i c t over sex. The story works through a puzzle and s o l u t i o n construction. The l a s t utterance contains a r e s o l u t i o n to both these p a r t s . I t provides the answering move by the t h i r d daughter to the mother's supervision of her sexual a c t i v i t y . Her rep l y i s a squelch of the mother. I t also supplies the so l u t i o n to the puzzle of why there was no sound coming from the f i r s t daugher's bedroom What, then, i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the puzzle-solution organization and the mother-daughter c o n f l i c t which allows the punchline to be heard as a surprise? In the remainder of t h i s chapter an an a l y s i s w i l l be devel-oped to throw l i g h t on these problems. Instead of jokes, s t o r i e s taken from taped conversations w i l l provide the material f o r the discu s s i o n . This i s necessary to provide the a n a l y t i c resources f o r the s o l u t i o n of the problem here formulated. In the following chapter, I w i l l return to a consideration of the joke. I I I . THE INTERNAL CONSTRUCTION OF NATURALLY OCCURRING STORIES A. A Problem Posed by a Naturally Occurring Story The f i r s t story that I want to look at i s the following: SANDRA: I WENT TO LOOK at the b u l l e t i n board once and he c a - - l i k e I walked past h i s o f f i c e and then I see him come out l a t e r when I stopped to look 85 a t the exam schedule and he comes a l l the way up the h a l l , goes into l i k e the b u l l e t i n board i s r i g h t next to the Chem o f f i c e eh, so he comes by, looks, goes in t o the Chem o f f i c e , comes out, grabs some mail, goes back i n , comes out, looks f o r some more mail, goes ba—THREE TIMES I counted, I was pretending a l l the time keep reading the schedule, don't look at t h i s turkey. No way (heh heh heh heh), i t was sooo strange. And so u h — CATHY: Your socks are l i k e mine. SANDRA: Yeah but, yeah I t o l d you! I remember you had them with boots and—anyway the three times and then he c - f i n a l l y came up to me and says, "Oh, i t ' s time to work now i s i t ? " . (Laughter) SANDRA: And I sai d "oh yeah, yeah sure i s (giggle) sure guy". This story was t o l d by a young, female u n i v e r s i t y student. The "he" of the story r e f e r s to a male professor i n the Chemistry department named Banks. The r e c i p i e n t s of the story are also young, female u n i v e r s i t y students. The women had been discussing Banks f o r about f i v e minutes before t h i s story was t o l d . The topic of Banks was i n i t i a t e d by Sandra who said: SANDRA: Good o l ' Banks. I was goin' by there again today. He was always s i t s there i n h i s o f f i c e . He's a l i t t l e wimp. One of the other women, Terry, then agreed with the t e l l e r and the conversation proceeded with Banks as i t s t o p i c . The major complaint that the women voiced about him was that he had, on numerous occasions, accosted them when they were walking through the Chemistry department. None of the women were on a personal 86 b a s i s with him and they found h i s attention annoying. For exam-p l e , before Sandra t o l d the story In question, Terry had of f e r e d t h i s story: TERRY: One time Mary and I were going down there and we we were r e a l l y , r e a l l y mixed up that day and w'were we kept going back and f o r t h and we were s i t t i n g there discussing whether we should go back to t h i s lab or something else . And we were making a l o t of noise I guess and he was walking by there. I've never seen him before or or I've seen him a l o t . . .He comes up to us and he goes (tsh)"So you f i n a l l y decided where you're going d i d you?" And toddles o f f and away he went. (Laughter) Before proceding to an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the a n a l y t i c problem posed by the story I would l i k e to consider i t from a lay perspec-t i v e . That i s , at t h i s point I do not want to introduce any a n a l y t i c concepts but merely bring out what a natural hearer could make out of t h i s group of utterances. 1., An I n i t i a l Consideration of the Story Before beginning t h i s task, I would l i k e to b r i e f l y discuss the reason f o r proceding i n t h i s way. One way i n which an ex-p l i c a t i o n of a n a t u r a l l y occurring story could be done i s through a paraphrasing of what the t e l l e r s a i d . That i s , i t i s known by members that speakers do not usually say a l l that they convey i n an utterance. Members know that speakers often r e l y on the personal knowledge they share with t h e i r hearers to " f i l l i n the gaps" between what they say and what they mean. For example, 87 G a r f i n k e l once asked h i s students to transcribe conversations they had with f r i e n d s or r e l a t i v e s and then explain to him what was meant. The students were able to f i l l i n a l o t of i n f o r -mation that they shared with t h e i r co-participants but not with G a r f i n k e l to p a r t i a l l y explicate the sense of the conversation ( G a r f i n k e l 1967:27). One way to explicate a story, then, would be to t r y and f i l l i n the information which we, as lay members, bring to bear on a story i n order to understand i t . The problem with t h i s approach i s that, as Ga r f i n k e l ' s students found out, to completely e x p l i c -ate any utterance i s an impossible task. Any p a r t i c u l a r e x p l i c a t i o n was subject to the p o s s i b i l i t y of furth e r e x p l i c a t i o n ad i n f i n i t u m . There was no point at which everything that could be explicated had been. In s p i t e of a lack of i n t e r e s t i n e x p l i c a t i v e paraphrasing f o r i t s own sake, conversation analysts have found that i t i s valuable as a f i r s t step i n a n a l y s i s . Conversation a n a l y s i s i s concerned with the s t r u c t u r a l r e l a t i o n s among and within utterances. To f i n d those r e l a t i o n s i t i s necessary to explicate some of the common sense knowledge used i n b u i l d i n g them. For example, i n order to e s t a b l i s h that an utterance stands i n the r e l a t i o n of "token r e p l y " to a "challenge", i t may be necessary to ex-p l i c a t e knowledge that members have about the organization of "hotrodding" (Sacks 1969). I t i s through explorations such as t h i s that the a n a l y t i c concept of "adjacency p a i r s " was developed. 88 To return to the story: I t s . point i s s i m i l a r to that of the preceding conversation. Banks has accosted Sandra. Sandra's story i s a l i t t l e b i t more elaborate than the other's, however, i n the following way. The other s t o r i e s began with the t e l l e r i n the general area of Banks' o f f i c e and ended with Banks appearing on the scene and speaking. In Sandra's story, Banks appears e a r l i e r i n the course of events and speaks at the end. In between h i s appearance and h i s speaking, Sandra t r i e s to avoid-him. The story begins by e s t a b l i s h i n g Sandra's presence, the professor's presence, and the reason f o r Sandra's presence. She had walked by the professor's o f f i c e on her way to the b u l -l e t i n board to look at the examination schedule. The b u l l e t i n board i s next to the Chemistry o f f i c e where Banks spends a l o t of time. Banks i s i n h i s o f f i c e . He leaves i t , walks by Sandra, goes into the Chemistry o f f i c e , comes out, gets h i s mail and then repeats the l a s t three actions two more times. Sandra has an a r t f u l way of showing the s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s behaviour. Instead of just saying he d i d i t three times she produces f o r the r e c i p i e n t s the strangeness of the behaviour by recounting the three times he went by. By the time Sandra comes to say "three times" i n a heavily emphatic tone r e c i p i e n t s should have already come to the conclusion that i t was strange. The productio of the emphatically spoken "three times" affirms f o r the r e c i p i e n t 89 that they are g i v i n g a correct hearing to the story. They, l i k e Sandra, are o r i e n t i n g to what i t i s that i s strange; that Banks has gone i n and come out of the Chemistry o f f i c e three times i n a very short period of time with no v i s i b l y legitimate reason. Next, Sandra shows the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the behaviour f o r her. I t i s not only strange but threatening. I t can be taken as an i n d i c a t i o n that Banks i s going to accost her. She says: I was pretending a l l the time, keep reading the schedule. Don't look at t h i s turkey. No way, heh heh. Not looking at people of course, i s a common strategy f o r avoiding conversation with them. Sandra does a. l o t of work to e s t a b l i s h the strangeness of Banks' behaviour through her technique of describing the three times that he went i n and out of the o f f i c e . Her d e s c r i p t i o n of her own avoidance behaviour indicates that the r e c i p i e n t s should turn from an appreciation of the behaviour simply because of i t s strangeness and hear i t as a threat. When Banks does approach she says, "He c - f i n a l l y came up to me and says...", the " f i n a l l y " i n d i c a t i n g that a l l along the behaviour was part of an a c t i o n whose completion was the utterance. So instead of a story which ju s t involves some strange t a l k and behaviour we get a l i t t l e drama i n which some strange behaviour leads to Sandra a n t i c i p a t i n g an unwanted conversation. 90 2. The Course-of-Action Organization At t h i s point I would l i k e to "briefly digress i n order to introduce an.analytic term app l i c a b l e to the story's events as described i n the previous section. The term i s the "story's course-of-action organization". While the p a r t i c u l a r events composing Sandra's course-of-action organization are s p e c i f i c to her story a l l s t o r i e s contain a course-of-action organization. The utterances of s t o r i e s are used to describe a s e r i e s of con-nected, temporally unfolding events with a beginning and an end. The sequential order of the utterances usually represents '-the temporal order of the events being described. In saying that the events are connected I mean that the t e l l e r isi?:not merely reporting everything that she saw, heard or thought during a c e r t a i n time period on a p a r t i c u l a r day. Instead the utterances of the story describe a group of events which the t e l l e r has put together i n such a way as to represent an experience which she had. Further, as Sacks has argued, i t i s a fundamental r u l e of s t o r y - t e l l i n g t h a t the t e l l e r has the r i g h t and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to organize the course-of-action around her own's character's p o i n t of view (Sacks 1978:259). My reason f o r introducing t h i s t e c h n i c a l term i s that i t w i l l be used l a t e r i n b u i l d i n g the abstract machinery f o r des-c r i b i n g i n t e r n a l story organization. The section previous to t h i s was undertaken i n order to pose a problem through which 91 Sandra's story can "be explored. I would now l i k e to turn to a dis c u s s i o n of the problem. 3. A Possib l e Ambiguity a) The problem which I would l i k e to turn a t t e n t i o n to concerns the l a s t utterance, Banks' remark, "Oh, i t ' s time to work now i s i t ? " . When I f i r s t heard the story, I heard i t as being about a person who was not an acquaintance of the t e l l e r ' s but who was threatening to harass her. She t r i e d , unsuccessfully, to avoid h i s harassment. That i s , she saw him hovering around her but t r i e d to avoid i n t e r a c t i o n by keeping her eye on the b u l l e t i n board. At the end, he approached her and made h i s r e -mark . The analyses of the story which I produced were based on t h i s hearing. I t was not u n t i l I had been working with i t f o r nearly two years that I noticed something about the professor's comment that could lead to a d i f f e r e n t way of i n t e r p r e t i n g the story. I would now l i k e to describe t h i s second hearing. My reason f o r doing so i s not to argue that the f i r s t hearing was i n c o r r e c t . On the contrary, the f i r s t hearing i s , I believe, the one that was intended by the t e l l e r and the one that the r e c i p i e n t s heard. The hearing that I am now proposing i s to be used only to e l i c i t c e r t a i n s t r u c t u r a l features of the story. One way to i n t e r p r e t the utterance i s to hear i t as the conclusion of an i r o n i c story. I t i s useful here to consider 92 the scene described by Sandra as Banks might have seen i t . He has passed a student i n the h a l l on h i s way to the o f f i c e . She i s looking at an examination schedule. A f t e r walking i n and out of the o f f i c e several times he notices that she i s s t i l l s t a r i n g at the schedule. This may have looked rather strange. Normally a person does not spend so much time s t a r i n g at an examination schedule. Banks i s then faced with the problem of i n t e r p r e t i n g Sandra's behaviour. What sense could he make of a student s t a r i n g at a schedule? Perhaps he though that she was s t a r t l e d at the inten-s i t y of her schedule or that the advent of examinations made her uneasy because she had not been properly committed to her work over the course of the year. I t i s not unusual f o r a person faced with an overwhelming task to momentarily "freeze up" rather than rushing o f f immediately to deal with the problem. This might have been how Banks interpreted Sandra's behaviour. She was i n a mild state of shock over her schedule. I f so, that would account f o r h i s choice of words which r e f e r to "getting to work". He i s joking with her about her reluctance to leave the b u l l e t i n board and go home to study. What i s i r o n i c about t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ' o f the remark i s that i n the very act of t r y i n g to avoid Banks, Sandra has pro-vided him with an opportunity to speak to her. Seeing a student i n d i s t r e s s over her examination schedule Banks could use t h e i r co-membership i n the academic community to o f f e r a l i t t l e joke to break the tension. 93 This second version of the l a s t utterance r a d i c a l l y changes the character of the story. I t shows the s e l f - d e f e a t i n g nature of Sandra's attempts to avoid Banks. By s t a r i n g at the schedule i n order to avoid him she has given him an excuse to speak to her as a sympathetic professor to a panicky - student rather than as a strange man to a woman. In the very act of avoiding him she gave him an opportunity to approach and speak to her l e g i t -imately . I t i s necessary to attend to d i f f e r e n t aspects of Banks' remark i n order to generate the two d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . In the f i r s t v ersion the r e c i p i e n t s need only determine that the remark v i o l a t e d the r u l e s of c i v i l i n a t t e n t i o n among strangers (Goffman 1963:83-88). In an a r t i c l e on children's s t o r i e s , Sacks introduced the concept of a t i c k e t . A t i c k e t i s an u t t e r -ance which, i n addi t i o n to saying something, also accounts f o r why the speaker f e l t that i t was proper to speak. For example, someone who observes a stranger stepping o f f the curb when a car i s coming may say, "Watch out". The utterance not only serves as a warning but also shows that the speaker was not v i o l a t i n g the norm of c i v i l i n a t t e n t i o n among strangers i n saying i t . I t i s acceptable to warn a stranger of impending danger (Sacks 197^: 23l). Banks' utterance i s not a t i c k e t . I t does not account f o r i t s own production when an account i s required. In order to hear the utterance as the conclusion of an i r o n i c 94 s t o r y i t i s necessary to attend to another aspect of the remark; i t s reference to "getting to work". I t i s t h i s aspect that con-nects the remark to Sandra's behaviour. S t a r i n g at the examination schedule, which Sandra has been doing to avoid Banks, suggests to Banks that she i s avoiding studying f o r her examinations. I t i s ju s t t h i s behaviour which provides him with an excuse f o r speaking to her. I f one hears the remark as d i s p l a y i n g the irony of the events, i t changes the whole character of the story. From a story about how threatening Banks i s , one gets a story whose theme i s , "Sometimes i n t r y i n g to avoid something we end up bringing i t on". For several reasons, I do not think that t h i s was the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n intended by the t e l l e r or heard by the o r i g i n a l r e c i p i e n t s . F i r s t , i t i s u n l i k e l y that I, as a member of a common culture with the t e l l e r and the r e c i p i e n t s , would give such a completely d i f f e r e n t hearing to the story f o r so long. I t was never a matter of hearing the story as ambiguous. The second hearing d i d not a r i s e u n t i l I had p u l l e d the story apart i n various ways. Second, the i r o n i c theme i s t o p i c a l l y discontinuous with the previous conversation. That t a l k i s c l e a r l y about harass-ment by the professor. As Jefferson points out, t e l l e r s do t e l l t o p i c a l l y discontinuous s t o r i e s but i n the t e l l i n g they usually introduce d i s j u n c t markers or other verbal i n d i c a t i o n s of t o p i c a l d i s c o n t i n u i t y (Jefferson 1978:221). These are not present i n Sandra's story. 95 The problem posed by t h i s story, then, concerns the l a s t utterance of the story. For that reason, an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the problem may give us i n s i g h t into the problem 1:of the story c l o s i n g which the report i s concerned with. That i s , the l a s t utterance of t h i s story, depending on how i t i s interpreted, can close o f f two d i f f e r e n t s t o r i e s . In the f i r s t version, the one which I claim i s the intended one, the l a s t utterance i s the c l i -max to a drama i n which a young female student t r i e s unsuccess-f u l l y to avoid the advances of a male professor. In the second version, the utterance throws an i r o n i c l i g h t on Sandra's attempts to avoid Banks. The exploration of how one i n t e r p r e t a t i o n has achieved dominance over the other may reveal some of the a n a l y t i c work done by the r e c i p i e n t s over the course of a s t o r y - t e l l i n g . The purpose of t h i s discussion was to show a possible am-b i g u i t y i n the story. Before turning to the a n a l y t i c implications of the discussion I would l i k e to c l a r i f y what I mean by "a poss-i b l e ambiguity". ••. b) I t i s necessary here to d i s t i n g u i s h among various ways i n which an utterance could be said to be ambiguous. The auspices under which I am using the term here are those of a " r e f l e c t i v e member" which I would now l i k e to d i s t i n g u i s h from a t h e o r e t i c a l and a members' auspices. I f one started, as a t h e o r e t i c i a n , with the idea that i n gen-e r a l words r e f e r r e d to s p e c i f i c objects or that words could be applied, through a set of r u l e s , to s p e c i f i c objects, i t would be 96 p o s s i b l e to a r r i v e at a t h e o r e t i c a l conception of ambiguity. This would be a"sentence containing a word which r e f e r r e d to two or more types of objects. "They went to the bank", f o r example, i s am-biguous i n that i t could r e f e r to the side of a r i v e r or a f i n -1 a n c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n . Given a theory of correspondence between words and objects an analyst could then describe the sentence as ambiguous regardless of whether or not any a c t u a l hearer ever got confused by i t i n conversation. When conversation analysts use the term "ambiguous", the t e c h n i c a l s p e c i f i c a t i o n they give i t i s i n keeping with what a c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t would f i n d ambiguous. For example, i n a study of s u i c i d e , Sacks argued that, f o r members, the claim, "I am s u i -c i d a l " i s ambiguous. Sacks observed that many of the people who c a l l e d the suicide prevention centre he was studying complained that when they t o l d t h e i r r e l a t i v e s or f r i e n d s about t h e i r s u icidalness, the l a t t e r thought they were j u s t joking. Others expressed fear that i f they d i d say that they were contemplating s u i c i d e , t h e i r r e l a t i v e s or f r i e n d s would think they were joking. Sacks' d e f i n i t i o n of d e f i n i t i v e n e s s and ambiguity arose out of these observations. He writes: I w i l l say that an a s s e r t i o n i s ' d e f i n i t i v e ' i f the following condition obtains: An asserter proposes to a r e c i p i e n t some remark. The r e c i p i e n t sees, v i a that asser-t i o n , the Device i n terms of which the asserter sought him out and asserted what he has uttered. Furthermore, the r e c i p i e n t sees the a s s e r t i o n as proper grounds f o r him to use the same Device.to c o n t r o l h i s response to the a s s e r t i o n . 97 Such an a s s e r t i o n — o n e mutually used by the asserter and r e c i p i e n t to warrant use of the same Device f o r making and t r e a t i n g the assertion—would then be d e f i n i t i v e of the Device. An a s s e r t i o n w i l l be c a l l e d 'ambiguous' i f we can c l e a r l y locate some set of a l t e r n a t i v e Devices, consis-t e n t l y present, whose utterance provides 'proper a l t e r n a -t i v e s ' to choose between (Sacks 1967a:57). The assertion "I am s u i c i d a l " i s ambiguous because hearers can properly use the device R (a p a i r of r e l a t i o n a l categories defined i n terms of t h e i r r i g h t s and ob l i g a t i o n s regarding the g i v i n g of help) to f i n d that the asserter i s serious or they can use the device performer-audience to hear that the asserter was joking. In p o i n t i n g to.!;the ambiguity of the story's ending, I am not speaking t h e o r e t i c a l l y . That i s , I am o f f e r i n g no corres-pondence theory of meaning which could be invoked to show that t h i s utterance can be declared ambiguous. On the other hand, I am not using a members' concept of ambiguity as I do not think that the second i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ever arose f o r r e c i p i e n t s . I t i s not that the r e c i p i e n t s had to choose between the two hearings. The second one never came up. The reason f o r describing the second possible hearing i s as a h e u r i s t i c device f o r discerning the structure of s t o r i e s . The grounds f o r claiming that the second hearing i s possible i s a r e f l e c t i v e members' grounds-. By " r e f l e c t i v e member" I am r e f e r r i n g to a way of examining t a l k that i s not d i r e c t e d to the discernment of structures but which allows us to stand back 9 8 from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a conversation and, using members' know-ledge and reasoning processes, see what else could be made of the t a l k other than what i s immediately understood i n the midst of conversation. That i s , I do not think that i t i s unreason-able to suppose that members, given the information a v a i l a b l e i n the story, could put that information together i n such a way as to hear an i r o n i c story. As we are members, myself and the reader, we could be brought to hear the ambiguity of the u t t e r -ance using members' reasoning and the information i n the story. We can hear that the t e l l e r was st a r i n g at the examination sched-ule i n order to avoid conversation with the professor, imagine that he might have found t h i s strange, and that he could have thought that she was avoiding studying when, given that she had examinations, that i s what she should be doing. Given these elements are the ones that are needed i n order to hear the i r o n i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the story, i t i s pos s i b l e f o r a member to hear the professor's utterance as the conclusion of an i r o n i c story. I f another hearing i s given to the utterance then i t may be that we could account f o r that hearing i n a formal way. That i s the purpose of contrasting the two hearings; to lead us to examine what i t i s about the story that would favour one hearing. k. Summary In t h i s s ection we have looked at a story that presents a problem with regard to i t s l a s t utterance. The problem was 99 that the l a s t utterance, depending on how i t i s heard, can close o f f two d i f f e r e n t s t o r i e s . In the f i r s t hearing, the one which I claim i s the intended one, the l a s t utterance i s the climax to a drama i n which a young female student t r i e s to avoid a man who has been hovering around her. In the second hearing, the utterance throws an i r o n i c l i g h t on Sandra's avoidance behaviour. By t r y i n g to avoid conversation with Banks, she has engaged i n some noticeable behaviour which provided Banks with an excuse f o r speaking to her. The reason I chose t h i s problem was because i t concerned l a s t utterance; an utterance whose p o s i t i o n a l status was r a i s e d i n the discussion of the d i r t y joke. In that discussion i t was asked i f l a s t utterance was an a n a l y t i c p o s i t i o n such that the occupancy of that p o s i t i o n by the squelch came as a s u r p r i s e . In Sandra's story, we have a possible ambiguity a r i s i n g from l a s t utterance. By exploring how one i n t e r p r e t a t i o n has achieved dominance over the other we may learn about the a n a l y t i c status of l a s t utterance. B. Constructing a Formal Solution to the Problem 1. Membership Categorization Device s I would l i k e to begin by pointing to one formal d i f f e r e n c e between the two i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s ; the membership categorization devices that generate them^. In an a r t i c l e concerned with how group therapy sessions 100 begin, Turner emphasized the importance of the membership cat-egorization device which generates an utterance f o r that u t t e r -ance's i n t e r p r e t a b i l i t y . Turner was studying a group therapy s i t u a t i o n sponsored by a u n i v e r s i t y health s e r v i c e . Often, peo-p l e would a r r i v e at d i f f e r e n t times, some e a r l i e r than others. The session could not begin u n t i l e i t h e r a l l were present or the absent ones had been accounted f o r . Before the session began, those present would speak to each other but i n such airway that the t a l k would not be heard as therapy t a l k . What they tended to do was to use another feature of the organization, that i t was a u n i v e r s i t y , to generate t a l k t h a t would be relevant to the membership category, students. Turner writes: With respect to the co-patients of a therapy group i t i s possible that some known s o c i a l - o r g a n i z a t i o n a l features of the sponsorship of the group permit them to membership one another i n some way a l t e r n a t i v e to "patient", as when p a r t i c i p a n t s i n group therapy sponsored by a stu-dent health service may take i t that "they" are a l l "students". But the point I want to make i s not merely that they are, obviously a l l "students", but that they can be seen, perhaps, to invoke t h i s category-bond i n a l t e r n a t i v e to membershipping one another as "patients"—where onerconsequence of the l a t t e r might be that i t would be appropriate to compare notes on t h e i r "problems" (Turner 1972:378-379). For example, one p a r t i c i p a n t s t a r t s a conversation by saying, "You two both stay at home?". Turner argues that t h i s would be an issue that would be of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t to young students. I t generates a conversation about l i v i n g quarters. I f the ques-t i o n had been asked during therapy under the auspices of the category "patient" i t i s possible that i t would have been i n t e r -preted as an i n v i t a t i o n to t a l k about "parent problems". 101 The utterance of i n t e r e s t here i s Banks' remark, "Oh, i t ' s time to_.work now i s i t ? " . I t has already been argued that the harassment hearing i s generated by the f a c t that the two char-acters are not well enough acquainted to allow f o r such a casual remark. Recipients have been set up f o r t h i s kind of an i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n by the previous report of the professor hovering around Sandra, h i s coming i n and out of the o f f i c e next to where she i s standing three times. In order, then, to appreciate the behaviour and t a l k as a kind of harassment of Sandra i t i s necessary to attend to the category p a i r "stranger-stranger". This p a i r gen-erates the organized set of r i g h t s and o b l i g a t i o n s which the professor's behaviour v i o l a t e s . When one member v i o l a t e s a r u l e she can do so i n order to perform a communicative a c t i o n towards another. For example, i n some s o c i e t i e s there have been r u l e s p r o h i b i t i n g low status members from addressing high status members. When the r u l e s were v i o l a t e d the higher status member would become enraged. For example, Goffman c i t e s the following incident reported by G r i f f i n : But my movement had a t t r a c t e d the white woman's atten-t i o n . For an instant our eyes met. I f e l t sympathy f o r her, and thought I detected sympathy i n her glances The exchange blurred the b a r r i e r s of race (so new to me) long enough f o r me to smile and vaguely i n d i c a t e the empty seat beside me, l e t t i n g her know she was welcome to accept i t . Her blue eyes, so pale before, sharpened and she spat out, "What're you looking at me l i k e that f o r ? " I f e l t myself f l u s h . Other white passengers craned to look at me..."I'm sorry", I said, s t a r i n g at my knees. "I'm not from here." The pattern of her s k i r t .turned 102 abruptly.as she faced the f r o n t . "They're ge t t i n g s a s s i e r every day", she said loudly, (quoted i n Goffman 1963:142). Looking back on these incidents we may be i n c l i n e d to think that the offense taken derived from a purely unreasonable snobbery. However, the offended party would know the r u l e and would know or assume that the low status person also knew the r u l e . She would be able to i n f e r that the low status person d e l i b e r a t e l y v i o l a t e d the r u l e i n order to i n s u l t her. The v i o l a t i o n of the r u l e would then be a way f o r a lower status person to perform an action, to i n s u l t her. Another i l l u s t r a t i o n of t h i s procedure comes from Goffman. He described a r u l e which obliged persons to adopt an "occasioned mutual involvement" i n a s i t u a t i o n . That means that p a r t i c i p a n t s to an a c t i v i t y should show that they are caught up i n the s p i r i t of the a c t i v i t y . V i o l a t i o n of t h i s r u l e can be used by i n d i v i d u a l s to express t h e i r contempt f o r the other p a r t i c i p a n t s . Resistance to the s p i r i t of an occasion, as expressed i n a r e f u s a l to sustain mutual involvement, i s apparently so useful a device f o r conveying so many things that some-one i n a gathering can usually be counted on to employ i t . At public dances i n the chief c i t y of Shetland, f o r example, one could usually f i n d a s l i g h t l y resented handful of couples, s o l i d l y middle-class i n s o c i a l status, who withheld them-selves from the plebian pleasures sustained by second-generation c r o f t e r s . This a l i e n a t i o n was expressed by dancing i n half-time to the vigorous music and sustaining quiet engrossing t a l k while doing so, conduct that was ob-t r u s i v e l y out of mood with the p r e v a i l i n g ethos (Goffman 1963:171). The above examples are intended to i l l u s t r a t e the following p o i n t . Relations between persons i n our society are regulated by r u l e s that are often attached to the relevant membership 103 categories a c t i v e i n a s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n . In the incident reported by G r i f f i n , the white woman f e l t that G r i f f i n was v i o l a t i n g r u l e s that regulate behaviour between blacks and whites i n public places. At the Shetland Island dances, the middle-class couples v i o l a t e d r u l e s regulating the behaviour of party-goers. When i t i s seen that i n d i v i d u a l s are i n t e n t i o n a l l y v i o l a t -ing a set of r u l e s inferences can be made about t h e i r motives i n so doing, inferences that go beyond merely a t t r i b u t i n g con-tempt f o r that set of r u l e s to the rule-breakers. G r i f f i n t e l l s us that the white woman accused him of being sassy f o r g i v i n g her a sympathetic smile. She did not i n t e r p r e t h i s behaviour as motivated by a sympathy that overcame r a c i a l boundaries. In-stead, she thought he was being d e l i b e r a t e l y rude to her. Goffman has given a d e t a i l e d account of the r u l e s that reg-ul a t e the behaviours of strangers toward each other (Goffman I963)• When one person v i o l a t e s thoserrules inferences can be made about the person's i n t e n t i o n s . When the v i o l a t e r i s a man and the r e c i p i e n t a woman the most obvious i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the v i o l a t i o n i s that he i s making a pass at her. Nothing i n -t r i n s i c a l l y sexual need be sa i d or done; the r u l e v i o l a t i o n i t s e l f communicates intent to sexually harass much as G r i f f i n ' s overture to the white woman, f r i e n d l y though i t appeared, was interpreted as a sassy gesture. Not only are;members of the so c i e t y provided with standard expectations regarding each other's 104 behaviour; they are also provided with standard ways of i n t e r -p r e t i n g v i o l a t i o n s of those expectations. Banks has not sa i d anything to Sandra which, i n i t s e l f , could be off e n s i v e . I f an acquaintance of hers had made the same remark i t would not be worth t a l k i n g about. The use of the device "stranger-stranger", with i t s set o f r r u l e s , i s nec-essary i n order to f i n d the harassment i n Banks' behaviour. The second i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , the i r o n i c one, centres around Sandra inadvertently bringing on the behaviour that she was t r y -i n g to avoid. She does t h i s by drawing at t e n t i o n to h e r s e l f . She has been s t a r i n g at the examination schedule f o r quite some time. Banks notices t h i s and remarks, "Oh, i t ' s time to work now i s i t ? " . As was argued e a r l i e r , i t i s unnecessary f o r them to be unacquainted f o r t h i s remark to show the irony of the story. I t i s only necessary that, f o r some reason, she i s t r y i n g to avoid him, and i n doing so has made hers e l f noticeable and so av a i l a b l e to be the r e c i p i e n t of the remark. The question i s what categorization device, given t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , would Sandra have heard Banks using i n i n t e r p r e t i n g her behaviour and making h i s remark. Sandra Is a student. She has gone down to the department to check out the examination schedule. Instead of looking at i t b r i e f l y and then returning home to study she has stood f o r 105 some time gazing at i t . In so doing she can be seen to be avoid-ing what she should, as a student, be doing; going o f f to study. Banks i s a professor. He makes a joking remark to Sandra. That i s , i n saying, "Oh, i t ' s time to work now i s i t ? " he i s mocking a r o l e that he could take s e r i o u s l y . A professor has a c e r t a i n amount of authority over students p a r t i c u l a r l y i n regards to berating them f o r not t r e a t i n g schoolwork s e r i o u s l y enough. A professor might take offense at seeing students d i s -p l a y i n g i n s u f f i c i e n t committment to t h e i r studies. I t seems to be t h i s aspect of the professor-student r o l e that Banks i s using i n a l i g h t , joking manner. The professor-student device produces both the i n t e r p r e t a b i l i t y of Sandra's behaviour and the grounds f o r Banks' remark. There i s , then, a formal d i f f e r e n c e between the membership categorization devices that are heard to be used f o r producing the utterance i n question. I f one attends to the harassment hearing then one hears that Banks has used the membership cat-egory "stranger" i n making h i s remark and that Sandra has used that device to i n t e r p r e t h i s behaviour. There i s nothing i n t r i n -s i c to the utterance that wauld make i t a harassment. For Banks to accomplish a harassment with the remark he has to attend to the f a c t that he and Sandra stand i n the r e l a t i o n of "stranger" to each other. In the second version, r e c i p i e n t s must hear that Banks i s speaking as a professor, even i f he i s mocking the r o l e . Sandra 106 must i n t e r p r e t h i s remark as being produced under the auspices ; of the professor-student device i n order to f i n d the irony i n the story. We can now ask i f there i s anything about the organization of the story that would lead r e c i p i e n t s to p r e f e r a hearing i n which a stranger i s addressing another stranger rather than a professor addressing a student. C l e a r l y , both categories are p o s s i b l e ways of categorizing Banks i n the story. We have now r e f i n e d the problem we started with; the ques-t i o n of how one hearing of the l a s t utterance achieved dominance over the other. I t was argued that the membership categorization device that i s used i n hearing an utterance i s c e n t r a l to the • i n t e r p r e t a b i l i t y of the utterance. I t was also argued that the devices a p p l i c a b l e to the utterance, "Oh, i t ' s time to work now i s i t ? " are d i f f e r e n t given the two d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . In the f i r s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n the r e c i p i e n t s must use the device "stranger-stranger" to hear that Sandra was harassed by Banks. In the second hearing, they would use the device "professor-student". We can now approach the problem we began with by ask-in g how the r e c i p i e n t s , on hearing the utterance, come to assign the device "stranger-stranger" to i t s production and reception on the part of the characters i n the story. In order to describe the type of story organization that i s used to make the "stranger" hearing preferable I would l i k e to turn to an exploration of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the device 107 professor-student and the device stranger-stranger i n the story. 2. The R e l a t i o n Between the Two Devices a) The question of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two devices derives i t s import from the following problem. Not a l l i n t e r -a c t i o n between unacquainted persons gets defined as t a l k between strangers. Consider the conditions under which somebody could be seen as a stranger. One person i s s i t t i n g i n a restaurant and another comes up to her and says,•.'."Hello, and how are you today?" I f the second person i s a customer from another table who the hearer does not know the greeting would probably be heard as one de l i v e r e d by a stranger. This might generate, f o r example, the hearing of the utterance as an attempted pick-up. I f the second person i s a waiter then the utterance w i l l be heard as a waiter's opening words and not as a stranger's greeting even though the two are unacquainted. The point i s that not every encounter between unacquainted persons w i l l make the device stranger-stranger r.relevar.t. The issue that i s being addressed here i s c e n t r a l to con-versation a n a l y s i s and to sociology i n general. I t i s a common-place observation that persons have multiple r o l e s ; father, employee, husband, g o l f e r , etc. How i s i t that i n any p a r t i c -u l a r i n t e r a c t i o n one r o l e i s assigned as relevant? This question i s one that i s deeply t i e d i n with the understanding of percep-t i o n and experience. When a waiter approaches a customer he i s 108 immediately perceived as a waiter. I t i s not that members have to ask themselves i f they should i d e n t i f y the other as a "waiter" or "stranger". They hear that a waiter has addressed them. L i k e -wise, "accostment by a stranger" i s something that members d i r e c t l y perceive i n that they do not make some observations and then con-s c i o u s l y set about deducing accostment from those observations. The study of the use and assignment of membership categories i s important, then, because i t reaches from questions of s o c i a l or-3 ganization to issues of perception . I t has already been stated that there i s a r u l e p r o h i b i t i n g the i n i t i a t i o n of conversation with a stranger. I t was also pointed out that unacquainted people speak to each other a l l the time; waiters speak to customers, cab d r i v e r s speak to fares, people waiting at a bus stop complain to each other about the ser v i c e . A l l t h i s t a l k goes on without n u l l i f y i n g the r u l e about not t a l k i n g to strangers since none of the interactants get ass-igned the i d e n t i t y "stranger". With a l l the t a l k that goes on permissibly between unacquainted others how can a speaker d i s p l a y that on a p a r t i c u l a r occasion she was spoken to by a stranger? At t h i s point we have the following problem. Sandra has t o l d a story. In order to j u s t i f y the suspension of the turn-taking system she must show that the story was worth t e l l i n g . Taken out of context, Banks' utterance has l i t t l e i n t r i n s i c i n -t e r e s t . I t i s not i n i t s e l f funny or unusual or improper. I t s i n t e r e s t a r i s e s from the f a c t that something has been done to 109 Sandra; she has been harassed. In order to hear the utterance as a harassment i t i s necessary f o r r e c i p i e n t s to assign the device stranger-stranger to i t s production and reception. The remark does not i n i t s e l f c o n s t i t u t e a harassment. Banks has accomplished a harassment by v i o l a t i n g the r u l e s regulating i n t e r -a c t i o n among strangers. In order to assign the device stranger-stranger to the pro-duction and reception of the utterance, the r e c i p i e n t s must have some way of f i n d i n g that the device i s relevant. Not only do they have to f i n d the relevance of the device; they have to see that the t e l l e r ' s character i n the story was able to f i n d the relevance of the device. The f i n d i n g of the relevance of the device must be systematic f o r r e c i p i e n t s , t e l l e r and the char-acter that t e l l e r appears as i n the story. A possible s o l u t i o n to t h i s problem would be the following. I f r e c i p i e n t s , on hearing the utterance, were able to decide that i t was probably a harassment independently of the use of the stranger-stranger device they could then examine i t to f i n d out how i t could be a harassment. To repeat, the remark made by Banks i s not i n t r i n s i c a l l y improper. In order to hear i t as such the r e c i p i e n t s must hear i t s production and reception from the stranger-stranger device. The question now i s : Does the story contain any information which could independently sup-port t h e i r a n t i c i p a t i o n of a harassment? b) To answer t h i s question i t i s us e f u l to return to Sharrock and Turner's d i s c u s s i o n of the subversive use of legitimate 110 i n s t i t u t i o n s . R e c a l l that the issue they were dealing with was why complaints that named or pointed to s p e c i f i c offenders were longer than the more concise reports of those which didn't. T h e i r argument was that members knew of a s p e c i f i c subversive use which could be made of the p o l i c e department; the s e t t l i n g of p r i v a t e scores. They also knew that the p o l i c e knew of t h i s use and that i f .the p o l i c e thought that they were g u i l t y of i t t h e i r complaints might not be attended to. The more general point of the argument was that i n s t i t u t i o n s had known subversive uses and that knowledge of these uses was a member's resource (Sharrock and Turner 1978). The professor-student r e l a t i o n i s also one that has a known subversive use. Professors have power over students i n that they can a f f e c t t h e i r careers i n various ways. Having that power, i t i s a v a i l a b l e to them to use i t to e l i c i t sexual favours from femalesstudents. This i s a s p e c i f i c subversive use which i s • known among female students and which can be used by them to make sense of a wide v a r i e t y of behaviour on the part of male professors. I t i s seen, that i s , that the professor-student device can be used as a fr o n t by male professors f o r making male-female relevant i n an i n t e r a c t i o n . My argument i s that there are c e r t a i n devices which are known to be used by some incumbents as f r o n t s f o r other devices. The professor-student device i s one that i s known, i n the culture of female students, to be used by some male professors f o r making advances to women. I l l The concept of "front" was developed by Sacks i n h i s analysis of several teenagers i n group therapy (1966a) . He pointed out that although the device patient-doctor was the one that c o l l e c t e d them a l l together, and was always r e l e v a n t l y present i n the back-ground of the t a l k , the patients would often use the f r o n t teenager-adult i n t h e i r membershipping of the group's personnel. What made the device teenager-adult an i d e a l front f o r patient-doctor was the f a c t that the former divided up the group i n the same manner as the l a t t e r . The patients were a l l teenagers and the doctor was an adult. Thus, many of the d i v i s i o n s of tasks required by the therapy s i t u a t i o n s could be done under the f r o n t of teenager-adult; a more palatable i d e n t i t y f o r the members of the former category. There are a few devices i n our society that seem to be r e l -evant i n nearly a l l s i t u a t i o n s . Most prominently i s the device sex. There have "also .arisen... many devices that get used, and are known to be used, as f r o n t s f o r bringing r e l a t i o n s between the sexes into an i n t e r a c t i o n . Because i n t e r a c t i o n between males and females i s r e s t r i c t e d by many r u l e s , those who want to i n i t i a t e an i n t e r a c t i o n i n which sex i s relevant may use another device as a f r o n t . A well-known example i n the f o l k l o r e of our society i s the boss-secretary r e l a t i o n s "Bosses" can ask t h e i r "sec-r e t a r i e s " to stay l a t e under the pretense of work. Likewise male professors can address female students under the auspices 112 of the professor-student r e l a t i o n when i t i s a c t u a l l y the male-female r e l a t i o n that motivates them. This i s a front that female students know of and which they can use to i n t e r p r e t the s i g n i f -icance of unusual behaviour on the part of a male professor, behaviour such as the walking i n and out of the o f f i c e three times. My argument i s that Banks' remark was heard as a harassment because the r e c i p i e n t s were able to a n t i c i p a t e h i s i n t e n t i o n to harass from h i s previous behaviour combined with t h e i r s o c i a l l y organized knowledge of the subversive use of the male professor-female student r e l a t i o n s h i p . Using the resources of known sub-versive use of legitimate i n s t i t u t i o n s , Sandra can invoke the relevance of the male-female device. She can count on the f a c t that her r e c i p i e n t s , also female students, w i l l be able to see through the professor-student device to the underlying male mot-i v a t i o n s . They can do t h i s regardless of whether or not they know Banks personally or have had s i m i l a r experience with him. The knowledge of the s p e c i f i c subversive use of the professor-student r e l a t i o n s h i p i s common c u l t u r a l knowledge that female students can be expected to have; knowledge that the t e l l e r can draw upon i n the construction of her story and which r e c i p i e n t s can use i n t h e i r understanding of i t . Banks' remark was heard as one generated by the category stranger because an explanation of h i s motives i n so speaking was already a v a i l a b l e . The device male professor-female student made sense of the hovering behaviour as a threat of sexual 113 harassment. S o c i a l l y organized knowledge of the subversive use of that device provides the r e c i p i e n t s with a means f o r i n f e r r -ing Banks' motives. The character Sandra i s i n the story i s also aware of these motives. That i s why she i s t r y i n g to avoid him. When he f i n a l l y approaches her and speaks, the r e c i p i e n t s already know what Sandra f e e l s h i s motives are. He wants to sexually harass her. This d i s c u s s i o n was i n i t i a t e d by the question of what the r e l a t i o n s h i p was between the two devices, professor-student and stranger-stranger. My argument i s that the former i s a known fr o n t , i n the culture of female students, f o r bringing male-female r e l a t i o n s into an i n t e r a c t i o n . The r e c i p i e n t s can use t h e i r knowledge of male-female r e l a t i o n s to understand that Sandra f e l t threatened by Banks' strange behaviour because she inte r p r e t e d i t as an attempt at sexual harassment. The device male-female provides them with the resources necessary to under-stand the reactions of t e l l e r ' s character to the events i n the stor y . When Banks makes h i s remark they are already a n t i c i p a t i n g a harassment. They need only f i n d a device which would turn the innocuous remark into a harassment. The stranger-stranger device, with Its"'rules p r o h i b i t i n g casual i n t e r a c t i o n , does that job. When a strange man accosts a woman without any v i s i b l y l e g i t i -mate reason, i t can be interpreted as a harassment. The course-of-action i n t h i s story i s organized around the t e l l e r ' s point of view. She sees Banks walking i n and out of an o f f i c e three times and assumes that he i s hovering around her. 114 She t r i e s to avoid him hut he f i n a l l y approaches her and speaks. Underlying t h i s drama i s another set of r e l a t i o n s h i p s ; the male professor-female student r e l a t i o n s h i p . My argument i s that the l a t t e r allows the r e c i p i e n t s to understand the t e l l e r ' s character's point of view on the course-of-action events. I t provides a known set of motives f o r understanding how the t e l l e r was able to connect the professor's behaviour with h i s remark and to i n -te r p r e t the l a t t e r as a harassment. The known set of motives i s attached to the device male-female i n which a wide v a r i e t y of unusual behaviour on the part of males with regard to females can be interpreted as motivated by a desire to sexually harass the l a t t e r . In t h i s report, I w i l l r e f e r to a device which allows the r e c i p i e n t s to make sense of the t e l l e r ' s character's point of view on the course-of-action events as a grounding i d e n t i t y . 3• The Grounding Identity Before returning to the placement of the professor's u t t e r -ance i n the story I would l i k e to f u r t h e r explore the r o l e of the grounding i d e n t i t y through another story. This story was t o l d to a group of her f r i e n d s and concerns a young man named John. The purpose of introducing t h i s story i s to provide another i l l u s t r a t i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the grounding and the course-of-action and to provide the materials f o r a discussion that w i l l be" undertaken i n Chapter 5 as to the f i t between i n t e r n a l story organization and the surrounding conversation. This i s the story: 115 G: Right, yeah, well L i z and Sean and, a g i r l f r i e n d of mine, L i z and Sean and John and I went to the V i c t o r i a S t a t i o n f o r supper once and uh that was f i n e . So we were a l l ready to go eh, and L i z and me and Sean are waiting f o r John who i s i n the washroom. We're waiting (pause) (giggle) waiting and waiting and waiting and next thing we know here comes John just streaking out of the can with something huge under h i s arm. "Okay, l e t ' s go". Just l i k e that p f s t b a r r e l s through h i s head down l i k e r i g h t i n the middle r i g h t through a bunch of waiters and waitresses and everything cause the kitchen's r i g h t there and just goes bombing r i g h t through the door. And what the h e l l has he got? So we ran out. He took a huge pi c t u r e couldn't get i t o f f the frame so he took the whole p i c t u r e out of the can under h i s arm and walked r i g h t out and into the parking l o t with i t . In the f i r s t utterance of the story, r e c i p i e n t s are given some information. Whatever the story w i l l turn out to be i t happened one time when the t e l l e r went to dinner with the other three characters. We are not t o l d exactly what kind of r e l a t i o n -ship existed among the characters. In r e a l l i f e they could have a l l kinds of r e l a t i o n s h i p s varying i n depth and degree; f r i e n d s , lovers, colleagues or acquaintances. A l l we know from the beginning i s that they are "withs" (Goffman 1971:19-27). That i s , they have gone to supper together and so w i l l be bound by the expec-ta t i o n s accruing to "withs" i n a public place. This may include things l i k e a r r i v i n g together, s i t t i n g at the same table, maintaining t a l k among themselves and even regulating each other's behaviour so that one or two do'not embarass the r e s t . This minimal information, that the t e l l e r and the other two characters stand i n the r e l a t i o n of "withs" i n a public place i s , I think, s u f f i c i e n t to allow the r e c i p i e n t s to understand the 116 t e l l e r ' s involvement i n the course-of-action. In the f i r s t ut-terance of the story, then, t e l l e r has offe r e d an i n i t i a l s o c i a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of her character, a p o s i t i o n from which she can confront the events of the course-of-action. The course-of-action concerns the successful t h e f t of a large p i c t u r e from the washroom of a restaurant. This course-of -action i s composed of a set of i n t e r l o c k i n g i d e n t i t i e s . John i s .the t h i e f . The restaurant s t a f f appear as obstacles which John must get':.through i n order to make the t h e f t success-f u l . The p o s i t i o n around which the story i s organized i s the t e l l e r ' s character. She appears i n the course-of-action as an "implicated innocent". T e l l e r ' s p o s i t i o n with regard to the t h e f t i s accounted f o r by her grounding i d e n t i t y , a "with" of John. Because she was with him she had to run out of the restaurant. The "with" r e -l a t i o n s h i p i s a s o c i a l l y recognizable one. John has put the t e l l e r i n an embarassing p o s i t i o n by h i s deviant act; embar-ra s s i n g because the restaurant s t a f f know that the two characters are connected through the "with" r e l a t i o n i n which one can be disgraced by the company one keeps. I would now l i k e to return to the problem posed by Sandra's story. The problem was that the l a s t utterance could be i n t e r -preted i n at l e a s t two d i f f e r e n t ways, depending on whether one heard i t as produced by a -professor speaking to a student or as a strange man accosting a woman. I t was argued that the l a t t e r 117 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was the one intended and heard. I would now l i k e to use the d e s c r i p t i o n of i n t e r n a l story structure composed of the grounding i d e n t i t y , the t e l l e r ' s character's point of view, and the course-of-action organization to i d e n t i f y l a s t utterance as an a n a l y t i c p o s i t i o n which would favour the l a t t e r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . G. Last Utterance as an A n a l y t i c P o s i t i o n I have been describing two d i f f e r e n t forms which the e l e -ments of a story are organized i n t o . The f i r s t i s the course-o f - a c t i o n organization which i s b u i l t from the t e l l e r ' s involve-ment with a s e r i e s of connected, temporally unfolding events. In the restaurant story, the t e l l e r sees that John i s taking too long i n the washroom, watches him run out, sees him race through the waiters and out the door and runs out a f t e r him. In Sandra's story the t e l l e r notices the professor coming to-wards her, sees that he i s hovering around her, t r i e s to avoid eye contact with him and i s f i n a l l y accosted by him. Her point of view, the one that the r e c i p i e n t s should be using to follow the action, i s made quite c l e a r . She i n t e r p r e t s h i s moving i n and out of the o f f i c e three times as a threat and reacts by t r y -ing to avoid him. There i s another organization of elements which s t o r i e s use. This i s the grounding i d e n t i t y . The "with" status of the t e l l e r i n the restaurant story makes sense of how she could be i m p l i c -ated i n John's actions. That i s adequate to account f o r why she would be put out by h i s behaviour; why she wasnnoticing how long 118 he took i n the washroom and why she ran out a f t e r him. I t i s adequate i n that to understand her behaviour the r e c i p i e n t s do not need to know how well the two of them knew each other, what those p a r t i c u l a r waiters would a c t u a l l y have thought of her i f he had been caught, or any other information not contained i n the opening utterance, " . . . L i z and Sean and John and I went to the V i c t o r i a S t a t i o n f o r supper once...". The s o c i a l organiz-a t i o n of "withs" i n a pu b l i c place i s s u f f i c i e n t to explain the t e l l e r ' s r o l e as an implicated innocent i n the course-of-action:; In Sandra's story, the organization'of males and females explains how the professor's comment was heard as an improper remark from a stranger. The professor-student r e l a t i o n can be heard as a known fr o n t f o r bringing male-female r e l a t i o n s into an i n t e r a c t i o n . The l a t t e r device i s one whereby a person could hear the i n i t i a t i o n of a joking r e l a t i o n s h i p by an unacquainted other as a sexual harassment from a stranger. I want now to return to the issue of the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Banks' utterance. My argument i s that t h i s utterance occupies an a n a l y t i c p o s i t i o n ; a p o s i t i o n which speakers and hearers o r i e n t to and which they f e e l c e r t a i n items should f i l l . The p o s i t i o n i s the story's c l o s i n g and the item that should f i l l i t i s an utterance that closesooff the course-of-action from the t e l l e r ' s character's point of view. The course-of-action involves an i n t e r a c t i o n a l contest be-tween Sandra and Banks. From where t e l l e r i s standing, i n f r o n t of the b u l l e t i n board, she can see what the professor i s doing. 119 Even before he engages i n the unusual behaviour that w i l l a l e r t her to the harassment threat she s t a r t s d escribing h i s movements i n terms of p h y s i c a l proximity to her. He comes out of h i s o f f i c e and begins walking. We don't know from the story what kind of a p r o j e c t he i s engaged i n . What i s i n the story i s h i s d i r e c t i o n . She says, "he comes a l l the way up the h a l l " . "Coming up" i s an i n d e x i c a l expression whose point of reference i s the speaker. She i s standing i n f r o n t of the b u l l e t i n board and from where she i s she can see him moving on the h a l l f l o o r . She des-c r i b e s that movement from her own p o s i t i o n ; he i s coming toward her. I t turns out that he i s going to the Chemistry o f f i c e . "Going to the Chemistry o f f i c e " i s not presented as having an import f o r h i s own p r i v a t e course-of-action, however. I t i s a place that i s r i g h t next to where the t e l l e r i s standing: Goes into l i k e the b u l l e t i n board i s r i g h t next to the chem o f f i c e eh, so he comes by, looks, goes into the chem o f f i c e , comes out, grabs some mail, g'goes back i n , comes out, looks f o r some more mail, goes ba. . . He i s , she assumes, using the Chemistry o f f i c e because of i t s p h y s i c a l proximity to her. He's hovering around her. The next move i s the t e l l e r ' s . She says, "I was pretending a l l the time keep reading the schedule, don't look at t h i s turkey". I t i s c l e a r that "keeping reading" i s not a normal behaviour f o r the a c t i v i t y "going to look at an exam schedule". One can only look at a schedule f o r so long i f what i s wanted i s the approp-r i a t e information. The t e l l e r i s responding to the professor's threatening behaviour. Being absorbed i n an a c t i v i t y i s a way 120 • to avoid making eye contact and so to avoid i n t e r a c t i o n . The f i r s t p o ssible completion point of the story comes when the contest i s resolved i n some way; e i t h e r by Sandra ge t t i n g away from the area of i n t e r a c t i o n a l a v a i l a b i l i t y or by Banks accosting her. The&e are the events which would be necessary to close o f f the course-of-action from the t e l l e r ' s point of view. I t i s not that the t e l l e r could not continue a f t e r t h i s point but i t i s here where r e c i p i e n t response can be a n t i c i p a t e d . During the s t o r y - t e l l i n g the r e c i p i e n t s must be engaged i n analyzing the story's events so as to hear how they t e l l a course-o f - a c t i o n organized around the t e l l e r ' s involvement with them. They must also be l i s t e n i n g f o r an utterance which could close o f f the course-of-action, again from the t e l l e r ' s point of view. Following that utterance w i l l be t h e i r f i r s t opportunity to f o r -mulate a story response. Banks' utterance, heard as an accostment of the t e l l e r and not f o r i t s i r o n i c import, f i l l s t h i s p o s i t i o n . The r e c i p i e n t s are not obliged to s c r u t i n i z e the utterance f o r any other feature than that i t c o n s t i t u t e s a harassment by v i o l a t i n g the r u l e s r e g u l a t i n g i n t e r a c t i o n among strangers. The story has ended and i t i s now the r e c i p i e n t s ' turn. They must produce an item which can f i l l the story response p o s i t i o n . They do t h i s by laughing. D. Summary In the previous section, a problem was i d e n t i f i e d ^ w i t h r e -gard to a story t o l d by a young female student. For members, 121 i t was possible to a r r i v e at two d i f f e r e n t ways of hearing the l a s t utterance of the story. The l a s t utterance was the report of a professor's remark to the t e l l e r . One way of i n t e r p r e t i n g the remark was to hear i t as an improper accostment from a stranger. The other way was to hear i t as a joke made from"a professor to a student; joshing her f o r s t a r i n g so long at&an examination schedule instead of getting down to work. I t was f u r t h e r argued that the f i r s t hearing was therpreferred one and that i n v e s t i -gating the reason f o r the preference may throw l i g h t on the p o s i t i o n a l status of l a s t utterance. In t h i s s e c t i o n I have argued that there are two sets of r e l a t i o n s i n a story. There i s the course-of-action organization which i s centred around t e l l e r ' s point of view with regard to a s e r i e s of connected, temporally unfolding events. There i s also the grounding i d e n t i t y which i s used to explain or make sense of the t e l l e r ' s point of view on the course-of-action events. In Sandra's story, the course-of-action concerns Banks' threat of harassment and her attempts to avoid him. Underlying t h i s drama i s the grounding i d e n t i t y male-female which i s used to account f o r why Sandra thought that Banks' strange behaviour i n d i c a t e d a threat of sexual harassment. The l a s t utterance of a story should close o f f the events of the course-of-action from the t e l l e r ' s point of view. Sandra's point of view of the events i n t h i s story i s that Banks i s t r y i n g to harass her and that she wants to avoid being harassed by him. There are a l i m i t e d number of events that could close 122 o f f t h i s a c t i o n without introducing new elements into the course-of - a c t i o n . One i s that she could get away from the area of i n t e r a c t i o n a l proximity before he has a chance to speak to her. Another i s that he could d i r e c t a harassing remark to her^. Banks' remark can be heard as one which goes beyond the l i m i t e d r i g h t s that strangers have to t a l k to each other. Given that t h i s feature of the utterance allows i t to constitute the story's c l o s i n g that i s how i t w i l l be heard. Recipients, then, do not have to attend to any other aspect 61 the remark's con-tent than that i t v i o l a t e s the r u l e f o r t a l k among strangers. The p o s s i b i l i t y of i t being generated by the f a c t that Banks noticed how strange Sandra's behaviour was i s not ac t u a l i z e d and the p o s s i b l e irony of the story missed. So f a r i n t h i s report I have been focusing on the a n a l y t i c work done by r e c i p i e n t s of a n a t u r a l l y occuring story as that story proceded. I t was argued that r e c i p i e n t s must be at t e n t i v e to at l e a s t two sets of r e l a t i o n s h i p s deriveable from the story. One.iis the r e l a t i o n s h i p among the characters i n the course-of-a c t i o n as seen from the t e l l e r ' s character's point of view. In the story under an a l y s i s here a woman i s being threatened with harassment and i s t r y i n g to avoid the act u a l approach. The other i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the characters i n the grounding. This r e l a t i o n s h i p w i l l help the r e c i p i e n t s determine and understand the t e l l e r ' s character's point of view on the course-ofaaction events. Sandra i s a student who has come down to the Chemistry 123 Department to look at an examination schedule. The course-of-a c t i o n "begins when a professor walks past her and, instead of g e t t i n g on with h i s business, hovers around her. The r e c i p i e n t s can use t h e i r knowledge of the subversive use of the professor-student r e l a t i o n s h i p to deduce that Sandra f e l t that the man was attempting to sexually harass her; to use h i s p o s i t i o n as a f r o n t f o r making a pass. They can also p r o j e c t that an outcome to the harassment attempt w i l l be the f i r s t p ossible story ending. In order to describe the a n a l y t i c work that story r e c i p i e n t s were performing on t h i s story an a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the l a s t utterance was produced. This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was said to be generated by a " r e f l e c t i v e member" which was defined as "a way of examining t a l k that i s not d i r e c t e d to the discernment of structure but which allows us to stand back from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a conversation and, using members' knowledge and reasoning processes, see what else could be made of the t a l k other than what i s immediately understood i n the middle of conversation". The i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that was chosen was one that provided an outcome of the r e l a t i o n s h i p s established, i n the grounding i d e n t i t y . A professor sees a student spending a long time looking a t an examination schedule and jo k i n g l y rebukes her f o r not g e t t i n g down to work. I t was argued that t h i s i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n would not be the one heard by r e c i p i e n t s because of t h e i r expectation that the story c l o s i n g would provide an outcome to the course-of-action events organized around the t e l l e r ' s 124 character's point of view and not of the r e l a t i o n s h i p s estab-l i s h e d i n the grounding i d e n t i t y . The d i s t i n c t i o n between the two i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s was based on a commonsense conception of the d i f f e r e n c e between r e f l e c t i n g on a story i n a s e t t i n g removed from the context of the o r i g i n a l t e l l i n g and being caught up i n an ongoing conversation. One p o s s i b l e way of perceiving the d i f f e r e n c e between r e f l e c t i o n on an occasion and involvement i n i t i s to t r e a t r e f l e c t i v e n e s s as i f i t was an a t t i t u d e of the observer. I believe that a sequential a n a l y s i s of conversation can i n d i c a t e ah a l t e r n a t i v e concept of the d i f f e r e n c e between r e f l e c t i o n and involvement. In the introduction to t h i s t h e s i s reference was made to the work of J e f f e r s o n (l9?8) and Sacks (1974a) on the sequential organization of story t e l l i n g s . These authors i d e n t i f i e d tasks that p a r t i c i p a n t s to a conversation had to perform on the com-p l e t i o n of a story. The f i r s t task was the production of a story response (Sacks, 1974a). The primary r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the production of a story response f a l l s on the r e c i p i e n t s who use that p o s i t i o n to show that they have understood the story. The second task i s the re-engagement of turn-by-turn t a l k (Jefferson 1978)• Jef f e r s o n argued that i t i s p r i m a r i l y the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the t e l l e r to perform t h i s task. The point that I want to make here i s that theddifference between a person caught up i n a conversation and one r e f l e c t i n g on i t i s not simply a matter of a t t i t u d e but of conversational 125 o b l i g a t i o n s . The a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the l a s t u t t e r -ance was a v a i l a b l e to the o r i g i n a l r e c i p i e n t s and the t e l l e r . However, they were not f r e e to scan the story f o r any possible i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that could be made of i t . They both had tasks to perform with regard to the story's f i t i n the ongoing conversation. Before proceeding to a more general discussion of the concepts developed i n t h i s chapter I would l i k e to turn to a story i n , which the t e l l e r has problems i n e s t a b l i s h i n g which categories • are to form her grounding i d e n t i t y and which her course-of-action characters. An examination of the consequences of the problem should help elucidate the r e l a t i o n between the two organizations. IV. SKIPPING OUT OR HIDE-AND-SEEK A. The Story I f a t e l l e r does not succeed i n making c l e a r which story elements are to form the grounding i d e n t i t y and which the course-o f - a c t i o n , i t w i l l be d i f f i c u l t f o r r e c i p i e n t s to show t h e i r understanding of the story. They may even have trouble recog-n i z i n g when the story i s over. Consider the following story t o l d by a young woman to some f r i e n d s . They have been reminiscing about t h e i r high school days and the trouble they used to get into with t h e i r teachers. ELLEN: (Laugh)- I remember one time we t r i e d to skip out of P.E., me and Carol and she, the teacher, came into the c l a s s ; into the changing room r i g h t , to 126 look f o r us because she knew we were i n there. And we were hiding behind lockers and she walked by one locker. And l i k e we were sorta hiding be-hind the other one. So we uh d i d t h i s f o r about h a l f an hour while she was looking f o r us (2.0) How strange. E l l e n t e l l s a story. She then pauses f o r two seconds during which time there i s no response from the r e c i p i e n t s . She produces a comment h e r s e l f ; she says, "How strange". How does she come to hear that the incident she reported, was strange? B . The Problem My argument i s that the "strangeness":jof-the! inc ident- i s something that E l l e n discovers i n the t e l l i n g of i t . She has not started out to t e l l a strange story. She i s t e l l i n g a story that i s t o p i c a l l y connected to the previous conversation about the "bad" things each of them d i d at school and getting, or avoid-ing getting, into trouble f o r them. Gina had t o l d a story about pl a y i n g t r i c k s ori a substitute teacher. She follows t h i s with the following utterance'. GINA: We used to get i n so much trouble (2.0) getting kicked out of P.E., breaking b o t t l e ( ). E l l e n i s then reminded of a time when she t r i e d to skip out of P.E. and narrowly escaped capture. When she t e l l s the story, however, she hears that something about i t i s "strange" whereas when she began she ju s t had the idea that i t was "funny", l i k e the story that preceded i t . I think that what she hears as 12? "strange" i s the irony of s u c c e s s f u l l y eluding the teacher but i n so doing having to spend most of the period that she was skipping out of behind lockers. The conversation up u n t i l then had been based on a kind of competitive game between p u p i l s and teachers. The p u p i l s would t r y to break the r u l e s and the teachers would t r y to stop them. I f the p u p i l s succeeded i n breaking r u l e s they were the winners. I f the teachers succeeded i n stopping them they were the winners. Who the "winners" are i n t h i s story i s ambiguous. Carol and the t e l l e r managed to stay hidden. The teacher walked r i g h t by them without seeing them. To that extent, they won. However, the teacher forced them to stay hidden behind lockers f o r h a l f an hour. Since that i s at l e a s t h a l f of the gym period, and given that hiding behind lockers under threat of capture i s not an i d e a l way to spend a period skipped out i t i s possible to declare the teacher to be the winner. While she has not caught them, she has at l e a s t prevented them from doing what they wanted to do. So the story presents the p u p i l s winning a b a t t l e by not being discovered, but the teacher winning the war by thwarting the skipping out plan. What i s strange i s that the t e l l e r and "her fri'ehd thought that they were getting away with something by s u c c e s s f u l l y h i d ing only to discover that i n order to do i t they had to spend h a l f of the time behind the lockers which was pro-bably even l e s s enjoyable than going to c l a s s would have been. 128 | S t o r i e s such as t h i s one hold a s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t f o r socio-l o g i s t s . I t i s not simply that the t e l l e r had looked hack at some of her past behaviour and found i t strange. She has had an opportunity to re-evaluate something she d i d at another stage of her l i f e , her teenage years. Her discovery that something she d i d back then was not as cl e v e r as i t seemed at the time i s one way i n which members of the society can f i n d that they are 5 "growing u p " . The women who are engaging i n t h i s conversation are young women, u n i v e r s i t y students. The events they are recounting did not happen very long ago. At that time, they were a c t i v e l y and emotionally involved i n the games that high school students play on t h e i r teachers. The teachers were the l o c a l representatives of adult authority and so the p u p i l s could take pride i n subverting t h e i r authority. "Skipping out" means more than j u s t avoiding an a c t i v i t y one does not want to do, i . e . , going to c l a s s . I t s pleasure also derives from the challenge of thwarting the authority of the school. Success at "skipping out" i s something that p u p i l s can boast about i n each other's company. For t h i s reason, p u p i l s may put an enormous amount of e f f o r t into skipping out; more than would seem, looking back, to be worthwhile just f o r the enjoyment of an hour or two of freedom from the classroom regime. The day-to-day s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s of the pu p i l s and the teachers give l i f e to the escape long a f t e r the hour i s over. Removed 129 from i t s place within these s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s i t i s d i f f i c u l t to sustain the meaningfulness of skipping out. At one point i n l i f e , however, the member i s expected to lear n how to take the adult point of view; to abandon allegiance to childhood and to c h i l d i s h things. One way i n which t h i s can be done i s through a p a r t i c u l a r kind of s p l i t t i n g of the s e l f . Adults l e a r n how to t r e a t t h e i r selves, as they appear i n old membories, as a l i e n selves which the mature one can f i n d amusing. This involves more than f e e l i n g embarrassed about an i n d i v i d u a l i n c i d e n t that happened yesterday or the day before. I t e n t a i l s c u t t i n g oneself apart from the whole i n t r i c a t e web of r e l a t i o n s h i p s and meanings which supported teenage acts of r e b e l l i o n . By exam-i n i n g s t o r i e s such as t h i s one where, a f t e r the t e l l i n g , the- t e l l e r comes to r e f l e c t on the story's events, s o c i o l o g i s t s can gain i n s i g h t into how members get to perform t h i s s p l i t t i n g of the s e l f with regard to p a r t i c u l a r i n c i d e n t s . I think that the strangeness of the s i t u a t i o n i s something that the t e l l e r discovers when she i s t e l l i n g the story and be-cause of the way she t e l l s i t . Instead of assuming that a l l i n -cidents that get t o l d i n conversation are already worked up into s t o r i e s and are being c a r r i e d around i n people 1s heads i n a story form, i t i s important to see that conversations themselves a f f o r d an opportunity f o r people to construct the events i n t h e i r past into storyable form. There are s i t u a t i o n s that people are i n , 130 1 i n c i d e n t s that they experience. When they are experiencing them they are already busy analyzing them f o r t h e i r meaning, import and i m p l i c a t i o n s . I t i s not that people have "raw" experiencesj uninterpreted events that l a t e r they put into some kind of struc-ture. Even the p l a c i n g together of several temporally d i s t i n c t actions into an event ( i . e . , seeing the teacher coming into the changing room as a response to Carol and the t e l l e r ' s attempt to skip out) i s an interpreted connection. However, when speakers t r y to f i t the t e l l i n g of a previously analyzed experience into an ongoing conversation they may become aware of aspects that they had not noticed before . I think that E l l e n has come to discover the irony of her s i t u a t i o n i n the t e l l i n g of i t . C. The Grounding Iden t i t y and the Course-of-Action The story that preceded E l l e n ' s story was the following: GINA: We got i n a l o t of trouble one time i n Grade 8 S o c i a l s , there was a substitute teacher when P r i t c h a r d was away. This one g i r l , Tara, was a r e a l rowdy. Her and K i t got suspended f o r being i n Arsdale doing something together. She decided to come into Grade 8 S o c i a l s and s i t there, and she was being a r e a l bag so the substitute said, you know, "What.vs;your name?" and she says (laugh), "Gina". I was s i t t i n g there going, "Tara, shut up". So the next day Mr. P r i t c h a r d comes back and s t a r t s y e l l i n g and screaming at me (2.0). F i n a l l y , Rosa puts her hand up and went, "Excuse me, that wasn't her, i t was Tara". I went, "Thank you, Rosa". Mr. P r i t c h a r d was t o t a l l y confused because Tara was not even i n our c l a s s . He was going, "Who's Tara?" (laugh) I have no idea (3.0). We used t o ' get i n so much trouble (2.0) g e t t i n g kicked out of P.E., breaking b o t t l e ( ) . 131 The story i s one i n which the pu p i l s are c l e a r l y the v i c t o r s . A g i r l who has been suspended comes into a classroom and causes trouble. In an attempt to deal with her the substitute teacher asks f o r her name so that she can report her to the regular teacher f o r d i s c i p l i n a r y measures. She gives the name of the t e l l e r of the story. When the regular teacher comes back he i s unable to f i n d the person responsible. He f i n d s out that the t e l l e r was innocent and by t h i s time the r e a l c u l p r i t i s gone. He ends up confused and the p u p i l s can laugh at h i s confusion. A f t e r the story Gina pauses f o r three seconds and then con-tinues with the utterance about get t i n g into trouble. Then E l l e n t e l l s her story. I t has aspects of both Gina's story and the utterance that follows the story. The escape from detection theme of the story r e l a t e s back to the "pu p i l as v i c t o r " outcome of Gina's story. More concretely, the v i c t o r y happened over the P h y s i c a l Education teacher, thus connecting back to "getting kicked out of P.E." from Gina's utterance. The utterance, however, does not have a "p u p i l as v i c t o r " theme but implies g e t t i n g caught. I t i s at l e a s t p o s s i b l e that the concreteness of the P.E. reference i n t e r f e r e d with the t e l l e r ' s a n alysis of the f i r s t story. To return to B's story: The grounding i d e n t i t y of the hide-and-seek action derives from the f a c t that E l l e n and her friend, were t r y i n g to skip out of P.E. The characters involved i n t h i s a c t i v i t y are the P.E. teacher and the p u p i l s . Carol and E l l e n 132 want to skip out of P.E. In order to do t h i s they have to i n i -t i a l l y avoid detection by the teacher. Once the teacher i s i n the gymnasium and they are elsewhere they w i l l have succeeded i n "skipping out". The changing room and the gymnasium are areas that are used by the players of a "skipping out" attempt. In order to skip out the pu p i l s must be i n a d i f f e r e n t area than the teacher during the time period a l l o t t e d to ph y s i c a l education. "Skipping out", then, has both a s p a t i a l and temporal aspect to i t . Being i n another place while the teacher i s i n the gym i s the s p a t i a l dimension while the length of a gym clas s i s the temporal aspect. The course-of-action i s organized i n t o a hide-and-seek game between two p u p i l s and the teacher. This game i s grounded i n the a c t i v i t y "skipping out". To skip out the pu p i l s must be i n a d i f f e r e n t place than the teacher during a c e r t a i n time period. When that i s the case, anything that the pu p i l s do w i l l be done under the auspices of "skipping out". For example, t h e i r t a l k i n g , smoking and running around w i l l be meaningfully infused with the more general a c t i v i t y term, skipping out. The hide-and-seek game i s a preliminary to skipping out. I t i s what allows the p u p i l s to accomplish skipping out or what allows the teacher to prevent i t . As long as the teacher i s i n the same place as the p u p i l s they cannot go ahead with t h e i r plan of skipping out. I f she does not see them, how-ever, she cannot get them into the gymnasium with her. The hide-and-133 seek game makes sense because of the skipping out plan i n which the p u p i l s wish to escape from c l a s s and the teacher wants to stop them. I t properly ends when the seeker f i n d s the hider or when the seeker moves out of the game by leaving the changing room. Many d i f f e r e n t a c t i v i t i e s may generate a game of hide-and-seek. Children t r y i n g to f i n d something to do on a Saturday afternoon, a k i l l e r s t a l k i n g h i s v i c t i m , a c h i l d t r y i n g to avoid being dragged home by her parents, these are a l l s i t u a t i o n s that can r e s u l t i n a hide-and-seek game. The r e l a t i o n s between the teacher and the students set i n motion by t h e i r skipping out attempt groundsithis p a r t i c u l a r game. The characters are two hiders who are on the same side* the p u p i l s motivated by a de-s i r e to skip out, and one seeker who i s on the other side, the teacher with her organizational reasons f o r wanting to stop the p u p i l s . The changing room i s the area i n which the game i s be-ing played; the lockers are hiding places. Each of the d i s c r e t e actions (walking around, looking behind things, keeping s t i l l ) are moves i n the game. I t ends e i t h e r when the hiders are found or the seeker leaves the room. D. The T e l l i n g I would now l i k e to argue that E l l e n comes to discover that her experience was "strange" as a r e s u l t of the t e l l i n g . There are two problem areas t h a t I would l i k e to turn a t t e n t i o n to; 134 the f i r s t utterance of the story and the l a s t one. 1. The F i r s t Utterance Consider the f i r s t utterance of the story, "I remember one time we t r i e d to skip out of P.E.". The problem here i s with the word " t r i e d " . Harvey Sacks provides an extensive discussion of verbs l i k e " t r i e d " which he c a l l s " f i r s t verbs" (Sacks 1970b). The reason f o r c a l l i n g them f i r s t verbs i s to point to the ex-pectation of hearers that a second w i l l follow. Usually, when a speaker says, "I t r i e d to do X" i t i s followed by a statement of f a i l u r e . One usually doesn't say, "I t r i e d to make a sand-wich and succeeded". I t i s more common to ju s t say, "I made a sandwich". "I t r i e d to make a sandwich" i s usually followed by a d e s c r i p t i o n of, or an explanation f o r , the f a i l u r e . In f a c t , as Sacks points out, speakers w i l l often use a f i r s t verb to overcome one aspect of the turn-taking system. A f t e r the speaker has produced a whole sentence, t r a n s i t i o n ^relevance occurs and a hearer may speak. I f the speaker uses a f i r s t verb early on i n an utterance she may complete a sentence and then s t a r t an-other one without worrying about hearers s t a r t i n g up. This i s because the f i r s t verb a l e r t s hearers to the f a c t that the speak-er has not completed her turn u n t i l she produces a second verb ( i . e . , "I t r i e d to make a ham sandwich but ruined i t " ) . I f the r e c i p i e n t s of the gym story are expecting to hear the outcome of the skipping out attempt; to hear, that i s , how 135 i t f a i l e d , they w i l l be t r e a t i n g i t as the course-of-action part of the story. That i s , the r e l a t i o n s h i p established through the grounding i d e n t i t y i s not supposed to move through time. I f a person t e l l s a story about how, when they went to a movie, they ended up s i t t i n g beside:, t h e i r o l d science teacher, then the outcome of the meeting would be germane to the story, not the ending of the moviev,. This story should end with the comple-t i o n of the hide-and-seek game which i s only preliminary to skipping out. The r e c i p i e n t s should not be l i s t e n i n g f o r the outcome of the l a t t e r . 2. The Last Utterance A f u r t h e r problem with the story i s i t s ending, "So we uh d i d t h i s f o r about h a l f an hour while she was looking f o r us". The story should end when the l a s t move i n the course-of-a c t i o n occurs. The hide-and-seek game p r o j e c t s • e i t h e r the det-e c t i o n of the p u p i l s or the r e t r e a t of the teacher from the game area as i t s f i n a l move. This ending implies that the teacher f i n a l l y l e f t ( a f t e r about h a l f an hour) but does not state i t . More importantly, i t r e f e r s to a period of time that can be c a l l e d "clock time". "About h a l f an hour" r e f e r s to a period of time as measured by the clock. Formulations of things l i k e people, places and time often have s i g n i f i c a n c e i n s t o r i e s ; they bear some kind of r e l a t i o n to the events. The course-of-action i s not i t s e l f being played out on a -.temporal'- gameboard but a s p a t i a l one. I t ends i n 136 v i c t o r y f o r the p u p i l s when the teacher has l e f t the playing area. Time, at l e a s t as measured by the clock, i s not d i r e c t l y relevant to i t s boundaries. T y p i c a l l y , when clock time i s not relevant to the events, s t o r y - t e l l e r s use another way of formulating time. For example, a t the end of the wreck story the t e l l e r saySj We were s parked there f o r quite awhile but I was going to l i s t e n to the r-news and haven't done i t . Clock time has no s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r wreck scenes. What does have s i g n i f i c a n c e i s the r e l a t i v e amount of time i t takes to c l e a r the t r a f f i c jam forming around the wreck. The importance of the amount of time that t h i s takes i s that a r e a l l y bad wreck would take longer to c l e a r away than a minor wreck. T e l l e r i s using her assessment of the time the two women had to s i t there as a way of "'.telling the r e c i p i e n t how bad the wreck was. That i s , compared to the normal amount of time i t takes to get t r a f f i c moving a f t e r an average wreck, t h i s took a long time. The relevant formulation of time i s glossed time (quite awhile) rather than clock time (Sacks 19?0c). When t e l l e r s use clock time i t i s usually because clock time i s relevant to the a c t i v i t y being r e f e r r e d t o . In my corpus, there Is one unusually long story that has a story preface. The preface goes, "A funny thing happened to me t h i s afternoon". The story s t a r t s , however, not i n the afternoon but i n the morning. The t e l l e r i s at work. The "funny thing" that happened, happened 137 i n the afternoon when the t e l l e r had decided to leave work and go down to the beach. The humour of the story concerns her being forced back to work ( f o r , as i t turns out, no good reason) when she was having a good time at the beach. The f a c t that i n the story preface i t happened i n "the afternoon" i s not j u s t a random time i n d i c a t o r that denotes any time a f t e r twelve and before even-ing. I t s p e c i f i c a l l y r e f e r s to the afternoon of a workday which i s a f t e r lunchtime, not j u s t a f t e r twelve. The temporal organ-i z a t i o n of the workday i s the s i g n i f i c a n t measuring unit because of i t s connection with the theme of the story; a f a i l e d escape from the workday. The story begins i n the morning. The preface has i n s t r u c t e d the r e c i p i e n t s to not hear anything that happens then as "the funny thing". The t e l l e r has to bring her r e c i p i e n t s up to "the a f t e r -noon" so that they can begin to l i s t e n f o r "the funny thing". She reports going to lunch with a colleague: A: Yeah I went to have lunch with Jean, and we had a long t a l k and, at one t h i r t y she sh'she decided that she was going to work hha and I say well uh i t s the f i r s t time that I'm c a n c e l l i n g appointment because I don't r e a l l y f e e l l i k e going, but I'm gonna do i t . . . Now the story has a r r i v e d at the "afternoon" and the r e c i p i e n t s can l i s t e n f o r what's funny. In t h i s passage, the t e l l e r has iden-t i f i e d a clock-time, "one-thirty". This i s the end of lunchtime. Lunchtime i s a unit of time generated by, among other things, the organization of the workday. I t can begin and end at any time the work place chooses. In t h i s case i t ends at one-thirty. Af-t e r that, "the afternoon" r e f e r r e d to i n the preface begins. 138 T h i s formulation helps e s t a b l i s h that the afternoon i s not just any time a f t e r twelve but i s the afternoon of a workday, something that w i l l be important i n understanding the story. ' T e l l e r s s e l e c t t h e i r time formulations with concern f o r , among other things, the appropriate measurement system of the a c t i v i t y they are t a l k i n g about. "Clock-time" i s not a p a r t i c -u l a r l y relevant unit f o r a game of hide-and-seek. What i t i s relevant f o r i s "skipping out". Skipping out i s based on not being at the proper place at the proper time. High school per-iods usually l a s t from f i f t y minutes to an hour. At l e a s t h a l f that time has been spent not a c t u a l l y i n clas s but also not i n a d i f f e r e n t area from the teacher. Because "skipping out" implies being i n a d i f f e r e n t place from the teacher the skippingoout attempt was not p a r t i c u l a r l y successful i n sp i t e of the v i c t o r y of the hide-and-seek game. E. Conclusion In both the opening and c l o s i n g of the story, i t i s d i f f -i c u l t f o r the r e c i p i e n t s to place the "skipping out" i n the grounding and to hear the hide-and-seek game as the course-of-a c t i o n . When the l a t t e r i s brought to an end by the report of the teacher ending her search a f t e r h a l f an hour, they do not seem to be sure that the story i s over. They make no response. This gives the t e l l e r an opportunity to r e f l e c t on her own story. She says, "How strange". What the t e l l e r comes to f i n d strange, I think, i s the irony of the s i t u a t i o n . She thought she was "putting one over" on the teacher because she didn't 139 get caught. In her attempts to evade the teacher, however, which were only a means to the end of being able to skip out, the teacher managed to keep her hiding behind a locker f o r over h a l f the c l a s s . She comes to r e f l e c t on the s e l f -defeating nature of the t r i c k she and her f r i e n d s were playing on the teacher. The r e a l i z a t i o n of t h i s irony i s occasioned by the construction 'of' her own story i n which the attempt at skipping out i s heard side-by-side with the progressing events of the hide-and-seek game rather than as i t s grounding. ..••.'V. SUMMARY In t h i s chapter, two tasks have been undertaken. The f i r s t task was to i d e n t i f y a problem that seemed conducive to an i n -v e s t i g a t i o n using Sacksian a n a l y s i s . The second was to b u i l d an apparatus out of conversational material which could be used to solve the problem. The problem concerned the l a s t utterance of a d i r t y joke. That utterance contained the outcome of two organizations that were operating i n the story. F i r s t , i t contained a s o l u t i o n to a puzzle that has been introduced e a r l i e r i n the joke; the puzzle of why there were no sounds coming from within the bed-room of the t h i r d daughter. Second, the punchline was a squelch of the mother by the t h i r d daughter. I t was the outcome of a power struggle i n i t i a t e d by the mother. That i s , i n l i s t e n i n g outside the doors the mother was acting i n her r o l e as enforcer 140 of her daughters' sexual morality. She was checking up on them. The punchline used a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c form f o r squelches i n which a member of a powerless category used a r u l e endorsed by the powerful member to j u s t i f y a r u l e v i o l a t i o n . The problem was why the squelch would be heard as a surprise by the joke's r e c i p i e n t s . I t could be ant i c i p a t e d that the punch-l i n e would contain a sol u t i o n to the puzzle as that i s a standard form that jokes take. The squelch, however, was s u r p r i s i n g . That i t was s u r p r i s i n g turns attention to the l a s t utterance. Since jokes use a story format i t was asked i f l a s t utterance was an a n a l y t i c object which c e r t a i n items were expected to f i l l . What kind of item, then, i s the squelch such that i t s placement i n l a s t utterance would be surprising? The a n a l y t i c apparatus developed from a consideration of several n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s described two organizations of elements which s t o r i e s contain. One organization i s the course-of-action events centred around the t e l l e r ' s character's point of view. The other i s the grounding i d e n t i t y which the r e c i p i e n t s can use to make sense of the t e l l e r ' s point of view given the events of the story. The l a s t utterance i s an an a l y t i c p o s i t i o n which closes o f f the course-of-action from the t e l l e r ' s character's point of view. I t acts as the f i r s t possible com-p l e t i o n point of the story; the f i r s t chance f o r the r e c i p i e n t s to give t h e i r response. The next chapter w i l l be concerned with discussing the con-cepts developed here i n a way more removed from s p e c i f i c problems 141 osed "by conversational data. I w i l l then return to the p r o b l f the d i r t y joke. 142 NOTES This example was given to me by Dr. Roy Turner. 2 The term "membership categorization device" was introduced by Sacks who defined i t as follows: By t h i s term I s h a l l intend: any c o l l e c t i o n of membership categories, containing at l e a s t a category, which may be applied to some population containing at l e a s t a member, so as to provide, by the use of some ru l e s of a p p l i c a t i o n , f o r the p a i r i n g of at l e a s t a population member and a categorization device member. A device i s then a c o l l e c t i o n plus r u l e s of a p p l i c a t i o n . An instance of a categorization device i s the one c a l l e d 'sex'; i t s c o l l e c t i o n i s the two categories (male, female). I t i s impor-tant to observe that a c o l l e c t i o n c o nsists of categories that 'go together' (Sacks 1974b:218-219). 3 This problem has been extensively discussed i n Sacks' d i s s e r -t a t i o n (1967 :7 -10) . 14. I t i s not that the story has to end here. The t e l l e r could introduce new characters or events that could change the d i r e c t i o n of the course-of-action. However, she would have to do so before producing an utterance that could close o f f t h i s course-of-action. A f t e r i t , r e c i p i e n t response can be a n t i c i p a t e d . ^ This was suggested by Dr. Roy Turner. This contrasts with the pi c t u r e of s t o r y - t e l l i n g presented by Goffman i n Frame Analysis (1974:503-510) . He argues that story-t e l l i n g i s l i k e "replaying the tape" of a past experience. Sacksian a n a l y s i s of s t o r y - t e l l i n g has pointed to many ways i n which a t e l l i n g i s an event i n an ongoing conversation; oriented to the preceding t a l k as well as an a n t i c i p a t i o n of what w i l l follow. In i t s design of past events considerations such as the topic of conversation, the p a r t i c i p a n t s to the conversation and the ru l e s of t a l k contribute a t l e a s t as much to i t s f i n a l form as does the sharing of the o r i -g i n a l experience. 143 CHAPTER 5 GIVING EXPLANATIONS IN NATURALLY OCCURRING STORIES The purpose of t h i s chapter i s to examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p s that e x i s t among the concepts developed i n the previous chapter. I w i l l he focusing p a r t i c u l a r l y on the r e l a t i o n s h i p among the grounding, the course-of-action and t e l l e r ' s point of view. The f i r s t r e l a t i o n s h i p to he explored w i l l he that of con s t r a i n t . I w i l l then turn to a discussion of the sense-making function of the grounding i d e n t i t y ; c h a r a c t e r i z i n g i t as providing a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation of the t e l l e r ' s course-of-action character's point of view. Following that discussion w i l l be a return to the problem of the joke introduced i n Chapter 4. I. TELLER'S POINT OF VIEW I w i l l begin t h i s s e c t i o n by looking at the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the t e l l e r ' s point of view and l a s t utterance. This w i l l lead to a consideration of the constraints placed on t e l l e r ' s p o i n t of view. A. Possib l e Completion Point of a Story S t o r y - t e l l i n g provides a problem f o r hearers. While the one sentence at a turn r u l e of the turn-taking system i s suspended f o r t e l l e r s , the no-gap, no-overlap requirement i s s t i l l relevant. Hearers must have some method f o r f i n d i n g that the story has ended. 1 4 4 Unlike the use of the grammatical structure of a sentence to hear that a turn has a r r i v e d at f i r s t possible completion point, there seems to be no s t r i c t l y l i n g u i s t i c method f o r hearing when a story i s over. Instead, the r e c i p i e n t s have to analyze the story's events throughout the t e l l i n g to f i n d that they form a course-o f - a c t i o n centred around the t e l l e r ' s character's involvement. Sacks has given a number of reasons why the organization of s t o r y - t e l l i n g around the t e l l e r ' s point of view i s i n t e r a c t i o n a l l y and experient-ially important (Sacks 19?0e) . To be added to t h i s l i s t i s the r o l e that the standardization of point of view plays i r i allowing hearers to f i n d the story's c l o s i n g . The issue of how a r e c i p i e n t can know when a story i s over was b r i e f l y discussed by Sacks i n h i s ana l y s i s of the wreck story. The story was: A: Say d i d you see anything i n the paper l a s t night or hear anything on the l o c a l radio, Ruth Henderson and I drove rU;v;-,jd6wn to Ventura yesterday, B: Mh hm A: And on the way home we saw the::most gosh-awful wreck. B: Oh:::: A: -we have ev-I've ever seen. I've never seen a car smashed into sm-such a small space. B: Oh:::: A: I t was smashed from the front and the back both i t must've been caught i n between two cars. B: mh hm uh huh A: Must've run into a car and then another car smashed into i t and there were people l a i d out and covered over on the 145 pavement. B: Mh A: We were s-parked there f o r quite awhile hut I was going to l i s t e n to the l o c a l n-news and haven't done i t . B: No, I haven't had my radio on, e i t h e r Sacks was interested i n the items which B interspersed through A's story; items such as "mh hm", "oh", "mh", etc. He argues that these kinds of utterances are designed by the r e c i p i e n t s so as to:show that they know that the story i s not yet over and they are s t i l l l i s t e n i n g (Sacks 1968). How, then, do they know when the story i s over? Sacks points out that the wreck story contains a story pre-face which i s given i n the form of a request f o r information. The t e l l e r wants to know i f the r e c i p i e n t had heard anything on the l o c a l news about the incident that she i s proposing to t e l l a story about. The r e c i p i e n t i s then i n s t r u c t e d to l i s t e n to the story and, on i t s completion, answer the t e l l e r ' s question. The preface not only introduces the story; i t also i n d i c a t e s to the r e c i p i e n t the form her story response should take. In addition, Sacks argues, the story preface t e l l s the r e c i p -i e n t what i t w i l l take f o r the story to be over. A f t e r the pre-face, the t e l l e r says, "Ruth Henderson and I drove down to Ven-tura yesterday". She then pauses. The r e c i p i e n t does not give a response at that point but merely says "mm hm". She r e a l i z e s that the story i s not yet over. She knows t h i s because the t e l l e r has not yet t o l d her anything that i s newsworthy. The preface 146 t e l l s the r e c i p i e n t that whatever the story i s going to be about, i t w i l l at l e a s t be something that i s a candidate f o r l o c a l news. Story response should be held o f f u n t i l that point. There i s a problem with t h i s s o l u t i o n , however. A f t e r the t e l l e r gives a report that i s c l e a r l y of a newsworthy item, the r e c i p i e n t s t i l l does not make a response. By A's f i f t h turn of t a l k she has said a l l that she i s going to about the wreck. B says, "mh". I t i s not u n t i l B's next turn at t a l k that a story response i s given. In a l a t e r l e c t u r e (l9?0c), Sacks argued that i n addition to the d e s c r i p t i o n of the wreck there i s a second organization of the story's materials, "the course-of-action organization of the t e l l e r ' s circumstances". The t e l l e r reports her own project; that she and Ruth Henderson had driven down to Ventura and were on the way home. 'They then saw the wreck which the t e l l e r has described. A f t e r B's "mh" the t e l l e r returns to her own course-o f - a c t i o n saying, "We were s-parked there f o r quite awhile but I was going to l i s t e n to the l o c a l r-news and haven't done i t " . Then B gives a story response. I t i s possible that the t e l l i n g of witnessed s t o r i e s has the s p e c i f i c problem of making i t d i f f i c u l t f o r r e c i p i e n t s to know when to respond. Using Sacks' d i s t i n c t i o n between the course-o f - a c t i o n organization and the d e s c r i p t i o n of the witnessed scene, one possible s o l u t i o n would be f o r the t e l l e r s to return to t h e i r own course-of-action i n order to close i t o f f . When the course-147 o f - a c t i o n was closed o f f , the story would he over. There i s , however, a problem with t h i s way of viewing the matter. B. Gourse-of-Action and Witnessing Sacks has made a d i s t i n c t i o n between the t e l l e r ' s course-of-a c t i o n and the d e s c r i p t i o n of the wreck. One way he makes that d i s t i n c t i o n i s by pointing to the dif f e r e n c e between a report i n everyday conversation and one given by a reporter. A reporter does not preface her d e s c r i p t i o n of a scene by t e l l i n g how she happened to be there. In natural conversation, p r a c t i c a l l y a l l d e s c r i p t i o n s of witnessed events begin by reporting what the t e l l e r was doing. The d i s t i n c t i o n poses some problems f o r the analysis that i s being developed here. B a s i c a l l y , the problem i s that t h i s a n a l y s i s has l e f t no room f o r a d i s t i n c t i o n between the t e l l e r ' s course-of-action and any de s c r i p t i o n s of scenes that are put into s t o r i e s . The d i s t i n c t i o n has j u s t been borrowed from Sacks without any in t e g r a t i o n into the a n a l y s i s . Gommonsensically, the d i s t i n c t i o n i s easy to see. I t i s i t s a n a l y t i c status that i s problematic. I would l i k e now to look f u r t h e r into the matter i n the hope of c l a r i f y i n g t h i s i s s u e . I w i l l begin with a discussion of how witnessing i s r e -ported i n s t o r i e s . G. Normal Witnessing Sacks argues that the t e l l e r has produced a "normal" account 148 of a wreck. By t h i s he means that the t e l l e r ' s story displays features which any competent witness would place i n a report. F i r s t , the t e l l e r has not a c t u a l l y seen a wreck. She has seen a wreck aftermath. By the time the t e l l e r a r r i v e s at the scene the accident has already happened. She does not t e l l a story of a wreck aftermath, however. She uses what she saw to make inferences about how the accident must have happened. She knows that the i n t e r e s t i n g event, the one worth t e l l i n g about, was the accident and not the aftermath although she could have t o l d a story about the l a t t e r (Sacks 1970c) . Second, the measurement units she uses are those which would be used by any competent member of our soci e t y . She uses an approx-imate time, "quite awhile", to t e l l how long she was parked at the scene. Approximate time was the appropriate measurement unit given that she was using the report to say how bad the accident was (Sacks 1970c). F i n a l l y , her reaction to the wreck displays an o r i e n t a t i o n to normal reactions to such s i t u a t i o n s . Sacks puts the matter t h i s way. The t e l l e r i s e n t i t l e d to an experience because she has come across something unusual; the aftermath of a t e r r i b l e wreck. She has seen bodies l y i n g on the pavement. The extent to which she can make t h i s an experience i n her l i f e , however, i s constrained. Sacks points out that the t e l l e r i s very c a r e f u l to show that she d i d not make too much of the incident (Sacks 1970d). Her aloofness i s revealed i n several features of the 149 t e l l i n g . F i r s t , she does not include references to her own state of mind with regard to what she saw. She does not describe how she f e l t upon seeing the bodies, f o r example. Second, she t e l l s the story well into the conversation she i s having with the r e c i -p i e n t . She d i d not c a l l the r e c i p i e n t to t e l l her about i t as she would be expected to i f something major had come about i n her l i f e . Third, she reports that while she was going to l i s t e n to the l o c a l news to hear about the accident, she watched the astro-nauts instead. A l l these features i n d i c a t e the lack of intense involvement the t e l l e r f e l t about her experience. She was able to "put i t into perspective". She d i d not overreact. Instead, she treated i t as any witness might; as a t e r r i b l e tragedy but not one that strongly impinged on her l i f e . Being a witness, then, constrains t e l l e r s . They have to be c a r e f u l that the descriptions they give of the events are the types of d e s c r i p t i o n s that would be given by any competent viewer. They also have to show that they have not made too much of the event; have not turned i t i n t o a l a r g e r incident i n ' t h e i r l i v e s than any normal person would. D. The Course-of-Action Character The constraints imposed upon competent witnessing can give us f u r t h e r i n s i g h t into the issue of the t e l l e r ' s point of view. E a r l i e r , i t was argued that the t e l l e r has the r i g h t to organize the story events around her own point of view. What her point of 150 view should he, however," i s not completely undetermined. The t e l l e r i s not free to decide what some set of events should mean to her. She should instead organize the t e l l i n g around the point of view of the course-of-action character that she appears as i n the story. I f her course-of-action character i s a witness, then she i s constrained i n her t e l l i n g by how any "normal" witness would think, act and t a l k i n the s i t u a t i o n . The same applies to the "harassed v i c t i m " and the "implicated innocent". I f the t e l l e r were not compelled to adopt the point of view of her course-of-action character then she would be forced to ex-p l i c i t l y formulate her point of view rather than r e l y i n g on the commonsense knowledge of her r e c i p i e n t s to i n f e r , i t . Given the pervasiveness of the use of categories as an organizing p r i n c i p l e i n our t a l k , i t i s d i f f i c u l t i f not impossible to imagine the f u l l i m p lications of doing without them i n s t o r y - t e l l i n g . The length of s t o r i e s would be i n d e f i n i t e l y expanded. The t e l l e r would have to t r e a t her encounter with the course-of-action events as a uni-que experience which only an unimaginably d e t a i l e d e x p l i c a t i o n of her p e r s o n a l i t y and past experience could convey. Further, the degree of e x p l i c a t i o n would vary with the degree of acquaintance-ship that that t e l l e r had with her r e c i p i e n t s . I f she was t e l l i n g the story to those she had known a l l her l i f e she could count on t h e i r knowledge of her and how she tends to react to c e r t a i n types of incidents to f i l l i n some of the needed information. I f , how-ever, she was t e l l i n g a story to someone she had j u s t met, the 151 task would be enormous. Also, consider the s i t u a t i o n of t e l l i n g a story to several r e c i p i e n t s , each with a d i f f e r e n t degree of acquaintanceship with the t e l l e r . In s t o r i e s , i t i s not necessary f o r the t e l l e r to ground her character i n her s e l f as a unique i n d i v i d u a l . The character's point of view i s s u f f i c i e n t l y grounded by a membership category. This i s one of the main contributors to the s t r i k i n g economy which characterizes n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s . Using Sacks' d i s t i n c t i o n between the course-of-action and the d e s c r i p t i o n of events, I suggested t h a t a s p e c i f i c problem with the t e l l i n g of witnessed events may be getting r e c i p i e n t s to see when the story i s over, given that there i s no point of view to follow. Return to the t e l l e r ' s course-of-action was a pos s i b l e s o l u t i o n . In the discu s s i o n of witnessing, I hoped to show that the d i s t i n c t i o n between the d e s c r i p t i o n of the events that the story i s about and the reports of what the t e l l e r was doing, her course-of -action, could not be sustained a n a l y t i c a l l y . In the termin-ology of t h i s report; . "witness" i s not something d i f f e r e n t from the course-of-action; i t i s t e l l e r ' s course-of-action character. As such, i t i s subject to the constraint that the character show h e r s e l f to be a "normal" witness. E. The Grounding I d e n t i t y and the Course-of-Action Character The d i s c u s s i o n of the constraints placed on the t e l l e r ' s point of view r a i s e s an important issue. I t was argued that the t e l l e r 152 cannot adopt just any point of view but must orient to the point of view that any normal incumbent of the course-of-action character would adopt. Are there any constraints on the t e l l e r ' s choice of a course-of-action character? The argument that I would l i k e to put forward i n t h i s section i s that the grounding i d e n t i t y exercises some constraint over the t e l l e r ' s choice of a course-of-action character. By imagining d i f f e r e n t versions of the wreck story we can come to see how t h i s works. There are d i f f e r e n t ways f o r a person to r e l a t e to a wreck and i t s victims other than as a.witness. Imagine that the t e l l e r had begun the story by reporting that she was on her way to an important meeting. She came upon a wreck and had to park her car u n t i l the wreck was cleared away. While s i t t i n g there she kept looking at her watch, growing more anxious as the minutes passed. In t h i s version, the t e l l e r ' s course-of-action character would be a delayed person. What would ground t h i s i d e n t i t y would be her i d e n t i t y as one h a l f of a meeting. Because she was i n a hurry to get to her appointment she perceived the wreck as a delay. The f i r s t p o ssible completion point of the story would be a report of whether or not she made i t to her appointment. Consider how t h i s t e l l i n g would generate a d i f f e r e n t i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n of at l e a s t one feature of the wreck d e s c r i p t i o n . In the o r i g i n a l story when the t e l l e r reports that she was parked f o r a long time the r e c i p i e n t s can hear t h i s report as coming from a 153 witness. The import of i t i s that i t says how bad the accident must have been. I t took a long time to c l e a r away the mess. In the imaginary story, hearing the report as coming from a delayed person, the s i g n i f i c a n c e would be d i f f e r e n t . I t would be heard as saying how the wreck delayed the t e l l e r i n reaching her d e s t i n -a t i o n . In the a c t u a l story, the t e l l e r has provided h e r s e l f with no grounding i d e n t i t y except that of a motorist. She has gone to Ventura f o r reasons unknown to the r e c i p i e n t and now she i s on her way home to do whatever. Her plans are not included i n the story. What the r e c i p i e n t does know i s that she i s i n a car d r i v -ing down a highway. As a motorist, she comes upon a wreck scene and i s transformed into a witness. What, then, i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between "motorist" and "witness"? Motorists, i t i s known, can react i n various ways to many d i f f e r e n t things-;that happen while they are d r i v i n g . They can, f o r example, become annoyed at slow d r i v e r s ; t r e a t i n g the delays caused by the l a t t e r as something aggravating that happened to them. In order to complain to others about slow d r i v e r s i t i s not necessary f o r them to emphasize why they had to get whereever they were going i n a hurry. A motorist can complain about slow d r i v e r s even i f she w a s j u s t d r i v i n g around. To t r e a t an accident of the se v e r i t y of the o n e i i n the wreck story as an aggravation that happened to oneself would probably be treated as a demonstration of i n c r e d i b l e callousness. On seeing such a tragedy, the normal "motorist" would become a "witness". 154 In saying t h a t a normal motorist would become a witness I am not making an empirical statement about how people d r i v i n g down a highway react to accidents. I am making a point about s t o r y - t e l l i n g . "Motorist" i s a p o s i t i o n that the t e l l e r has made relevant to the story by introducing i t as her grounding i d e n t i t y . I t i s not that "she became a witness because she was d r i v i n g down the highway. Rather, i n the story, once she had established h e r s e l f as a "motorist" i t would be d i f f i c u l t ' to be-come anything i n the story other than a witness without appearing t e r r i b l y egocentric or c a l l o u s . The grounding i d e n t i t y thus exer-c i s e s some c o n t r o l over the choice of the t e l l e r ' s course-of-action character. The issue here goes much deeper than the t e c h n i c a l problem of b u i l d i n g i n a recognizable story completion, while t e l l i n g s t o r i e s , t e l l e r s are e s t a b l i s h i n g r e l a t i o n s with t h e i r r e c i p i e n t s . In s t o r i e s , t e l l e r s appear as incumbents of categories. Through-out conversation, c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t s also use category membership f o r generating utterances. Categories are rule-governed p o s i t i o n s from which i n d i v i d u a l s may view, think and act i n scenes. Cat-egories are also members of devices; that i s , i n adopting one cat-egory from which to speak there are categories i n the device that complement the f i r s t and which one's hearer may adopt. This i s a very basic form of s o c i a l order? "husbands" speak with "wives", " f r i e n d s " t a l k to " f r i e n d s " , "performers" t e l l jokes to t h e i r "audience". To maintain t h i s order, incumbents of the categories 155 must be r e l i a b l e . They must be w i l l i n g to f o l l o w the r u l e s of t h e i r category. When t e l l e r s t e l l s t o r i e s i n which they have thought, spoken, seen and acted as rule-governed, "normal" incumbents of categories they d i s p l a y t h e i r r e l i a b i l i t y . They show that they are committed to rule-bound ways of thinking, seeing and a c t i n g . As such, they w i l l be able to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the i n t e r l o c k i n g of categories through which i n d i v i d u a l s i n a conversation co-ordinate t h e i r t a l k and t h e i r a ctions. F. Summary In t h i s section, I have argued that the t e l l e r ' s point of view i s not f r e e l y chosen by the t e l l e r . F i r s t , the t e l l e r must f i n d the point of view of the t y p i c a l category member which she has chosen as her course-of-action character. Second, i n choosing her course-of-action character she must be s e n s i t i v e to how her grounding i d e n t i t y would t y p i c a l l y react given the events of the course-of-action. These constraints perform at l e a s t two functions i n s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . F i r s t , i n terms of the conversation system i t s e l f , they contribute to the stark economy of s t o r i e s . T e l l e r s do not have to formulate t h e i r point of view i n s t o r i e s . They can depend on t h e i r r e c i p i e n t s ' a b i l i t y to i n f e r i t using p r a c t i c a l sociolog-i c a l methods. Second, they contribute to the d e l i c a t e s o c i a l order 156 J that characterizes our occasions. By t e l l i n g s t o r i e s i n which the t e l l e r acted as any other member would t y p i c a l l y act, she i s able to display that she i s a r e l i a b l e , rule-governed actor, cap-able of viewing scenes and a c t i n g i n them i n a normal manner. She shows that she i s trustworthy. I I . THE GROUNDING RELATION AS A MEMBERS ' ADEQUATE SOCIOLOGICAL  EXPLANATION A. Members' Adequate S o c i o l o g i c a l Explanations In the l e c t u r e s , Sacks suggested that members have a v a i l a b l e to them adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanations (Sacks 1966c). An ad-equate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation i s one which accounts f o r a char-acter's behaviour by reference to that character's membership category. For example, i f a person who appears i n a story as a waiter brings a p l a t e of food to a table then the f a c t that the person i s a waiter i s a s u f f i c i e n t account of h i s behaviour. The t e l l e r does not have to say, "He brought a plate of food to our table because he l i k e d us". I f she d i d give t h i s kind of ex-planation, the r e c i p i e n t s might s e r i o u s l y question her competence. Sacks argues that the competent use of members' adequate soc-i o l o g i c a l explanations i s an important resource i n conversation. For example, i t can be used by a hearer to f i n d that a speaker has l i e d . Sacks r e f e r s to a conversation between a p s y c h i a t r i s t and a man who has c a l l e d f o r help. At one point, the c a l l e r des-157 c r i b e s an argument that-he had with h i s wife. One utterance of the story goes, "And then about that time, her s i s t e r had c a l l e d the p o l i c e " . The p s y c h i a t r i s t then asks the c a l l e r i f he had h i t h i s wife and when the c a l l e r denies i t he says, "You're not t e l l i n g me the story, Mister B". The p s y c h i a t r i s t knew neither the man, the wife nor the s i s -t e r . He d i d know that the c a l l e r ' s story lacked an explanation f o r why the s i s t e r c a l l e d the p o l i c e . He found an explanation, a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation. " S i s t e r s " c a l l the p o l i c e when t h e i r s i s t e r s are p h y s i c a l l y attacked. Not only does the p s y c h i a t r i s t see that the whole story has not been t o l d because a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation was lacking; the c a l l e r sees that the p s y c h i a t r i s t had grounds f o r h i s doubt. When the p s y c h i a t r i s t challenged him he could have issued a challenge i n return. The p s y c h i a t r i s t was not there. How would he know what had happened? He does not, however, c h a l l -enge the p s y c h i a t r i s t because, as a person also competent i n the use of members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanations, he can see that the former had good reason to question h i s story (Sacks 1966d). Another point that Sacks makes i s that types of members' explanations are organized into domains with r u l e s excluding ex-planations from c e r t a i n domains (1966c). Members' concepts of s o c i a l organization i s one domain. That i s , there i s commonsense knowledge concerning what members of categories w i l l do, how they 158 w i l l think and what r u l e s are relevant f o r them. Another domain i s members' concepts of pe r s o n a l i t y . Acts, thoughts and.speech may be explained by reference to someone's p e r s o n a l i t y . There seems to be r u l e s which p r o h i b i t mixing explanations from d i f f -erent domains. I f a members' s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation i s approp-r i a t e to explain a character's behaviour, then no other explan-a t i o n should be given. Members,can be perceived as strange i f they ^habiiiiaal'ly'' use explanations from another domain when socio-l o g i c a l ones w i l l do. For example, I had a f r i e n d who I thought was becoming para-noid. He worked as a night j a n i t o r f o r a small b u i l d i n g . In the daytime, the company used Portuguese immigrants as t h e i r cleaning s t a f f . My f r i e n d would complain to me that the manager of the b u i l d i n g was putti n g minor impediments i n h i s way i n order to annoy and harass him. He was very upset about t h i s . When he explained the incident to me i n t h i s way, i t tended to r e i n f o r c e by opinion that he was getting paranoid. A f t e r a l l , I thought, why would the manager go to a l l that trouble to harass him? At one point, however, he produced another type of explan-a t i o n . He sa i d that the manager wanted to h i r e Portuguese workers f o r the night s h i f t because they were more exploitable than Can-adian workers. Since there was a labour a r b i t r a t i o n board i n the c i t y , encumbering a d i r e c t d i smissal without due cause, the man-ager was t r y i n g to get him to q u i t . This was a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation of the events and, had he given i t f i r s t without the more personal explanations, I would not have used i t 159 as a way of seeing h i s growing paranoia. In combination with the personal explanations, however, i t was not enough to norm-a l i z e h i s t a l k f o r me. My p o s i t i o n i s that grounding i d e n t i t i e s are introduced into s t o r i e s f o r the purpose of providing members' adequate s o c i o l o -g i c a l explanations of the t e l l e r ' s course-of-action character's point of view. In the remainder of t h i s section, two issues w i l l be addressed. F i r s t , I want to explore why t e l l e r s of at l e a s t some s t o r i e s would f e e l i t to be to t h e i r advantage to r e l y on t h e i r r e c i p i e n t s ' a b i l i t i e s to i n f e r adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explan-ations as opposed to formulating those explanations. Second, I w i l l discuss the r e l a t i o n s h i p between g i v i n g explanations and mem-bership . B. Adequate S o c i o l o g i c a l Explanations Versus Formulating  Reasons In order to understand what advantage a t e l l e r may gain by depending on r e c i p i e n t s ' understanding of adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l accounts i t i s u s e f u l to consider Sandra's story. At one point i n the story, Sandra says, "I was pretending a l l the time keep reading the schedule, don't look at t h i s turkey". She d i d t h i s i n order to avoid eye contact with Banks who, she feared, was harassing her. As was previously argued, the f a c t that she and her r e c i p i e n t s could see that a sexual harass-ment was occurring depended on her use of the male-professor-female student r e l a t i o n . Sandra does not e x p l i c i t l y formulate 160 her reason f o r t r y i n g to avoid Banks. She does not say, "I was t r y i n g to avoid him because he was sexually harassing me." She r e l i e s on her r e c i p i e n t s ' commonsense knowledge of the subversive use of the male professor-female student r e l a t i o n s h i p . I f one of the t e l l e r ' s tasks i n s t o r y - t e l l i n g i s to make the story under-standable and there i s a r e a d i l y formulatable explanation f o r her behaviour, why not simply give that explanation instead of dep-ending on the r e c i p i e n t s ' knowledge? To see what i s involved i n Sandra's use of a members' ade-quate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation i t i s necessary to introduce a very general r u l e of conversation which Sacks c a l l s the Recipient Design r u l e . I t states that a speaker should orient to the state of knowledge of her hearers i n formulating an utterance (Sacks 1971b). Using t h a t r u l e , i f a r e c i p i e n t could be expected to know why a c e r t a i n character acted the way she d i d because of her mem-bership status, then formulating the reason would be superfluous. I t shouldn't be done. For example, a t e l l e r should not say, "and then the waiter brought me my dinner because i t was h i s job to bring food to customers". Recipients know why waiters bring food to tables.?. I f the t e l l e r had given the reason, the r e c i p i e n t s would have to t r y to f i g u r e out what she was doing with the ex-planation besides explaining. They might hear her as complaining about the waiter's a t t i t u d e f o r example; complaining that the waiter was being so rude that he made i t c l e a r that he was only 161 serving her because i t was h i s job. The point i s that, given the Recipient Design r u l e , the t e l l e r i s making a claim by using a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explan-a t i o n of a character's behaviour. She i s claiming that a socio-l o g i c a l explanation i s adequate. By not formulating her reason f o r her character's behaviour she i s claiming that her r e c i p i e n t s should know the reason, not that there was no reason. I f she form-ulated the reason, the r e c i p i e n t s could be expected to hear that the t e l l e r d i d not f e e l that a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l ex-planation was s u f f i c i e n t to make sense of her behaviour. Consider the account that Sandra i s proposing f o r her behaviour. Banks i s a male professor who engaged i n some very strange behav-i o u r near her. Sandra makes sense of h i s behaviour by seeing i t as a sexual harassment. She was able to see the sexual harassment i n the behaviour because there was an explanation f o r i t . He was a male professor and she was a female student and i t i s known among her c u l t u r a l colleagues that male professors can use t h e i r p o s i t i o n to make^sexual advances to female students. Her problem i s to b u i l d her story i n such a way that her r e c i p i e n t s w i l l see things i n the same l i g h t . By using the grounding i d e n t i t y to get her r e c i p i e n t s to i n t e r p r e t the professor's behaviour as sexual harassment she i s able to make acc e r t a i n claim. She i s able to claim that she could see that she was being harassed because she was a female student and that any female student should have made the same i n t e r p r e t a t i o n 162 of Banks' behaviour. She i s not claiming to have been sexually harassed because of any s p e c i a l q u a l i t i e s she possesses but only as an incumbent of a category, woman, which i s known to be sub-j e c t to sexual harassment from incumbents of another category, man. The question i s why t h i s would be important to Sandra. In our society, there i s a very standard problem which women face with regard to sexual advances. On the one hand, women are expected to see very early on i n an i n t e r a c t i o n that a sexual advance i s being made, before anything e x p l i c i t l y sexual has been s a i d . I f a woman waits u n t i l she has a c t u a l l y been propositioned to ward o f f the advance she can be accused of being a tease. She should know, that as a member of the category "woman", i t i s her r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to s c r u t i n i z e her i n t e r a c t i o n s with members of the category "man" to see i f anything the l a t t e r say or do could be an advance or a pre-advance move. On the other hand, i f she r e j e c t s a pass too early, before anything about sex has been said, she could be accused of misinterpreting the man's be-haviour as a pass because she i s conceited or paranoid. That i s , rather than j u s t acting as any member of the category "woman" and having her actions properly accounted f o r by that category, she could f i n d h e r s e l f subjected to a t t r i b u t i o n s of personal ..qualities. She rebuked the man not because she i s a "woman" but because she i s "conceited". As Sacks argues, types of. explanations seem to be ordered into domains such that i f an adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation i s given then other types of explanations, such as ones which 163 centre around p e r s o n a l i t y a t t r i b u t e s , are ru l e d out. I f , however, an adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation i s l a c k i n g then a personal one may become appropriate. In t h i s case, i t may be seen, not that a female student t r i e d to avoid the advance of a male pro-f e s s o r but that Sandra i s overly ready to see any kind of unusual behaviour on the part of a man as a sexual advance. We can see how the use of a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation i s us e f u l i n defending against hearings such as the one j u s t pointed to. I f the r e c i p i e n t s are not able to see that the male professor-female student device accounted f o r Sandra's behaviour they would simply not be able to understand the story. I f they could not use the grounding i d e n t i t y to see that sexual harassment was the issue then they would not know that Sandra was claiming sexual harassment i n the f i r s t place since she never says i t . I f they d i d see the sexual harassment then they have already admitted that i t i s possible f o r a female student to see some unusual behaviour on the part of a male professor as s i g n a l l i n g sexual harassment since they used that information themselves to f i n d the sexual harassment. The general point which i s being made here i s that when socio-l o g i c a l explanations are not adequate, the t e l l e r ' s character tends to be perceived as a per s o n a l i t y t r a i t rather than a category. The p e r s o n a l i t y a t t r i b u t e s may not always be bad as i n the example just considered. The t e l l e r might have t o l d the wreck story, f o r example, i n such a way as to appear as an e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y concerned 1 6 4 person rather than as a normal member of a category. What i s at issue i s the rapport which t e l l i n g a story can e s t a b l i s h with the other p a r t i c i p a n t s to the conversation. I f the t e l l e r uses categories i n b u i l d i n g her story then she can use categories which her p a r t i c i p a n t s are also possible incumbents of. Consider the restaurant story. The t e l l e r appears as a member of a "with" i n a p u b l i c r p l a c e . This i s a category which a l l the par-t i c i p a n t s have, at some time, occupied. As a category which many can occupy i t also provides a p o s i t i o n from which events happening around i t may be viewed. From t h i s p o s i t i o n , the t e l l e r can look around her and report what things look l i k e . She can report them, i n the form of a story, to p a r t i c i p a n t s who can take up that pos-i t i o n i n order to hear the report. When the story i s over, the category remains a c t i v e as a possible p o s i t i o n from which the con-versation can continue. A f t e r the t e l l e r of the restaurant story says, "when he got drunk he d i d crazy things", a r e c i p i e n t says, "I know, I know... because he's so strong that when he gets drunk he ju s t r i p s the place up" (See Appendix). They seem to be speaking from the same p o s i t i o n j as "withs" who had been with a troublesome person. This i s a f a i r l y s i g n i f i c a n t accomplishment f o r the t e l l e r . Up u n t i l the story was t o l d she had been i n an awkward s i t u a t i o n with regard to her r e l a t i o n with John. At one time, she had been h i s g i r l f r i e n d . B, the r e c i p i e n t who makes the aforementioned comment, does not l i k e John. She characterizes John as somewhat of a womanizer who l i k e s to have a steady g i r l f r i e n d but also 165 sees other women. His present g i r l f r i e n d , who i s said to be " i n -fatuated" with John, i s characterized as "pathetic" by B. The t e l l e r has a problem. I s B implying that she was "pathetic" f o r going out with John? Before the story i s t o l d , B and the t e l l e r have very d i f f e r e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s with him. The t e l l e r i s an ex-g i r l f r i e n d ; B i s a c r i t i c of John with a very condescending a t t i -tude towards h i s g i r l f r i e n d s . I f the t e l l e r defends John against B's c r i t i c i s m , the other p a r t i c i p a n t s might think that she i s also "pathetic". I f she takes up B's c r i t i c a l p o s i t i o n toward him i t may look l i k e the "sour grapes" a t t i t u d e of a j i l t e d ex-g i r l f r i e n d . At l e a s t , she would not seem l i k e a very l o y a l person. A f t e r the story, the d i f f e r e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s to John which the t e l l e r and B had are resolved. They both stand i n the same r e l a t i o n s h i p ; as former "withs" of John who can discuss him from that p o s i t i o n . The rapport has been accomplished without any con-f r o n t a t i o n between the two women. The t e l l e r has not denied or defended her former r e l a t i o n s h i p with John; she has simply made a d i f f e r e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p relevant i n the present conversation. In some s t o r i e s , t e l l e r s may wish to claim that they have acted i n an extraordinary manner. They may wish to have t h e i r behaviour seen as "above and beyond the c a l l of duty" f o r a mem-ber of t h e i r category, f o r example. In these cases, they may not want to r e l y on members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanations f o r t h e i r character's behaviour since they are claiming to be s p e c i a l . In most s t o r i e s , however, t e l l e r s seem to want to claim to 166 be normal; to have acted i n some set of circumstances much as any other incumbent of their"category would have acted. They want i t to be seen that t h e i r behaviour was rule-governed and not i d i o -s y n c r a t i c or unpredictable. For them, the use of a grounding i d e n t i t y to provide a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation of t h e i r course-of-action character's behaviour and perceptions i s an i d e a l way to b u i l d a story. G. Giving Explanations and Membershipping In the beginning of a story, the t e l l e r locates her character s o c i a l l y . She invokes a s o c i a l p o s i t i o n from which the character can confront the course-of-action events. During the course-of-acti o n , the i n i t i a l p o s i t i o n becomes developed into an i d e n t i t y which i s defined i n terms of the course-of-action. For example, i n the restaurant story, the t e l l e r appears as a member of a "with" i n a p u b l i c place. In the course-of-action, she becomes an i m p l i -cated innocent i n a t h e f t . Between the two characters there ex-i s t s a r e l a t i o n s h i p ; one which i s a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation. I would now l i k e to argue that the invocation of members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanations can be as e f f i c a c i o u s a way of d i s p l a y i n g the i n p r i n c i p l e i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y of events i n the s o c i a l world as can a s t r i c t l y l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s . "Giving explanations" can be regarded as a members' glossing p r a c t i c e . These p r a c t i c e s are extensively discussed i n the a r t -i c l e by G a r f i n k e l and Sacks which was c i t e d i n Chapter 2 ( G a r f i n k e l and Sacks 1970). I would l i k e to return now to that a r t i c l e . 167 The authors begin by observing that whenever l o g i c i a n s or s c i e n t i s t s approach an area of study a c e n t r a l concern f o r them i s the remedying of the i n d e x i c a l expressions which had previously been applied to that area. For example, s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s ob-serve that members use s o c i o l o g i c a l concepts such as c l a s s , age or sex i n making sense of t h e i r world. Before deciding upon the t r u t h of the s o c i o l o g i c a l statements that members make, profess-i o n a l s o c i o l o g i s t s f i n d that they must c l a r i f y members' usage of the concepts. For example, a member may say, "She behaves that way because she's so young". Before determining whether age ac-t u a l l y does explain behaviour to any extent the s o c i o l o g i s t must explicate what "that way" and "so young" r e f e r to. Depending on the context, a speaker may use the l a t t e r expression to r e f e r to a fiveSyear old or a f i f t y - y e a r o l d . S o c i o l o g i s t s wish to f i n d d e f i n i t i o n s which are meaningful independently of context. G a r f i n k e l and Sacks argue that t h i s e x p l i c a t i o n provides s o c i o l o g i s t s with t h e i r " i n f i n i t e task" because any e x p l i c a t i o n serves only to i n f i n i t e l y increase the terms which require e x p l i -c a t i o n . I n d e x i c a l i t y i s an e s s e n t i a l feature of n a t u r a l language. For members, the production of i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e l y v e r i f i a b l e understanding and meaning i s not done through the s u b s t i t u t i o n of objective f o r i n d e x i c a l expressions. I t i s done through the competent use of "glossing p r a c t i c e s " . G a r f i n k e l and Sacks des-scr i b e these p r a c t i c e s i n the following way: Glossing p r a c t i c e s e x i s t i n empirical multitude. In endless but p a r t i c u l a r , analyzable ways, glossing p r a c t i c e s are methods f o r producing observable-reportable understanding, 168 with, i n , and of natural language. As a multitude of ways f o r exhibiting-in-speaking and exhibited-for-the t e l l i n g that and how speaking i s understood, glossing p r a c t i c e s are "members", are "mastery of natural language", are " t a l k i n g reasonably", are " p l a i n speech", are "speaking English"...are " c l e a r , con-s i s t e n t , cogent r a t i o n a l speech". We understand mastery of natural language to consist i n t h i s . In the p a r t i c u l a r s of h i s speech a speaker, i n concert with others, i s able to gloss those p a r t i c u l a r s and i s there-by meaning something d i f f e r e n t than he can say i n so many words... The idea of "meaning d i f f e r e n t l y than he can say i n so many words" requires comment. I t i s not so much " d i f f e r e n t l y than what he says" as that whatever he says provides the very materials to be used i n making out what he says. However extensive or e x p l i c i t what a speaker says may be, i t does not by i t s extensiveness or i t s e x p l i c i t n e s s pose a task of deciding the correspondence between what he says and what he means that i s resolved by c i t i n g h i s t a l k verbatim. In-stead, h i s t a l k i t s e l f , i n that i t becomes a part of the selfsame occasion of i n t e r a c t i o n , becomes another conting-ency of that i n t e r a c t i o n . I t extends and elaborates indef-i n i t e l y the circumstances i t glosses and i n t h i s way c o n t r i -butes to i t s own accountably sensible character ( G a r f i n k e l and Sacks 1970:343-345,).. I t i s my contention that "giving explanations" i s a members' glos s i n g p r a c t i c e which members can s c r u t i n i z e to see i f i t has been done competently. The d e c i s i o n as to whether or not i t was done competently i s not a r r i v e d at by consulting a set of unam-biguous, trans-contextual r u l e s but by consulting the context using procedures that cannot be f u l l y explicated. I want then to argue that the i n d e x i c a l i t y of explanation-giving i s , f o r members, not a short-coming of that a c t i v i t y . The argument that "giving explanations" i s a glossing p r a c t i c e could perhaps be c l a r i f i e d by contrasting t h i s ethnomethodological perspective to the "semantic a n a l y s i s " described by Goddard (1979)• Goddard asserts that the task of semantic analysts i s to perform "reductive paraphrases", or the analysis of complex statements 169 to the p r i m i t i v e s that they are composed of. He writes: Semantic analysis consists therefore of reductive para-phrase; reductive as the process must be i n order to be ana-' l y t i c and revealing; and paraphrase i n that i t must be c a r r i e d out i n terms of signs themselves. An adequate reductive para-phrase w i l l be a sign which i s equivalent, but i n Peirce's phrase "more developed". I t i s an e x p l i c i t d i s p l a y or model of the semantic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the complex sign. Peirce perceives, as had many before him, that the very idea of an adequate reductive paraphrase presupposes the existence of a set of minimal i r r e d u c i b l e 'signs of themselves', the terminal units of the a n a l y s i s . These simplest signs would neither require nor be susceptible to f u r t h e r i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n ; they comprise the unique semantic metalanguage (Goddard 1979:185-186). The explanations that are placed i n ordinary conversation, i n c l u d i n g n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s , often seem to be vague, ambiguous or e l l i p t i c a l . For t h i s reason an analyst may suppose that they are complex statements which are reducible to t h e i r component p r i m i t i v e parts. Once reduced, the natural r e l a t i o n of "explanation" would be displayed as that which connects the analyzed terms of the statement explained with the analyzed terms of the statement that does the explaining. For example, i n Sandra's story the statement, "And I kept pretending a l l the time keep reading the schedule", reports the event that i s explained by the d e s c r i p t i o n of Banks' p e c u l i a r behaviour. Sandra was s t a r i n g at the board because Banks' seemed to be hovering around her. Once both d e s c r i p t i o n s had been analyzed into t h e i r p r i m i t i v e terms the analystscould show a l o g i c a l p i c t u r e of "explanation", sub-s t i t u t i n g i t f o r the members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation contained i n the story. I t i s the contention of ethnomethodological theory that such 170 an a n a l y s i s i s bound to f a i l because there are no absolute prim-i t i v e terms which n a t u r a l l y occurring statements can be analyzed i n t o . Elaborations or e x p l i c a t i o n s of n a t u r a l l y occurring explan-ations could be c a r r i e d out ad i n f i n i t u m . Giving explanations could present problems f o r a speaker given the i n p r i n c i p l e i n f i n i t e elaboration to which the a c t i v i t y i s subject. Once an explanation has been questioned there i s no gen-e r a l , context-free r u l e that a commonsense reasoner can use to decide what kind of a l t e r n a t i v e reason or what p a r t i c u l a r elab-o r a t i o n of the o r i g i n a l reason w i l l be acceptable. A l l the speaker can do i s to t r y out a c e r t a i n number of elaborations and see i f she can f i n d one that w i l l do the job f o r her i n t e r l o c u t o r . The problem i s that the elaborations could go on ad i n f i n i t u m . In ordinary conversation, explaining does come to an end. And the c r u c i a l point here i s that when i t does terminate the fundamental i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y of scenes i s r a r e l y threatened. I t i s t h i s aspect of g i v i n g explanations that I now want to address. I t i s useful at t h i s point to return to the contrasting prac-t i c e - • of semantic a n a l y s i s . Imagine that semantic analysts had been able to agree on a set of p r i m i t i v e terms and r u l e s f o r i n -f e r r i n g those terms from complex statements. One analyst performs a reductive paraphrase of a n a t u r a l l y occurring statement using the agreeduupon r u l e s . On presenting the analyzed version to her colleagues, however, she discovers that they cannot make sense of i t . She goes back and checks her work againsbut cannot f i n d any-thing wrong with the reasoning. She has followed a l l the r u l e s 171 e x p l i c i t l y . At t h i s point she i s faced with a fundamental c r i s i s of i n -t e l l i g i b i l i t y . She' submits to a theory of l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s where-by following a set of r u l e s should lead to i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e agree-ment. In t h i s case i t failed^and there i s no way to account f o r the f a i l u r e . She has nowhere to turn, within the system of sem-an t i c analysis, or l o g i c i n general, f o r r e l i e f from the anomie her experience has produced. Commonsense reasoners do have a way out of the problem of f a i l u r e to a r r i v e at acceptable explanations b u i l t r i g h t into the system of conversation. To see what t h i s way out i s imagine that Sandra's i n t e r l o c u t o r : i s a male. In t h i s s i t u a t i o n , Sandra i s t e l l i n g her story to two female students and one male student. The women understand her story; they f i n d the s o c i o l o g i c a l explan-ati o n contained within i t adequate. The man does not understand. I do not think that the f a i l u r e of the man to understand the story would s e r i o u s l y threaten Sandra's f a i t h i n her a b i l i t y to perceive and understand scenes. She has an account a v a i l a b l e f o r h i s f a i l -ure. He did not understand the story because he was not a female student and so had not had the same experiences or knowledge that female students have. He was not a member. The important point about t h i s example i s that i t i s not necessary f o r t e l l e r s to step outside the conversational system i n order to f i n d t h i s account. The reason that i t i s not an account brought i n from the outside i s that membershipping i s a c e n t r a l a c t i v i t y that people are doing when they t e l l and l i s t e n 172 to s t o r i e s . As Sacks has pointed out throughout h i s work, understanding i s not something which conversationalists' take f o r granted. The conversation system provides many points at which p a r t i c i p a n t s can d i s p l a y t h e i r understanding of each other or i d e n t i f y u t t e r -ances that have been misunderstood. Misunderstandings are r a r e l y a t t r i b u t e d to an i n p r i n c i p l e f a i l u r e of language. For example, following the t e l l i n g of the d i r t y joke given i n Chapter 4, the p a r t i c i p a n t s discuss whether or not the l i t t l e s i s t e r understood i t . The boys f e e l that she was j u s t repeating something she heard; they do not think that she "got" the punchline because she was too young. Even though none of them paraphrase the joke they do assume that they a l l understood the same thing by i t . Seventeen-year o l d boys should a l l be able to understand i t . I f a member of a category which should understand something doesn't, i n p r i n c i p l e i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y i s s t i l l not threatened. With regard to making inferences from membership categories, these inferences are "protected against induction" (Sacks 1966b). What t h i s phrase means i s that i f i t i s said about the members of some category that they behave or think i n a c e r t a i n way or have c e r t a i n q u a l i t i e s , and one incumbent of the category does not meet t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n , the ge n e r a l i z a t i o n i s not f a l s i f i e d . Rather, the deviant incumbent i s said to be exceptional or not a " r e a l " member-of-the-category. I f one of the boys had not gotten the joke, f o r 173 example, the others would not he forced to re-examine the hypo-t h e s i s that seventeen-year o l d hoys could understand the joke. Instead, the former would he seen as an incompetent member not only by the others but also by himself. Conversation provides many understanding t e s t s which speakers or hearers can pass or f a i l but i n which the i n p r i n c i p l e i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y of the i n t e r -subjective world i s exempt from doubt. What the preceding dis c u s s i o n i s p o i n t i n g to i s the following. S t o r i e s are part of conversations. That they are part of conver-sations i s not merely i n c i d e n t a l to t h e i r construction. I t i s not the case that people t y p i c a l l y make up s t o r i e s and then f i n d conversations to put them i n t o . Rather, s t o r i e s perform actions i n conversations. They perform the same kind of actions as other utterances do: they can ask and answer questions, j u s t i f y previously given p o s i t i o n s and express agreements with p o s i t i o n s put forward by other p a r t i c i p a n t s . Explanations that are given i n s t o r i e s -• are also events i n conversations. As such they partake of and help form the s o c i a l i t y of the occasion. The f a c t that they are not formulated i n a context-free manner i s not a weakness; they are supposed to be context-bound. I t i s because they f i t the con-versation that they contribute to the i n t e r a c t i o n a l work that gets done through conversation. An important part of that work i s e s t a b l i s h i n g and r a t i f y i n g membership. The f a c t that members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanations are only adequate-for-all-practical-purposes i s not a shortcoming 174 f o r members. I t i s a way that they can t e s t which groups they are competent members of and decide on who are not competent mem-bers. The i n c l u s i o n and exclusion of various personnel with r e -gard to membership i s at l e a s t as powerful a method f o r d i s p l a y i n g the i n p r i n c i p l e i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y of s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n s as i s un i v e r s a l consensus through l o g i c . That f a c t that there i s always an account a v a i l a b l e f o r f a i l u r e to a r r i v e at agreement may make i t even stronger than the l a t t e r . D. Conclusions To conclude t h i s section, I would l i k e to return to a quote from the G a r f i n k e l and Sacks a r t i c l e given i n Chapter 2 concerning the concept of membership: The notion of member i s the heart of the matter. We do not use the term to r e f e r to a person. I t r e f e r s instead to mastery of natural language which we understand i n the following way. We o f f e r the observation that persons, because of"the f a c t that they are heard to be speaking a natural language, somehow are heard to be engaged i n the objective production and objective display of commonsense knowledge of everyday a c t i v i t i e s as observable and reportable phenomena. We ask what i t i s about natural language that permits speakers and auditors to hear, and i n other ways to witness, the objective production and objective d i s p l a y of commonsense knowledge, and of p r a c t i c a l circumstances, p r a c t i c a l actions and/prac-t i c a l s o c i o l o g i c a l reasoning as well (1970:342). In t h i s report, I have attempted to show one way i n which speakers and auditors d i s p l a y both t h e i r commonsense knowledge of everyday a c t i v i t i e s and t h e i r a b i l i t y to do p r a c t i c a l socio-l o g i c a l reasoning. They produce and understand s t o r i e s ; knowing how to b u i l d i n and recognize possible story endings. In so doing they prove t h e i r membership. I would now l i k e to return to the 175 pro Diem of the joke. I l l . THE JOKE A. Recapsulation of the A n a l y t i c Apparatus In Chapter 4 I argued that the story c l o s i n g i s an a n a l y t i c object. A f t e r i t has been d e l i v e r e d the r e c i p i e n t s have t h e i r f i r s t opportunity to give a story response. I have f u r t h e r ar-gued that t e l l e r s organize t h e i r story elements into two i n t e r -l o c k i n g sets of r e l a t i o n s h i p s . One i s the grounding i d e n t i t y . Using s o c i a l l y organized knowledge of membership categorization devices, i t acts as a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation f o r understanding the t e l l e r ' s course-of-action character's point of view. The l a t t e r i s a temporally organized set of events b u i l t around the t e l l e r ' s course-of-action character's p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The story c l o s i n g i s the f i r s t utterance that can close o f f the course-of-action from the point of view of the t e l l e r ' s course-o f - a c t i o n character. B. The Problem Posed by the Joke I want now to return to the problem introduced i n the f i r s t s e c t i o n . There a joke was presented which, as Sacks argues, i s composed of two organizations. The f i r s t organization i s the story format that i s b u i l t around a puzzle and i t s s o l u t i o n . The puzzle arose from the f a c t that the mother character had stood i n f r o n t of three bedroom doors, had heard noises emerging from two 176 of the bedrooms, but had heard nothing from t h i r d . The puzzle, then, was why there were no sounds coming from the t h i r d bedroom. The remainder of the joke was taken up with the mother's invest-gation of the puzzle and with the f i n d i n g of the s o l u t i o n . The second organization i s the "squelch" organization. The squelch i s b u i l t on a c e r t a i n type of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n ; one 'that i s characterized by unequal power between two actors. One actor must have the power to enforce r u l e s by which the other actor should conduct h e r s e l f . A standard type of squelch occurs when the power-l e s s members uses a r u l e taught to her by the powerful member i n order to j u s t i f y some behaviour that would upset the l a t t e r . In t h i s joke, the daughter uses a r u l e of table manners to j u s t i f y deviant sexual behaviour. The punchline of the joke contained aspects of both organ-i z a t i o n s . F i r s t , i t was a s o l u t i o n to the puzzle. Second, i t was a squelch of the mother by the daughter. Recipients could expect that the punchline would contain the puzzle's s o l u t i o n . The squelch, however, came as a su r p r i s e . The problem f o r t h i s report was why the l a t t e r would be s u r p r i s i n g . G. The Squelch Organization and the Puzzle-Solution The squelch i s not something that appeared i n the punchline out of nowhere. The foundations had already been l a i d . The daughters are on t h e i r honeymoon night. The known focus of a honeymoon night i s the sexual a c t i v i t i e s that go on. Mothers have a s p e c i a l interest,, 177 with regards to t h e i r daughters' sexual behaviour. They have the task of regulating that behaviour; of transmitting and enforcing the r u l e s . T h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to t h e i r daughters, with respect to sex, i s a power r e l a t i o n s h i p . I t i s t h i s aspect of the mother-daughter r e l a t i o n s h i p which leads the mother to l i s t e n at the doors; or, more p r e c i s e l y , i t i s t h i s aspect that the audience of the joke has to invoke to make sense of what the mother i s doing. The foundations of the squelch have, then, already been l a i d before the punchline. Why would i t come as a surprise? The reason, I think, f o r the surprise of the squelch i s that the mother-daughter r e l a t i o n s h i p was being heard to do some other work i n the story than lay the foundation of a squelch. I t was l a y i n g the grounds f o r the puzzle-solution organization of the story's temporally unfolding events. The argument here i s that the squelch was s u r p r i s i n g because the mother-daughter r e l a t i o n s h i p was heard, not as a set of events that moved the story along, but as a grounding f o r those events. The mother, Sacks argues, acts as a guide f o r the audience to show them what they should be attending to. Her r o l e i s s i m i l a r to that of the t e l l e r i n n a t u r a l l y occurring s t o r i e s . The r e c i p i e n t s are focusing on the temporally unfolding a c t i v i t i e s of the mother: She has stood i n front of three doors, heard noises in s i d e two rooms, heard nothing from within the t h i r d , found the s i l e n c e puzzling, inv e s t i g a t e d the matter and discovered the s o l u t i o n . The mother-daughter r e l a t i o n s h i p i s introduced to ground the puzzle; to account 178 f o r why somebody was standing outside the doors i n the f i r s t place. I t was a "mother" standing outside the door checking up on her "daughters". The p u z z l e - s o l u t i o n organization forms the course-of-action i n the joke. I t i s organized around the mother's point of view. She i s the one who i s puzzled; the one who i n v e s t i g a t e s . The mother-daughter r e l a t i o n grounds the course-of-action. I t shows why one character was i n a p o s i t i o n to f i n d some events puzzling. I f , f o r example, a policeman had walked i n o f f the s t r e e t and l i s -tened at the doors the a t t e n t i o n of the r e c i p i e n t s would have been d i v i d e d ^ r On the one hand, the s i l e n c e would be puzzling. On the other hand the issue of why the policeman was i n v e s t i g a t i n g the matter would be even more pu z z l i n g . The mother-daughter r e l a t i o n provides a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation f o r the mother's presence outside the door; a presence that i s needed to report the puzzle given the story format of the joke. The punchline, l a s t utterance, occupies the story c l o s i n g p o s i t i o n . I t i s composed of both the puzzle's s o l u t i o n and the squelch. The s o l u t i o n i s the f i r s t p o ssible item that could close o f f the course-of-action organization of the joke's story. The course-of-action i s organized around a puzzle and a search f o r the s o l u t i o n . The squelch i s also a culmination of one aspect of the story's elements; the power r e l a t i o n between the mother and her daughter. Throughout the story, however, the mother-daughter r e l a t i o n was heard as having the function of grounding to the course-of-action. The audience we^e only attending to i t 179 as something that made sense of how one character was able to be i n a p o s i t i o n to f i n d another character's behaviour puzzling. They were not attending to i t as something which provided the foundation f o r a l a t e r event. The punchline contains some standard features of a squelch. I t i s a reply to a question. I t contains the phrase, "You t o l d me", followed by the statement of a well-known r u l e . Hearing something that sounds-like i t could be a squelch, the r e c i p i e n t s are drawn back i n t o the story to f i n d the s o c i a l organizational basis f o r a squelch. They are brought back to the power r e l a t i o n between the mother and daughter that i n i t i a t e d the course-of-action. The surprise i s that t h i s power r e l a t i o n turns out to play another part i n the joke besides that of grounding the course-of-action. I t provides the s o c i a l organizational basis f o r the squelch. The joke's l a s t utterance, then, contains two items expressed by the same utterance; the a n t i c i p a t e d puzzle-solution and the s u r p r i s i n g squelch. IV. SUMMARY The report began by proposing a problem f o r conversation a n a l y s i s that concerned the l a s t utterance, or punchline, of a joke. During the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of t h i s problem we a r r i v e d at a d e s c r i p t i o n of an a n a l y t i c p o s i t i o n ; the story c l o s i n g . This p o s i t i o n was the f i r s t p o s s i b l e point at which the r e c i p i e n t s of a story could give t h e i r response without being heard to 180 i n t e r r u p t the t e l l e r . In coming to terms with the manner i n which t e l l e r s b u i l d s t o r i e s and i n which r e c i p i e n t s are able to hear when a story's f i r s t p o s s i b l e completion point has been reached we have had a chance to explore an aspect of s t o r y - t e l l i n g from a l e s s t e c h n i c a l p o i n t of view. That aspect concerned the way that s t o r i e s are part of s o c i a l occasions and, as such, help form the r e l a t i o n s among speakers and hearers that compose those occasions. F i r s t , we examined how the constraints placed on the t e l l e r ' s p oint of view by the choice of the course-of-action character and by the grounding i d e n t i t y could be used to show the r e l i a b i l i t y of the t e l l e r . She can di s p l a y that she i s w i l l i n g and able to abide by the r u l e s of whatever category she i s a c t i n g under the auspices of. Second, the categories chosen by t e l l e r s may remain a c t i v e a f t e r the t e l l i n g so that p a r t i c i p a n t s to the conversation can continue speaking from the same p o s i t i o n . I f the t e l l e r chooses to formulate her point of view rather than r e l y i n g on members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanations her character w i l l tend to be viewed as a pe r s o n a l i t y a t t r i b u t e , rather than a category. This does happen i n some s t o r i e s . The problem i s that, i n order to e s t a b l i s h a common p o s i t i o n from which t a l k can continue, the per-s o n a l i t y a t t r i b u t e would have to be one that the t e l l e r knows her r e c i p i e n t s to f e e l that they also possess. In addition, to show her r e c i p i e n t s that she i s taking t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n into 181 account i t would have to be a personality a t t r i b u t e that the rec-i p i e n t s know that the t e l l e r knows they possess. Moreover, since p e r s o n a l i t y a t t r i b u t e s tend to be evaluated, e i t h e r p o s i t i v e l y or negatively, the t e l l e r must be c a r e f u l that she i s not being immodest or overly deprecating of h e r s e l f i n evoking one. Cat-egories provide a p o s i t i o n and a set of organized knowledge from which a conversation can continue which avoids the previous dangers. I f c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t s want to a r r i v e at a common p o s i t i o n from which to speak, or even a complementary one such as a "man" t a l k i n g to a "woman", the use of a members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explan-a t i o n establishes a relevant category. F i n a l l y , I argued that the giving and r e c e i v i n g of members' adequate s o c i o l o g i c a l explanations was a form of p r a c t i c a l reasoning. The e s s e n t i a l feature of a p r a c t i c a l reasoning method i s that i t s employment depends on competent membership i n a common culture, not on the learning of s t r i c t l y objective r u l e s . In the course of the i n v e s t i g a t i o n i t was necessary to i n t r o -duce a large amount of commonsense knowledge and to describe sev-e r a l kinds of reasoning procedures-used by members. Each story required i t s r e c i p i e n t s to bring to bear aspects of t h e i r knowledge and p r a c t i c a l reasoning a b i l i t i e s i n order to hear when response i s appropriate. In order to use the r u l e s f o r discerning a story's c l o s i n g the r e c i p i e n t s had to analyze the content of each p a r t i -c u l a r story. This required them to b r i n g i n to the hearing t h e i r s o c i a l l y organized knowledge of the kinds of events that are being described i n s t o r i e s . 182 The dependence which the formal aspects of s t o r y - t e l l i n g has on the a p p l i c a t i o n of s o c i a l l y organized knowledge and reasoning processes to the content of each story shows one aspect of what G a r f i n k e l and Sacks r e f e r to as the i n d e x i c a l properties of lang-uage use. There i s another aspect which goes deeper into the matter. When the r u l e s f a i l , the i n p r i n c i p l e i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y of scenes i s r a r e l y threatened. This i s because, f o r members, the use of r u l e s to do s o c i a l actions i s not dependent on t h e i r o b j e c t i v i t y but on the ways i n which they are t i e d into a myriad of human p r a c t i c e s . I f the r u l e s f o r f i n d i n g that a story has ended f a i l s , p a r t i c i p a n t s are not thrown into a state of anomie. Rather, there i s a p r a c t i c e which can be used to make sense of that f a i l u r e ; the p r a c t i c e of bestowing and denying membership to p a r t i c i p a n t s i n s o c i a l events. From an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of a problem inv o l v i n g materials from a conversation we have moved to a more t h e o r e t i c a l consideration of membership and language use. In the next chapter, I w i l l turn to a consideration of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between empirical research and t h e o r i z i n g i n ethnomethodological p r a c t i c e . 183 CHAPTER 6 THEORIZING AND RESEARCH IN ETHNOMETHODOLOGY I. INTRODUCTION The purpose of t h i s chapter i s to discuss the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the t h e o r e t i c a l perspective that was introduced i n Chap-t e r 2 and the empirical research that i s the subject of Chapters 4 and 5- The t h e o r e t i c a l perspective was developed by G a r f i n k e l and Sacks (1970). The research project used conversation anal-y s i s to examine a problem posed by a joke. The problem and solu-t i o n arose i n some fashion from empirical data. In constructing a s o l u t i o n , the t h e o r e t i c a l perspective o u t l i n e d i n Chapter 2 was reintroduced. The d e s c r i p t i o n of members' adequate soci o l o g -i c a l explanations occasioned a return to the a r t i c l e by G a r f i n k e l and Sacks. What, then, i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the empirical research and the theory? That i s , what kind of claim i s being made i n t h i s report as to the status of the empirical research? The f i r s t p o s i t i o n to be considered i s one that was put f o r -ward by Wilson (1972). He argued that ethnomethodology i s a li m -i t e d empirical science f o r which the l o g i c a l e m p i r i c i s t model i s an appropriate methodological stance. The implication of t h i s p o s i t i o n i s that research provides evidence f o r the theory. The ass e r t i o n , f o r example, that a l l accounts are i n d e x i c a l i s to be treated as an empirical g e n e r a l i z a t i o n that can be supported by data such as t r a n s c r i p t s of t a l k . This p o s i t i o n i s c r i t i c i z e d 184 on the grounds that ethnomethodological theory t r e a t s the r e l a t i o n -ship between generalizations and behavioural p a r t i c u l a r s as one of i t s major problematics. I t would be inconsistent with the the-ory to take that r e l a t i o n s h i p f o r granted i n the way that i t must, be taken f o r granted i n order that p a r t i c u l a r behaviours could be treated as evidence f o r empirical g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s . The second p o s i t i o n to be c r i t i c i z e d i s that ethnomethodologncT. i c a l theory i s a presupposition of the empirical research. That i s , while statements asserting the e s s e n t i a l i n d e x i c a l i t y of l a n -guage cannot be d i r e c t l y tested they do provide a r a t i o n a l e f o r engaging i n the research. The t h e o r e t i c a l statements point to the adoption of p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods as an appropriate t o p i c f o r s o c i o l o g i s t s to study. This; r:position w i l l also be c r i t -i c i z e d on the grounds that, removed from the research they inform, t h e o r e t i c a l constructs such as " i n d e x i c a l i t y " , "accounts" and "p r a c t i e a l r r e a s o n i n g methods" lack a c l e a r sense. I w i l l then propose a t h i r d p o s i t i o n , describing another p o s s i b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p between the theory and the research. This p o s i t i o n asserts that the research i s not to be conceived as a d e s c r i p t i o n of some aspect of the s o c i a l world but as a d i s c i p l i n e d mode of i n q u i r y . The researcher i s given p r a c t i c e at working with structured language problems whose solutions do not depend on the s u b s t i t u t i o n of objective f o r i n d e x i c a l expressions. I t i s designed to break the habit of t r y i n g to substitute l i t e r a l d e s c r i p t i o n s f o r glosses which G a r f i n k e l and Sacks claim i s such a prevalent feature of our thinking. Through engaging i n the 185 a c t i v i t y , the researcher may become more p r o f i c i e n t at perceiving the p i c t u r e of language that ethnomethodological theory conveys. The r e l a t i o n s h i p between the theory and the research, then, i s that the l a t t e r i s a type of glossing p r a c t i c e f o r understanding what i t i s that the former also glosses. I would now l i k e to turn to the argument proposed by Wilson as to the r e l a t i o n between ethnomethodological theory and research. I I . RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THEORY AND RESEARCH IN ETHNOMETHODOLOGY A. Wilson and the Problem of I n f i n i t e Regress In an a r t i c l e concerned with the regress problem i n ethnometh-odology, Wilson argues that the l o g i c a l e m p i r i c i s t model of the n a t u r a l sciences i s appropriate to ethnomethodological inquiry. Wilson does not think that ethnomethodology's depiction of language as e s s e n t i a l l y i n d e x i c a l i s a fundamental problem i n adopting a natural science approach. His argument i s as follows. An ethnomethodologist may enter a s e t t i n g i n order to study members' methods of p r a c t i c a l reasoning. She may, f o r example, be i n t e r e s t e d i n members' use of the documentary method of i n t e r -1 p r e t a t i o n . In the midst of her research, however, she r e a l i z e s that she i s using the documentary method of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Is she then committed to suspending her o r i g i n a l studies i n order to study her own use of the documentary method and does t h i s lead to an i n f i n i t e regress? Wilson responds i n the negative to both these questions. He 186 argues that the ethnomethodologist cannot examine her own prac-t i c a l reasoning while studying that of others. Another researcher could analyze the f i r s t researcher's methods i n a separate study hut t h i s w i l l not lead to i n f i n i t e regress f o r the following reason. Members' methods of p r a c t i c a l reasoning are assumed to be in v a r i a n t features of t a l k . I t i s expected that the same features should be found i n the t a l k of the setting's members and i n the f i r s t ethnomethodologist's study. I f the f i r s t ethnomethodologist discovers c e r t a i n properties of the documentary method of i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n operating i n the s e t t i n g she i s studying she hopes that those properties are u n i v e r s a l . That i s a requirement f o r in c l u d i n g her f i n d i n g s among the accumulated fin d i n g s of ethnomethodology. I f the second ethnomethodologist f i n d s these properties i n her account of the s e t t i n g then those fin d i n g s support the generality of the o r i g i n a l f i n d i n g s . Since any t a l k should reveal i n v a r i a n t features of members' methods the accounts of ethnomethodologists are merely one more research s i t e as v a l i d as any other s i t e . The crux of the argument i s that ethnomethodologists are not i n t e r e s t e d i n g i v i n g d e f i n i t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of members' t a l k and presenting these i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s as f i n d i n g s . Instead, they are int e r e s t e d i n describing the i n v a r i a n t features of the i n t e r p r e t i v e p r a c t i c e s of members. The requirement of t h i s enter-p r i s e i s that the in v a r i a n t features i d e n t i f i e d by an ethnometh-odologist be applicable to a piece of t a l k regardless of what p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n one makes of that t a l k (Wilson 1972:14). . 187 Given the invariance of the features i d e n t i f i e d by ethnomethod-o l o g i s t s over any i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the t a l k , i t i s not a problem f o r ethnomethodology that members' methods were used to a r r i v e at any p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The claim i s made that the i n -vari a n t features of members' i n t e r p r e t i v e p r a c t i c e s , the fin d i n g s of the study, are independent of any p a r t i c u l a r context and there-fore subject to l o g i c a l e m p i r i c i s t c r i t e r i a of t r u t h . I think there has been some confusion i n t h i s argument between two l e v e l s of ethnomethodological research. The f i r s t l e v e l i n -volves entering a s e t t i n g and determining, i n common sense terms, what the p a r t i c i p a n t s are t a l k i n g about. For example, one may f i n d that they are "arguing about p o l i t i c s " or "discussing the housing c r i s i s " . Since ethnomethodologists are members and can understand t a l k as well as anybody else, and given that t h i s f i r s t l e v e l e x p l i c a t i o n i s not being presented as the fin d i n g s , ethno-methodologists need not be required to be any more e x p l i c i t about t h e i r methods f o r doing t h i s than any other member. They may take t h e i r a b i l i t y to characterize a piece of t a l k i n the same way as p a r t i c i p a n t s would as a given. Without t h i s a b i l i t y , ethnomethodology cannot be done any more than any other kind of research. I therefore agree with Wilson that i t i s not a major method-o l o g i c a l problem for. ethnomethodologists that, l i k e members, they must use the documentary method of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to hear that p a r t i c i p a n t s are " j u s t discussing the weather" or " t a l k i n g shop". I do think i t i s a problem with regards to the adoption of the l o g i c a l e m p i r i c i s t model that ethnomethodologists have to use 188 the documentary method of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to "discover" or "con-f i r m " or " f a l s i f y " the documentary method of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . I t i s i n the second l e v e l of inquiry, the l e v e l of "fi n d i n g s " or " r e s u l t s " , that the issue of s p e c i a l methods f o r r a t i f y i n g ethno-methodological descriptions becomes problematic. To understand the problem, consider Wieder's study of the documentary method of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n a halfway house f o r ex-convicts (1974). WIeder noticed that a wide v a r i e t y of convict behaviour was explained, by s t a f f and inmates a l i k e , as due to a convict code which prohibi t e d such behaviour as informing on other residents, t r u s t i n g s t a f f , "copping out" and co-operating with s t a f f . A normative model of s o c i o l o g i c a l explanation would recommend t r e a t -ing the code as the cause of c e r t a i n p a r t i c u l a r behaviours observed i n the house. Wieder, however, noticed that n o t . a l l p o s s i b l e be-haviours that the code could p r e d i c t were a c t u a l l y found i n the s e t t i n g . He concludes: I f the l i s t of maxims which made up the code were 'extracted' from t h e i r contextual juxtaposition with the behaviour they explain, one could not t h e o r e t i c a l l y generate ( i ) a set of behaviours which matched the observed behaviours and j u s t -i f y not generating others that were, i n f a c t , not observed, and (2) could not generate a single complementary set of behaviours and j u s t i f y t h i s 'prediction' (1974:167). Members were required to use unformulatable procedures f o r connecting any p a r t i c u l a r behavioural d i s p l a y with the general-i z a t i o n s that made up the convict code. Because of t h i s f a c t , s o c i o l o g i s t s arennot able to j u s t i f y the use of the l o g i c a l em-p i r i c i s t model to explain behaviour by reference to the code. 189 They are unable to do so because the code does not contain def-i n i t i v e r u l e s f o r subsuming p a r t i c u l a r instances of behaviour under i t s auspices. Wieder recommends that s o c i o l o g i s t s should t r e a t the code, not as a causal f a c t o r , but as an accounting prac-t i c e or a sense-making device employed by members-of the halfway house to produce a sense of order and meaningfulness. Like residents and s o c i o l o g i s t s , s t a f f 'told the code' to i d e n t i f y or name i n d i v i d u a l acts and patterns of repet-i t i v e a ction and to c o l l e c t diverse actions under the r u b r i c of a single motive and, i n turn, to name them as the same kind of act. They rendered resident a c t i o n sensible or r a t -i o n a l by noting the ways i n which resident action was r u l e -governed and d i r e c t e d towards achieving goals that were spec-i f i e d by the code. In t h i s way s t a f f offered a f o l k version of Weber's adequate causal analysis by showing that the typ-i c a l patterned actions of residents followed from a 'correct' course of reasoning. S t a f f portrayed the reasonable character of resident a c t i o n by using the code and i t s elements to define the reside n t s ' s i t u a t i o n . By ' t e l l i n g the code' as the residents' d e f i n i t i o n of t h e i r s i t u a t i o n , s t a f f showed that patterns of resident action had Durkheim's s o c i a l - f a c t p roperties of e x t e r i o r i t y and constraint...(197^:1^9). In producing evidence f o r the v e r a c i t y of propositions about the nature of language use, ethnomethodologists are i n the same p o s i t i o n as are normative s o c i o l o g i s t s i n producing evidence to support the contention that norms explain behaviour. The former must also t r e a t c e r t a i n behavioural d i s p l a y s as instances of a general feature of language use without being able to produce d e f i n i t i v e r u l e s f o r r e l a t i n g the two. Gicourel, f o r example, was studying videotapes of a mother and her c h i l d . A t y p i s t was in s t r u c t e d to produce a verbatim t r a n s c r i p t of the tape. Then, t h i s t r a n s c r i p t i o n was given to the mother and she produced.-a-dif f e r -ent transcript... . The t y p i s t then l i s t e n e d to the tape and rendered 190 s t i l l another version of the events. Gicourel's phonetic tran-s c r i p t i o n produced a d i f f e r e n t version. His conclusions were as follows: . The reader could now say that we could have simply com-bined the d i f f e r e n t versions to produce the 'best' one poss-i b l e , but the point i s that d i f f e r e n t versions could have been produced i n d e f i n i t e l y by simply having d i f f e r e n t t y p i s t s and providing the mother with d i f f e r e n t t r a n s c r i p t s . The mother could not always remember the context i n which the i n t e r a c t i o n occurred e s p e c i a l l y / I f we v i s i t e d several days before playing the tape f o r her. The mother's equivocation about the meaning of the c h i l d ' s utterances or her own statements, because of her i n a b i l i t y to r e c a l l the ethno-graphic p a r t i c u l a r s a v a i l a b l e at the time of the i n t e r a c t i o n , points to the situated nature of meaning (1973:124). In t h i s passage, Gicourel claims that the p a r t i c u l a r behaviours he observed/ that i s , the production of d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the tape, "point to" the more general c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of meaning as having a situated nature. Are then the behaviours intended as evidence f o r the g e n e r a l i z a t i o n that meaning i s situated? I f so we are back to the problem that Wieder i d e n t i f i e d with regard to the convict code. There i s no necessary r e l a t i o n between the s i t u a t e d nature of meaning and the observed behaviours. For example, i f the mother had managed to produce two .identical i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , that f a c t would not f a l s i f y the contention that a l l meaning i s s i t u a t e d . The mother may have an excellent memory f o r context. The point i s not that ethnomethodologists have not yet come up with very good testable hypotheses and should therefore show greater concern f o r c l a r i t y and l o g i c i n order to improve the s i t u a t i o n . Rather the use of p a r t i c u l a r behavioural d i s p l a y s as evidence f o r generalizations implies a l o g i c a l connection between 191 the two that ethnomethodological theory denies.. Without d e f i n -i t i v e r u l e s f o r r e l a t i n g t h e o r e t i c a l constructs such as i n d e x i -c a l i t y , p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods and accounts to p a r t i c u l a r instances of observable behaviour the l a t t e r cannot be established as providing evidence f o r the former. For t h i s reason, I do not think that the l o g i c a l e m p i r i c i s t model provides a convincing d e s c r i p t i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between ethnomethodological theory and empirical research. At one point i n h i s a r t i c l e , Wilson describes the assertion that " a l l accounts are i n d e x i c a l " as having the form of a "uni-v e r s a l g e n e r a l i z a t i o n " (197.2:10.) . The appropriate s c i e n t i f i c response to a proposed u n i v e r s a l g e n e r a l i z a t i o n i s to f i n d empir-i c a l data which would confirm or f a l s i f y i t . As I have already argued, the r e l a t i o n s h i p between generalizations and p a r t i c u l a r instances of observable data cannot be taken f o r granted by ethno-methodologists because i t i s a major problematic established by t h e i r theory. I would therefore l i k e to propose an a l t e r n a t i v e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of propositions dealing.with the e s s e n t i a l and i r r e m e d i a l i n d e x i c a l i t y of language; a c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n which i s intended to e l i c i t a response alternate to evidence-gathering. My c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of those propositions, which include the en-t i r e text of the G a r f i n k e l and Sacks a r t i c l e used as the t h e o r e t i c a l underpinning of t h i s report i n c l u d i n g the present discussion, i s that they co n s t i t u t e , to borrow a phrase from G a r f i n k e l and Sacks, "a gloss over a l i v e l y context". The appropriate response i s not to seek evidence f o r the v e r a c i t y of the propositions but to grasp 192 the l i v e l y context they g l o s s . B. Ethnomethodological Theory as Presupposition of Research In order to c l a r i f y the previous p o s i t i o n , I would l i k e to turn to one more version of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between some theoret-i c a l statements and the research connected with them. Some the-o r e t i c a l statements may be s a i d to act as presuppositions held by the researcher. These propositions make sense of that researcher's approach to the phenomena she i s studying. Ethnomethodological theory could be regarded as an underlying presupposition of research i n conversation a n a l y s i s . While no studies can l o g i c a l l y "discover" or provide evidence f o r the theory, i t i s an assumption that analysts use to d i r e c t t h e i r i n q u i r y . Because language i s e s s e n t i a l l y i n d e x i c a l , p r a c t i c a l methods of making t a l k sensible must e x i s t and so these are appropriate ob-j e c t s to study. Ethnomethodological theory could be said to give Sacksian a n a l y s i s i t s r a t i o n a l e . The c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of theory as presupposition has, I think, a major shortcoming. For i t to be a presupposition i t must have sense independently of the research which i t presupposes. I t could not presuppose something on which i t depended f o r i t s sense. My argument i s that t h i s s t i p u l a t i o n cannot be met. For example, ethnomethodological theory states that since a l l accounts are i n d e x i c a l , i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e understanding depends on the use of p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods. Such a statement says nothing about what p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods look l i k e . In f a c t , 193 there seems to be at l e a s t two d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the l a t t e r i n ethnomethodological discourse. One i s marked by i t s concern with sequencing,, turn-taking and conversational structure. T h i s i s the approach taken by Sacks and h i s students. There i s also the study of i n v a r i a n t features of i n t e r p r e t i v e p r a c t i c e s such as the documentary method of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , ad hoeing and retrospective-prospective hearing. In order to know what i t means to study p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods one cannot simply look to the theory. Instead, one has to examine the ac t u a l studies that have been done by ethnomethodologists. The meanings of the the-o r e t i c a l constructs are r e f l e x i v e l y t i e d to the research they inform; the former are not presuppositions of the l a t t e r . I have been arguing that ethnomethodological theory i s not to be treated as a set of propositions that guide a c e r t a i n type of research. Neither i s i t to be treated as a set of f a c t s f o r i n c l u s i o n , a f t e r s u f f i c i e n t evidence has come forward, i n a s c i -e n t i f i c corpus of true statements about language. Instead, i t i s a gloss f o r a p i c t u r e of language that i s r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t from the way language i s normally conceived. G. Ethnomethodological Theory as Gloss To c l a r i f y the above statement, I would l i k e to begin by o f f e r i n g an observation about the G a r f i n k e l and Sacks a r t i c l e . I t i s a very d i f f i c u l t text to read. I t s troublesomeness mani-f e s t s i t s e l f i n at l e a s t two ways. F i r s t , tasks such as para-phrasing i t or summing i t up i n a few words or extracting p a r t i c u l a r 194 arguments from i t are d i f f i c u l t . That i s why my discussions of i t tend to consist of long quotations from the text i t s e l f rather than neat concise summaries of what the authors s a i d . Second, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to grasp the perspective on language which the authors are o f f e r i n g ; to imagine a language which i s capable of" " i n f i n -i t e l y elaborating" i t s own meaning," which r e s t s on no objective foundation but only on the i n t r i c a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s established within i t and with human p r a c t i c e s . One way i n which the meaning of the text could be made more acce s s i b l e would be to t r y to formulate what the authors are say-ing by using more f a m i l i a r terms combined i n an orthodox syntax. Given the premises of the a r t i c l e the notion of a d e f i n i t i v e form-u l a t i o n of the text would contradict i t s arguments. However, i t would be possible to generate d i f f e r e n t glosses that decrease the d i f f i c u l t y of the o r i g i n a l . There are:".dangers involved i n c l a r i f y i n g through the use of more f a m i l i a r terms. The problem i s suggested by G a r f i n k e l and Sacks when they discuss the pervasive i n t e r e s t that members have i n d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between objective and i n d e x i c a l expressions. They write: We t r e a t as f a c t that researchers— any researchers, l a y or p r o f e s s i o n a l , naive or well versed i n l o g i c and l i n -g u i s t i c s — w h o s t a r t with a text, f i n d themselves engaged i n c l a r i f y i n g such terms that occur i n i t . What should be made of that sort of fact? What do we, i n t h i s a r t i c l e , want to make of that f a c t ? I f , whenever housewives were l e t into a room, eachc'orie on her own went to some spot and started to clean i t , one might conclude that the spot surely needed cleaning. On the other hand, one might conclude that there i s something about the spot and about the housewives that makes the encounter of one by the other an occasion f o r cleaning...(1970:34-7) • 195 The point that the authors are making i s that whenever mem-bers begin an i n q u i r y of any kind, not j u s t s c i e n t i f i c , a f i r s t concern f o r them i s the cleaning up of i n d e x i c a l expressions. The danger a r i s e s that any attempt to put the arguments of the text into more f a m i l i a r language may f a l l into the trap of using a d i s t i n c t i o n between objective and i n d e x i c a l expressions. Re-f u s a l to t r e a t the i n d e x i c a l i t y of language as a problem needing remedy i s so d i f f e r e n t from the more f a m i l i a r task of cleaning up i n d e x i c a l s that a more f a m i l i a r writing s t y l e could induce one to f a l l back on more f a m i l i a r ways of thinking. The point i s that no matter what glosses one uses to t r y to express the ess-e n t i a l i n d e x i c a l i t y of language, the perspective i s so i n c o n s i s -tent with the bulk of commonsense and s c i e n t i f i c perspectives on language t h a t i t i s d i f f i c u l t to grasp. To summarize the argument so f a r : I began by asking what the r e l a t i o n s h i p was between the ethnomethodological theory proposed by G a r f i n k e l and Sacks and the empirical research which formed the core of the present report. Wilson's suggestion that the l o g i c a l e m p i r i c i s t model was appropriate to ethnomethodology and that therefore research stood i n the r e l a t i o n of providing e v i -dence f o r the theory was c r i t i c i z e d . The problem was that pro-p o s i t i o n s "regarding the e s s e n t i a l i n d e x i c a l i t y of language were themselves i n d e x i c a l and so i t was not possible to generate d e f i n i t i v e r u l e s f o r r e l a t i n g observable behaviour. The next step was to argue that the theory was not to be treated as a 196 c o l l e c t i o n of candidate f a c t s to be tested against the data.but as a gloss f o r a p i c t u r e of language that i s l i b e r a t i n g i n i t s deviance from more mundane views. I would now l i k e to propose that conversation a n a l y s i s i s not to be treated as a body of descriptions but instead as a d i s c i p l i n e d method of inquiry which exemplifies the p i c t u r e of language which ethnomethodological theory glosses. The methods by which'analysts pose and solve problems of ordinary speech themselves i l l u s t r a t e a r e l a t i o n a l form of l o g i c which r e j e c t s the temptation to "clean up" ordinary speech—to provide a more "objective" type of discourse. As a d i s c i p l i n e d mode of inquiry or form of mental a c t i v i t y that exhibits the ethnomethological view of language, conversation analysis allows the analyst to become pr a c t i c e d at the s k i l l of observing the i n d e x i c a l prop-e r t i e s of language i n a wide v a r i e t y of p a r t i c u l a r cases. The s k i l l i s increased through the p r a c t i c e . Conversation analysis may be regarded as a type of glossing p r a c t i c e f o r grasping the ethnomethodological view of language. D. Conversation Analysis as Structured A c t i v i t y Before proceeding i t i s necessary to r e i t e r a t e a point made by G a r f i n k e l and Sacks about glossing p r a c t i c e s . These p r a c t i c e s are members' methods f o r producing i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e understanding. They are not poor approximations used to point to something that one cannot yet describe i n so many words. Between the p r a c t i c e s 197 and the l i v e l y context they gloss there i s nothing missing; no gap which can e i t h e r he f i l l e d i n l a t e r or perhaps inherently 2 cannot ever he f i l l e d . I t i s only against the i d e a l of l o g i c a l discourse that there appears to be a gap. As G a r f i n k e l and Sacks argue, t h i s i d e a l version of r a t i o n a l i t y i s not necessary f o r the production of t a l k which i s accountably r a t i o n a l . Conversation analysis i s a d i s c i p l i n e d mental a c t i v i t y , an a c t i v i t y which t r a i n s the mind of the practioner i n a p a r t i c u l a r way. I t often displays a problem-solution structure. A problem i s posed and c e r t a i n features of what the s o l u t i o n would look l i k e are implied. For example, i n the problem of the d i r t y joke described i n t h i s report c e r t a i n features of what the s o l u t i o n would look l i k e were described. The issue was the p o s i t i o n of the c l o s i n g utterance i n a story. I t was noted that the c l o s i n g utterance i n the joke con-tained a surprise, the squelch. I t was asked i f that p o s i t i o n i n a story was an a n a l y t i c one which would lead the r e c i p i e n t s to expect one type of item and s p e c i f i c a l l y not to expect another type of item. I t was s p e c i f i e d from the beginning that whatever the s o l u t i o n would turn out to be i t would- have to ';(l) describe the p o s i t i o n that l a s t utterance i s , (2) characterize the type of utterance that the squelch was, and (3) show that the type of item that the squelch was i s not normally placed i n that p o s i t i o n . Then the i n v e s t i g a t i o n begins. The analyst must explicate a large amount of commonsense knowledge of s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s and p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods. I t i s not necessary, however, to 198 t r y to explicate a l l of the knowledge and reasoning that goes int o producing and understanding s t o r i e s . Instead, we are able to stop e x p l i c a t i n g at the point at which we could o f f e r a s o l -u tion to the problem. Once enough had been explicated to a r r i v e at a s o l u t i o n that had the three aforementioned features the ex-p l i c a t i o n was adequate f o r a l l p r a c t i c a l purposes. Not a l l problems i n conversation a n a l y s i s have that p a r t i c -u l a r structure wherein one'is t r y i n g to account f o r a p a r t i c u l a r hearing by i d e n t i f y i n g a p o s i t i o n . Nonetheless, enough do so that one can acquire s k i l l at the a c t i v i t y by studying other analyses and by p r a c t i c i n g posing problems and o f f e r i n g s o l u t i o n s . The structure of the a c t i v i t y provides enough of a s i m i l a r i t y among various instances of i t so that people can learn i t and get b e t t e r at i t i n the most t y p i c a l way that people learn how to do things; through example and p r a c t i c e . The purpose of the above discussion i s to argue that i t i s not necessary to begin with a very strong understanding of the p r i n c i p l e of i n d e x i c a l i t y before learning to do conversation a n a l y s i s . One can learn i t by studying other analyses and prac-t i c i n g i t on d i f f e r e n t problems of ordinary conversation. The p r a c t i c e i t s e l f helps one to become s k i l l e d at observing the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between utterances and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s with human a c t i v i t i e s . This s k i l l i n turn helps one understand the 3 more abstract statements of ethnomethodological theory . My argument i s that, as a d i s c i p l i n e d a c t i v i t y , conversation a n a l y s i s stands with regard to what ethnomethodological theory 199 glosses as p r a c t i c e to a s k i l l . I t involves learning how to work with structured language problems whose solutions do not require a v e r s i o n of language as having a l o g i c a l grounding. That i s , problems can be posed and solutions offered without the analyst ever having to engage i n the s u b s t i t u t i o n of objective f o r index-i c a l expressions i n order to characterize members' t a l k . I t exerts a mental d i s c i p l i n e on the mind of the practioner which can be used to break the f a m i l i a r habit of t r e a t i n g speech as i f i t was u l t i m a t e l y grounded i n an objective foundation. Through p r a c t i c i n g the a c t i v i t y one learns how to observe the i n d e x i c a l properties of language; to acquire the a b i l i t y to perceive language which i s capable of i n f i n i t e l y elaborating i t s own meaning and'-.-which achieves i t s sensible, r a t i o n a l character only through the r e l a t i o n s h i p s within i t and i t s i n t e g r a t i o n into meaningful human a c t i v i t i e s . This i s a way of seeing that i s not e a s i l y acquired since so many of our a c t i v i t i e s depend on the sense that we are able to substitute ob-j e c t i v e expressions f o r i n d e x i c a l ones. E. Summary This chapter has been concerned with ch a r a c t e r i z i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p between research i n conversation analysis and ethno-methodological theory. I t was claimed that the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two was not intended to be that of evidence to prop-o s i t i o n . Two reasons were given. F i r s t , since statements such as, " i n d e x i c a l i t y i s an e s s e n t i a l feature of language use" were themselves i n d e x i c a l expressions i t was not p o s s i b l e to generate l o g i c a l l y compelling r u l e s f o r connecting s p e c i f i c behavioural 200 d i s p l a y s to them without being inconsistent. That i s , one can always generate r u l e s that w i l l enable members to connect gen-e r a l i z a t i o n s with p a r t i c u l a r s but the use of the r u l e s themselves would depend on membership and so would be part of the phenomenon that ethnomethodology studies. Second, i t was argued that the theory was not a set of propositions to be tested and then merely c o l l e c t e d with other true propositions. Instead, ethnomethodology was proposed to be a gloss f o r a way of perceiving language. Conversation a n a l y s i s was characterized as a d i s c i p l i n e d a c t i v i t y which could be learned through example and p r a c t i c e rather than through a l i t e r a l formulation of i t s elements. F i n a l l y , i t was argued that as an a c t i v i t y that was able to pose problems and o f f e r solutions about language use without having to draw d i s t i n c t i o n s between objective and i n d e x i c a l ex-pressions, conversation analysis involved gaining p r a c t i c e at the s k i l l of seeing language i n the manner that i s glossed by ethno-methodological theory. As mathematicians get p r a c t i c e at seeing the elegant system of numbers by doing mathematical problems and as s c i e n t i s t s get p r a c t i c e at the s k i l l of comprehending o r d e r l i -ness in-the p h y s i c a l universe by generating and t e s t i n g hypotheses, so ethnomethodologists can increase t h e i r s k i l l at seeing index-i c a l i t y by doing problems i n conversation a n a l y s i s . In Z e t t e l , Wittgenstein wrote: How can one l e a r n the t r u t h by thinking? As one learns to see a face better i f one draws i t ( l967:48e). 201 Doing problems i n conversation a n a l y s i s can be regarded as one way of drawing language as an i n d e x i c a l phenomenon; of showing how i t s sense i s given not by following from se l f - e v i d e n t , undoubt-able grounds but from i t s complex interweaving i n human a f f a i r s . I I I . CONCLUSIONS At t h i s point I would l i k e to return to the issue of i n f i n i t e regress i n ethnomethodology. To restate the problem: Ethnomethodolog asserts that a l l accounts are irremediably i n d e x i c a l . They depend f o r t h e i r comprehensibility on competent membership i n a common cult u r e ; on the possession of p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods and know-ledge of s o c i a l structure that compose competency. Ethnomethodologist study that p r a c t i c a l reasoning. For example, i n t h i s report we have examined the p r a c t i c a l reasoning that goes into "hearing f i r s t p o s s i b l completion point of a story". The studies that ethnomethodologists produce are accounts. As such, they are i n d e x i c a l . Their s e n s i b i l i t y depends on mem-bership i n a common cu l t u r e . The regress problem a r i s e s from a demand that these accounts be complete; that they explicate p r a c t i c a l reasoning i n such a way that the pro v e r b i a l "Man from Mars" could use the e x p l i c a t i o n to reproduce the analyzed text. Given t h i s demantl i n f i n i t e regress i s a problem. The methods by which the ethnomethodologist described the o r i g i n a l text must be explicated and t h i s e x p l i c a t i o n must i n turn be explicated 202' ad i n f i n i t u m . In using t h i s model f o r complete or l i t e r a l e x p l i c -a t i o n of p r a c t i c a l reasoning methods, ethnomethodologists have before them t h e i r " i n f i n i t e task". I t was argued that i t i s not necessary to hold the goal of complete e x p l i c a t i o n i n order to produce research that i s i n t e r -s u b j e c t i v e l y meaningful. Problems of t a l k can be posed and solu-t i o n s offered, c r i t i c i z e d and rejected or accepted where the s e n s i b i l i t y of the problem and the persuasiveness of the so l u t i o n i s only such f o r competent members. The reason f o r addressing the regress problem i n t h i s report i s that i t i s , I "believe, a very serious one f o r ethnomethodological t h e o r i z i n g and research. I t i s not only a problem f o r ethnometh-odology but f o r many other s o c i a l theories which study the r e l -ationship between society and cognition. How can t h i s be done with-out e i t h e r e s t a b l i s h i n g a p r i v i l e g e d self-exemption f o r the s o c i o l o g i s t s or i n i t i a t i n g an i n f i n i t e regress? In adopting the p o s i t i o n previously formulated, namely accept-ing i n the report that analysts and t h e i r readers are also members who depend on glo s s i n g p r a c t i c e s , we have so f a r ignored the issue that l e d Wilson to worry about i n f i n i t e regress i n the f i r s t place. That issue i s the truth-claims that ethnomethodologists can make with regard to t h e i r analyses. I would now l i k e to address that i s s u e . Ethnomethodology arose i n the context of s o c i a l s c i e n t i f i c discourse. In partaking of t h i s context, i t has acquired a taken-for-granted c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n as an empirical science, despite i t s c r i t i c i s m s of the truth-claims of other types of s o c i o l o g i c a l 203 enterprises. I t claims to give actual descriptions of the aspect of the s o c i a l world that i t chooses to study. As an empirical science, the d e s c r i p t i o n s that ethnomethodologists o f f e r of prac-t i c a l reasoning methods are intended to he true d e s c r i p t i o n s . Truth or f a l s i t y i s a relevant c r i t e r i a to apply to statements that are intended to he part of s o c i a l s c i e n t i f i c discourse. Once t r u t h or f a l s i t y i s a relevant issue, the researcher's methods f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g t r u t h i s also an issue. Wilson was concerned with e s t a b l i s h i n g the truth-claims of ethnomethodological f i n d i n g s . That i s why he recommended the l o g i c a l e m p i r i c i s t model; i t provides a recognized method f o r r a t i f y i n g truth-claims. In t h i s report, Wilson's p o s i t i o n was c r i t i c i z e d on the grounds that the unreflexive subsumption of p a r t i c u l a r s under general categories i s untenable since the theory t r e a t s the connection between the two as one of i t s major problematics. The use of p a r t i c u l a r behavioural d i s p l a y s as evidence f o r general t h e o r e t i c a l e n t i t i e s cannot be simply taken f o r granted without granting ethnomethodologists exemption from t h e i r own theory. The regress problem a r i s e s i n a d i f f e r e n t way. There Is another method f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g an analyst's claims to t r u t h which i s not as developed i n the philosophy of s o c i a l science l i t e r a t u r e but i s sometimes used by l i n g u i s t s and l o g i c i a n s . T h i s method i s to s p e c i f y a set of r u l e s which would allow a 204 non-member to produce an utterance that a native speaker would recognize as acceptable. I f a set of r u l e s allow the non-member to produce such an utterance, then i t i s assumed that the r u l e s c o n s t i t u t e a v a l i d d e s c r i p t i o n of how members form utterances. In order to use t h i s method i n ethnomethodological research in t o one's own cu l t u r e , i t i s necessary to construct a p o s i t i o n of nonmembership. Since the theory argues that a l l meaningful discourse i s grounded i n membership, the attempted e x p l i c a t i o n would go on i n f i n i t e l y . The c r i t i c i s m here i s not d i r e c t e d against empirical science nor am I arguing that conversation analysis should d i s a f f i l i a t e i t s e l f from empirical science. What I would c r i t i c i z e i s the acceptance by ethnomethodology of some of the assumptions that empirical science has been grounded i n . S p e c i f i c a l l y , the assump-t i o n that the primary function of s c i e n t i f i c discourse i s to represent c e r t a i n states of a f f a i r s leads the i n q u i r e r into pur-suing a way of speaking which emphasizes the a b i l i t y of language to represent objects. I f one wants to represent the world as accurately as po s s i b l e , the i d e a l language would be an object-language" i n which there existed a one-to-one correspondence between words and things. Ethnomethodological theory r e j e c t s the idea of an object-language. Ethnomethodological studies should not, then, ground themselves i n projects which are incompatible with the per-spective" on language proposed by the theory. As long as ethnomethodologists take f o r granted that the goal of i n q u i r y i s merely to represent the phenomena under study they 205 w i l l be beset by the problem of providing strong grounds f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g truth-claims without negating t h e i r own premises. My purpose i n w r i t i n g t h i s chapter was to argue that s c h o l a r l y i n q u i r y may be d i r e c t e d to other goals. In t h i s chapter, an a l t e r n a t i v e reason f o r engaging i n r e -search was suggested. I argued that analysis was not to be treated as a way of providing l i t e r a l d e s criptions but was an a c t i v i t y . I t s point was to t r a i n the mind to p i c t u r e language i n a way that d i f f e r s from the r e f e r e n t i a l model which i s often taken-for-granted i n more t r a d i t i o n a l forms of sociology. Instead of regarding i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t y as merely representing an out-side r e a l i t y i t i s treated as a creative mode of working with materials provided by the s o c i a l world. I t produces meaning rather than simply using meaning to convey a f a c t u a l world. 206 NOTES """Wilson writes that t h i s method "...consists of i d e n t i f y i n g an underlying pattern behind a s e r i e s of appearances such that each appearance i s seen as, r e f e r r i n g to, an expression of, or a "doc-ument of", the underlying pattern. However, the underlying pattern i t s e l f i s i d e n t i f i e d through i t s i n d i v i d u a l concrete appearance, so that the appearance r e f l e c t i n g the pattern and the pattern i t s e l f mutually determine one another" (1970:68). ^This i s a p o s i t i o n which contrasts with Cicourel's version of i n d e x i c a l i t y . He argues that i n d i v i d u a l i n t e n t i o n s form a base structure which i s not i n d e x i c a l but i s also i n e f f a b l e . The speaker, having a r r i v e d at an i n t e n t i o n , must make that i n t e n t i o n c l e a r to a hearer. To do so, she must use language. Language, however, f s irremediably i n d e x i c a l ; the meaning of an utterance i s dependent on the context of i t s production. Therefore, there must e x i s t procedures whereby a hearer can disregard the i n d e x i c a l properties of language and "hear" the utterance as p o i n t i n g to the intentions of the speaker. Cic o u r e l uses Schutz's notion of the r e c i p r o c i t y of perspectives to show how t h i s i s done: The f i r s t procedure r e f e r s to a r e c i p r o c i t y of perspective which Schutz d i v i d e s into two p a r t s . The f i r s t part i n s t r u c t s the speaker and hearer to assume t h e i r mutual experiences of the i n t e r a c t i o n scene are the same even i f they were to change plac e s . The second part informs each p a r t i c i p a n t to disregard personal d i f f e r e n c e s i n how each assigns meaning ,;to everyday a c t i v i t i e s , thus each can attend the present scene i n an i d e n t i c a l manner f o r the p r a c t i c a l matter at hand. Schutz uses a question and answer format to f u r t h e r i l l u s t r a t e t h i s procedure. The question-anwer sequencing requires a r e c i p r o c a l r u l e whereby my question provides a basis (reason) f o r your answer, while the p o s s i b i l i t y of a future answer from you provides a basis (reason) f o r my question. When I ask a question I have inten-t i o n s (a deep structure) or a more elaborated version i n mind than what I a c t u a l l y ask you. My 'pruned' or 'deleted' surface question, therefore, presumes a more elaborated version which I assume you ' f i l l i n ' , despite r e c e i v i n g only my surface message. Your answer, therefore, i s based upon both the elaborated and surface elements of my question, and I i n turn ' f i l l i n ' your answer so as to construct your elaborated intentions (1973:34-35)• 3 The argument being put forward here bears some s i m i l a r i t y to some observations about paranoia o f f e r e d by Howard Schwartz. Schwartz suggested that paranoids need p r a c t i c e i n order to use t h e i r delusions as a b a s i s f o r understanding p a r t i c u l a r events i n t h e i r environment. A paranoid may come to believe, f o r example, that some unknown person 207 o r p e r s o n s i s t r y i n g t o k i l l h i m . - G i v e n t h i s p r e m i s e , h e m u s t r e g a r d h i s s u r r o u n d i n g s a s f r a u g h t w i t h d a n g e r . A n y e v e n t i n t h e e n v i r o n m e n t c a n b e t r e a t e d a s a s i g n o f t h e p l o t . A s S c h w a r t z p o i n t s o u t , p a r a n o i d s b e c o m e v e r y s k i l l e d a t c o n n e c t i n g i n d i v i d u a l e v e n t s w i t h t h e i r g e n e r a l p r e m i s e . T h i s s k i l l t a k e s t i m e t o d e v e l o p , h o w e v e r . A t f i r s t , t h e p a t i e n t s c a n o n l y r e l a t e t h e i r p r e m i s e t o a l i m i t e d n u m b e r o f e v e n t s . O t h e r e v e n t s a p p e a r a s p u z z l i n g o r m e a n i n g l e s s . F o r e x a m p l e , a s t a f f m e m b e r may c a s u a l l y a s k t h e p a t i e n t a b o u t h i s f u t u r e p l a n s . T h i s may s i m p l y c o n f u s e t h e p a t i e n t who f i g u r e s t h a t t h e s t a f f m e m b e r m u s t k n o w a b o u t t h e d a n g e r h e i s i n . I t i s n o t u n t i l t h e p a t i e n t a c q u i r e s p r a c t i c e a t u s i n g h i s p r e m i s e t h a t h e l e a r n s h o w t o s e e t h e s t a f f m e m b e r ' s q u e s t i o n a s a s i g n o f t h e p l o t . H e b e c o m e s , s k i l l e d a t i n t e g r a t i n g t h e s p e c i f i c s o f h i s e n v i r o n m e n t w i t h h i s g e n e r a l s e n s e o f w h a t i s g o i n g o n i n i t . S c h w a r t z w r i t e s : F i r s t t h e p e r s o n c o m e s t o k n o w t h a t some g e n e r a l p o l i c y i s a p p l i c a b l e i n a u n i f o r m w a y i n a d d r e s s i n g o t h e r s ' b e h a v i o u r . W h e n h e s t a r t s t o a c t o n h i s k n o w l e d g e , h e d e v e l o p s a s k i l l c o n s i s t i n g o f t h e w a y t o i m p l e m e n t t h e p o l i c y i n d e t a i l , h o w t o s e e o r l f i n d t h e p a r t i c u l a r d e c e p t i o n i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r r e m a r k , o r i n w h a t wa y t h i s p l a u s i b l e s o u n d i n g p o s s i b i l i t y f o r o n e ' s r e c o v e r y i s a c t u a l l y u n r e a l i s t i c . T h i s i s o n e e a s i l y v e r i f i a b l e c h a n g e t h a t o c c u r s . P a t i e n t s c a n b e a s k e d a b o u t , a n d w i l l g i v e , i n c r e d i b l y d e t a i l e d w a y s i n w h i c h t h e g e n e r a l o r i e n t a t i o n s h o l d i n p a r t i c u l a r c a s e s , d e t a i l s b e y o n d y o u r c a p a c i t y t o i m a g i n e , a n d d e t a i l s w h i c h t h e y w e r e o n c e i n c a p a b l e o f t h e m s e l v e s , a d m i t t e d l y , b u t h a v e l e a r n e d t o d i s c o v e r , l i t e r a l l y b y p r a c t i c e . . . ( 1 9 7 1 : 2 8 1 - 2 8 2 ) . 208 REFERENCES CITED Ci c o u r e l , Aron 1973 Cognitive Sociology. Middlesex: Penguin. G a r f i n k e l , Harold 1967 Studies i n Ethnomethodology. New Jersey: Prentice H a l l , Inc. G a r f i n k e l , Harold 1970 On Formal Structures of P r a c t i c a l Actions. In Th e o r e t i c a l Sociology. J.C. McKinney and E.A. Teryakin, eds. pp. 337-366. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 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School of S o c i a l Science, U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a at I r v i n e . Spring. 1970f Lecture 6. Transcripts of Unpublished Lectures. School of S o c i a l Science, U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a at I r v i n e . Spring. 1971a Lecture 1. Transcripts of Unpublished Lectures. School of S o c i a l Science, U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a at I r v i n e . F a l l . 19?lb Lecture 5' Tra n s c r i p t s of Unpublished Lectures. School of S o c i a l Science, U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a at I r v i n e . F a l l . 1971c Lecture 6. Tra n s c r i p t s of Unpublished Lectures. School of S o c i a l Science, U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a a a t I r v i n e . F a l l . 1971d Lecture 8. Transcripts of Unpublished Lectures. School of S o c i a l Science, U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a at I r v i n e . F a l l . 1972 Lecture 4. Transcripts of Unpublished Lectures. School of S o c i a l Science, U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a at I r v i n e . Spring. 1974a An Analysis of the Course of a Joke's T e l l i n g i n Conversation. In Explorations i n the Ethnography of Speaking. R. Baumann and J . Scherzer, eds. 337_353- Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press. 1974b On the A n a l y s a b i l i t y of S t o r i e s by Children. In Ethnometho-dology. Roy Turner, ed. pp. 216-232. Middlesex: Penguin. 1978 Some Technical Considerations of a D i r t y Joke. Edited from le c t u r e s by G a i l " J e f f e r s o n . ' Jn Studies i n the Organization of Conversational I n t e r a c t i o n . Jim Schenkein, ed. pp. 249-269. New York: Academic Press. Sacks, Harvey, Emanuel Schegloffearid G a i l J e f f e r s o n 1978 A Simplest Systematics f o r the Organization of Turn Taking f o r Conversation. In Studies i n the Organization of Conver-s a t i o n a l I n t e r a c t i o n . Jim Schenkein, ed. pp. 7~55- New York: Academic Press. Schegloff, Emanuel 1968 Sequencing i n Conversational Openings. American Anthro-p o l o g i s t 70, 6:1075-1095. 19?2 Notes on a Conversational P r a c t i c e : Formulating Place. In Studies i n S o c i a l I n t e r a c t i o n . David Sudnow, ed. pp. 75-H9-New York: The Free Press. 1979 I d e n t i f i c a t i o n and Recognition i n Telephone Conversation Openings. In Everyday language :-""r Studies i n Ethnomethodology. George Psa thas, ed. pp. 23~78. New York: Irvington Publishers, Inc. 211 Schegloff, Emanuel and Harvey Sacks 1974 Opening Up Closings. In Ethnomethodology. Roy Turner, ed. pp. 233-264. Middlesex: Penguin. Schwartz, Howard, 1971 Mental Disorder and the Study of Subjective Experience: Some Uses of Each to Eluci d a t e the Other. Unpublished Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a at Los Angeles. Sharrock, W..W. and Roy Turner 1978 On a Conversational Environment f o r E q u i v o c a l i t y . In Studies i n the Organization of Conversational I n t e r a c t i o n . Jim Schenkein, ed. pp. 173-197- New York: Academic Press. Turner, Roy 1972 Some Formal Properties of Therapy Talk. In Studies i n S o c i a l I n t e r a c t i o n . David Sudnow, ed. pp. 367-396. New York: The Free Press. 1974 Words, Utterances and A c t i v i t i e s . In Ethnomethodology. Roy Turner, ed. pp. 197-215- Middlesex: Penguin. Wieder, Lawrence D. 1974 T e l l i n g the Code. In Ethnomethodology. Roy Turner, ed. pp. 144-172. Middlesex: Penguin. Wilson, Thomas 1970 Normative and Int e r p r e t i v e Paradigms i n Sociology. In Understanding Everyday L i f e . Jack Douglas, ed. pp. 57_79-Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company. 1972 The Regress Problem and the Problem of Evidence i n Ethno-methodology. Unpublished paper, U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a . Wittgenstein, Ludwig 1968 Z e t t e l . E d i t e d by G.E.M. Anscombe and G.H. von Wright. Translated by G.E.M. Anscombe. Berkeley and Los Angeles: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press. Zimmerman, Don and Melvin P o l l n e r 1970 The Everyday World as a Phenomenon. In Understanding 3 Everyday L i f e . Jack Douglas, ed. pp. 80-103- Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company. Zimmerman, Don and Lawrence D. Weider 1970 Ethnomethodology and the Problem of Order:Comment on Denzin. In Understanding Everyday L i f e . Jack Douglas, ed. pp. 287-298. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company. 212 APPENDIX Story A Sandra: Good o l ' Banks. I was going "by there again today. He was always s i t s there i n h i s o f f i c e . He's a l i t t l e wimp. Terry: Yeah. Sandra: And he s i t s i n the Ghem o f f i c e (l.O') with the door open a l l the time and I t r y to go i n and everybody goes by he looks up and uh (l.O) Every time I've gone by he looks up and then today I went by and he went hee, hee, hee :hhh Terry: T erry: Sandra: Terry: Sandra: One time Mary and I were going down there and we were r e a l l y , r e a l l y mixed up that day and w'were, we kept going back and f o r t h and we were s i t t i n g there discuss-i n g whether we should go back to t h i s lab or something e l s e . * 'N and we were making a l o t of noise I guess and he was walking by there I've never seen him before 'r ' or I've seen him alot...He comes up to us and he goes (tsh) "So you f i n a l l y decided where you're going d i d you? "And toddles o f f and away he went (laughter). I t was h i l a : r i o u s cuz we j u s t — Oh god (l.O) Well remember that, we went into t h i s seminar together and she started cracking up at t h i s guy Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. And I said Terry, that's Dr. John Banks. That's him there, ha ha ha ha she's laughing and I'm t r y i n g to shut her up ah ha:ah. Terry: I ' l l have to show-him to you sometime when you're i n the Chemistry b u i l d i n g ( ) c l a s s . They t a l k f o r awhile describing Banks and h i s o f f i c e l o c a t i o n to Cathy who has never seen him. 213 T erry: S andra: Terry: Sandra: T erry: Sandra: Cathy: Sandra: Sandra! the door. I t looks l i k e some—we use to do that i n biology or something i t had indents of l i k e decals and there's scars a l l over i t , b l u e — i s n ' t i t a l l blue i n there a l l on the drawers? No I didn't take too good of a look. He's s i t t i n g i n there Oh I walk by i t a l l the t lme When you walk by h i s sometime's he's w r i t i n g and he looks up just as you go by see he see ya. But today, he wasn't cause I was wearing my boots and there was ever a l o t of noise (giggle) and he was looking up and he was s i t t i n g with h i s p e n c i l just wa:tching (giggle) I don't know what the guy doe:es I WENT TO LOOK- at the b u l l e t i n board once and he ca-l i k e I walked past h i s o f f i c e and then I see him come out l a t e r when I stopped to look at the the exam schedule and he comes a l l the way up the h a l l , goes into l i k e the b u l l e t i n board i s r i g h t next to the Chem o f f i c e eh, so he comes by, looks, goes into the Chem o f f i c e , comes out, grabs some mail, goes back i n , comes out, looks f o r some more mail, goes ba—THREE TIMES I counted, I was pretending a l l the time keep reading the schedule, don't look at t h i s turkey. No way (heh heh heh heh), i t was sooo strange. And so u h — Your socks are l i k e mine. Yeah but, yeah I t o l d ya! I remember you had them with boots and—anyway the three times 'n then he c ' f i n a l l y came up to me and says,"Oh, i t ' s time to work now i s i t ? " (Laughter) And I s a i d oh yeah, yeah sure i s (giggle) sure guy. I had him f o r h a l f a course too. Story B B: C: We were t a l k i n g about John, whatziz name? John Hart? You went out with him didn't you? You went out with him?....When di d you go out with him? This year? No, not t h i s year, a coupla years ago (2.0) 214 B: No, cuz he's got t h i s uh B: In your f i r s t year G: Yeah and I saw him a coupla times second year and then t h i r d year l i k e he got that l i t t l e g i r l f r i e n d that lives:s= B: =Carry (pause) yeah. G: Garry, i s that her name? He's been going out with her f o r a year now. B: Yeah, i n a sense (laughter) I can't believe i t ! I t ' s so pathetic i t makes me sick cause she:e i s just infatuated with him and he's (makes face) G: I s that r i g h t I thought he was t o t a l l y infatuated with her because I've I've never known him to stay with any g i r l too long. We use to bug him about i t ( ) B: Well h e — t h e t h i n g — y o u know he stayed with her because he's got h i s cake and he can eat i t too you know he's got t h i s steady g i r l f r i e n d who he can go out with plus he's got (pause) C: H:hm yeah. B: a s t a b l e — y o u know (laughter)= D: =Really? E: Harem B: bevy of beauties A: 'e s a i d harem (laughter) D: That's cute! G: He was just—we went to t h i s — y o u remember Sean Lowe, d i d you?... Right, yeah well L i z and Sean and, a g i r l f r i e n d of mine, L i z and Sean and John and I went to the V i c t o r i a S t a t i o n f o r supper once and uh that was f i n e . So we/were a l l ready to go eh, and L i z and me and Sean are s t i l l waiting f o r John who i s i n the washroom. We're waiting (pause) (giggle) waiting and 215 waiting and waiting and next thing we know here comes John j u s t streaking out of the can with something huge under h i s arm. "Okay, l e t ' s go". Just l i k e that p f s t b a r r e l s through h i s head down l i k e r i g h t i n the middle r i g h t through a bunch of waiters and waitresses and everything cause the kitchen's r i g h t there and just goes bombing r i g h t through the door. And what the h e l l has he got? So we ran out. He took a huge p i c t u r e couldn't get i t o f f the frame so he took the whole p i c t u r e out of the can under h i s arm and walked r i g h t out and into the parking l o t with i t . D: You're kidding! C: Like the next thing we knew he comes b a r r e l l i n g l e t ' s go pshew. Not you know three of us just standing there what the h e l l are you doing? Chase a f t e r him. He's putting i t i n h i s trunk and l i k e we was just i n when he got drunk he d i d crazy things. B: I know I know...Because he's so strong that when he gets drunk he j u s t r i p s the place up. Story C Gina: We used to do that a l l the time. I seem to r e c a l l l i k e j u s t s i t t i n g i n someone else's c l a s s and someone would come i n our c l a s s and ( l . O ) . We used to do that with su b s t i t u t e teachers ALL the time j u s t rearrange the seating l i k e i f there was a seating plan just everyone s i t i n a d i f f e r e n t seat. E l l e n : Well we used to t e l l substitute teachers we we weren't doing anything we had a study a l l the time. Gina: Yah. E l l e n : We were";so mean to substitute teachers. Gina: We got i n a l o t of trouble one time i n Grade 8 S o c i a l s , there was a substitute teacher when P r i t c h a r d was away. This one g i r l , Tara, was a r e a l rowdy. Her and K i t got suspended f o r being i n Arsdale doing something together. She decided to come into Grade 8 S o c i a l s and s i t there, and she was being a r e a l bag so the substitute said, you know, "What's your name?" and she says (laugh), "Gina". I was s i t t i n g there going, "Tara, shut up". So the next day Mr. P r i t c h a r d comes back and s t a r t s y e l l i n g and screaming at me ( 2 . 0 ) . F i n a l l y , Rosa puts her hand up and went, "Excuse me, that wasn't her, i t 216 was Tara". I went, "Thank you, Rosa". Mr. P r i t c h a r d was t o t a l l y confused because Tara was not even i n our c l a s s . He was going, "Who's Tara?" (laugh) I have no idea (3.6). We used to get i n so much trouble (2.0) ge t t i n g kicked out of P.E., breaking b o t t l e ( ). E l l e n : (laugh) I remember one time we t r i e d to skip out of P.E., me and Carol and she, the teacher, came into the c l a s s ; into the changing room r i g h t , to look f o r us because she knew we were i n there. And we were hiding behind lockers and she walked by one locker. And l i k e we were sorta hiding behind the other one. So we uh d i d t h i s f o r about h a l f an hour while she was looking f o r us (2.0) How strange. Story D A: A funny thing happened to me t h i s afternoon (1.5) F i r s t of a l l I went to a workshop (0.5) nine to twelve and i t was r e a l l y r e a l l y good. B: That's good. A: And at the same time I saw the o f f i c e where, we're gonna be. B: Oh. A: And i t ' s so nice...And then, I went f o r , to lunch with Jean. And then ah-I didn't f e e l — f e e l too good, and I don't know i f i t s because I didn't want to go to work, or, my stomach was upset or I don't know. But i n any case I decided to cancel the appointment that I had, t h i s afternoon...(telephone i n t e r r u p t i o n ) . Yeah I went to have lunch with Jean, and we had a long t a l k and, at one t h i r t y she sh-she decided that she was going to work hha and I say "Well uh i t s the f i r s t time that I'm can-c e l l i n g appointment because I don't r e a l l y ' f e e l l i k e going, but I'm gonna do i t , cause I don't r e a l l y f e e l good 'n" (1.5). So she was going to the Indian Centre, on Fourth and uh around Arbutus and Fourth. And I said to her, "Well, leave me on Fourth" and my idea was to take the Fourth bus and come home. (2.0) And then i t was so nice outside heh heh ahh I started to walk on Fourth, and I saw Nam, but I just had lunch so I say I'm not going to go at Nam. And then I went to Banyon, 21? book store and, saw a l l the books they had (0.5) and then I was walking on Fourth and I say well when I — I ' l l be t i r e d I ' l l uh, I ' l l take the bus and go home. But a l l i n a sudden t h i s urge to go to the beach heh heh ha ha hah. So I went down to the beach and walk and walk and walk and u h — i t wasn't windy and b e a u t i f u l sunshine, and i t was warm and uh there was a l o t of p e o p l e — n o t a l o t of people but there was some people there, and, dogs and, and a l l that. And j u s t having a great b a l l and s i t t i n g on the l o g and my nice coat on hh smoking a c i g a r e t t e , a n d — a l l i n a sudden—BEEEEEEEP my beeper went o f f ah ha heh. B: heh Oh Lorraine. Oh no• A: heh heh And I say "Oh my god, there's no around here", and i t ' s between on the beach between McDonald and Ar-butus there's nothing there, you know (3.0). So I say, "Well, the only thing w'can"—there's no restaurant i n that place, there's noo nothing. So the only a l t e r n a t i v e I had was to—go. and knock on a few doors nobody was there and then, I a r r i v e to that place the guy was r e p a i r i n g something i n f r o n t of the house, and I said, "I h a d — I j u s t had an emergency c a l l , I'm on a beeper and I need to use your phone, can I use i t ? " And he said,. "'"I'm sorry, I'm just working here, the ( l .0) mistress of the house j u s t went shopping"-.. And I say "Okay". And then, ahh a guy was jogging and I said, I said the same story to the guy, the guy said, "I'm sorry, I don't l i v e around here but about uh f i v e or s i x blocks from here there's a public phone, so you can maybe, use i t " . And I say, "Oh my God; f i v e or s i x blocks (1.5) And then I went ( l . 0 ) then I saw a car, p u l l i n g . And the guy got" out of the car. And I said " h i " and I t e l l him my l i t t l e story, and he says, "Sure, come on i n " . Hah hah hah hah So I got i n and he gave me the phone and I-I phone the o f f i c e , and she say, "Oh, George Russel (a coworker who's taking my boss place because my boss i s on holidays) j u s t beep you". So she put me through to George and he said, "Oh, umm, i t ' s not an emergency". And I said, "WHAAAT!" heheheh. He said, "No, ah d i d I get you out of something", heh heh heh And I said, "Yes" but I couldn't explain to him on the phone what was happening. hhhhAnd uh he said, "Uh, I just have, a case that, I l i k e you to look at, because, um, you said that you, y'know, that you didn't have many f a m i l i e s , so i f you want a case, um". And I said , "What's the name",iand he gave me the name of the s o c i a l worker and he gave i t to me and I say, What's the name of the boy o r — t h e peopleT-and he gave i t to me and 218 he say—and I said, "Ahhh I already—I'm already working  with that family" (Laughter). A: And I said,"I'm sorry i f I'm short, but, you see, I'm i n a place I'm I mean i t ' s somebody's house I don't even know them and I'm using the phone and I'm thinking, that, t h i s i s hh that that was an emergency". So hah hah hah hah so I just, you know, maked the conversation'short and eh I apologized to the guy and I s a i d , " "I WISH THEY WOULD STOP BEEPING ME FOR ANYTHING", I said I was ju s t taking a nice walk on the beach heh heheh heh, my beeper went o f f and the guy laughed. (Laughter) 

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