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Laughter in Interaction
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  • 1 b/w illus. 3 tables
  • Page extent: 204 pages
  • Size: 216 x 138 mm
  • Weight: 0.41 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 302.3/46
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: P95.45 .G57 2003
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Conversation analysis
    • Laughter
    • Social interaction

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521772068 | ISBN-10: 0521772060)

Laughter in Interaction is an illuminating and lively account of how and why people laugh during conversation. Bringing together twenty-five years of research on the sequential organisation of laughter in everyday talk, Glenn analyses recordings and transcripts to show the finely detailed co-ordination of human laughter. He demonstrates that its production and placement, relative to talk and other activities, reveal much about its emergent meaning and accomplishments. The book shows how the participants in a conversation move from a single laugh to laughing together, how the matter of 'who laughs first' implicates orientation to social activities and how interactants work out whether laughs are more affiliative or hostile. The final chapter examines the contribution of laughter to sequences of conversational intimacy and play and to the invocation of gender. Engaging and original, the book shows how this seemingly insignificant part of human communication turns out to play a highly significant role in how people display, respond to and revise identities and relationships.


Introduction; 1. Towards a social interactional approach to laughter; 2. Conversation analysis and the study of laughter; 3. Laughing together; 4. Who laughs first; 5. Laughing at and laughing with: negotiating participant alignments; 6. Laughing along, resisting: constituting relationship and identity; 7. Closing remarks; Notes; References; Index.


'Laughter in Interaction by Phillip Glenn is a good textbook for those interested in laughter in social settings as a research study. … a tremendous amount of knowledge placed in a small book of a little over 150 pages. … Even though the book is short, it contains much information. … Glenn has done a fine job of managing a very complex subject …' SIL International

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