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    Park, Innhwa and Duey, Margo 2018. I’m sorry (to interrupt): The use of explicit apology in turn-taking. Applied Linguistics Review, Vol. 0, Issue. 0,

  • Print publication year: 2015
  • Online publication date: August 2015

12 - Meetings as Interactional Achievements

from Capturing and Understanding Dynamics and Processes of the Meeting



This chapter offers an overview of the unique contributions of conversation analysis (CA) to research on the science of meetings. We introduce CA as a sociological framework for studying the structures and processes of talk and interaction, showing how this approach enriches our understanding of human activity in meeting interaction. After a sketch of CA theory and method and the ways that basic interactional mechanisms are adapted to meetings, we review CA research on face-to-face meetings, including practices for distributing turns at talk, the interactional constitution of organizational identities, practices for displaying affect and building relationships with team members, and interactional resources for decision making in meetings. Moving into current developments in CA and meetings, we detail one interactional strategy used to manage disagreement during decision-making episodes in scientific peer review meetings. It involves the use of “formulations,” discourse practices in which interactants summarize and paraphrase the prior talk of other participants. We provide initial evidence of the use of formulations in peer review meetings to collaboratively navigate interactional troubles, allowing participants to work toward resolution of conflict, move ahead in the progression of meetings, and to possibly introduce individual biases into meeting deliberations and decision making.

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