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Qualitative Studies of Silence
The Unsaid as Social Action


Amy Jo Murray, Kevin Durrheim, Michael Billig, Cristina Marinho, Merran Toerien, Clare Jackson, Eviatar Zerubavel, Christina A. Sue, Mary Robertson, Nicole Lambert, Susan Opotow, Emese Ilyes, Michelle Fine, Robyn Fivush, Monisha Pasupathi, Gregory Coles, Cheryl Glenn, Melani Schrӧter, Tom Huckin, C. Fred Alford, Jay Winter, Michael Richardson, Kyla Allison, Stephen Frosh
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  • Date Published: July 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108421379

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About the Authors
  • Qualitative Studies of Silence brings together influential qualitative researchers from across the social sciences and humanities who have sought to understand the power of what remains unsaid, both psychologically and socially. Each chapter identifies one or more signs of silence and explains how these can form the basis of a rigorous qualitative investigation. The authors also demonstrate how silences operate in our private and collective lives by fulfilling psychological, relational, institutional, and ideological functions. The book contains multiple disciplinary perspectives and presents analyses of wide-ranging topics, such as medical consultations, whistleblowers, silence in court, omission-as-propaganda, trauma survivors, the silence of war museums, racism in the Americas, gendered silences, paid domestic labour, the undocumented student movement, and the Nazi past. This collection shows how such qualitative studies can reveal and contribute to understanding the unsaid as social action.

    • The first book of its kind on the qualitative methodology of silence
    • Provides practical examples of analysis for researchers, scholars, and students
    • Supports critical scholarship of ideology by showing how silence is a form of social action
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Probing the rhetorical and ideological functions of the unsaid in institutional and informal contexts, this ambitious, multidisciplinary collection provides ethnographic insight, practical methodological direction, and new theoretical framing - potent tools for gaining purchase on this slippery but powerful dimension of human sociality.' Robin E. Sheriff, University of New Hampshire

    'This book makes a significant contribution to discussions on affect theory, its relation to the body, and the implementation of what the authors describe as affective witnessing and later affective methodologies respectively. This is a thoughtful intervention into the world of silences without colonising this space with the noise of writing.' Juliet Rogers, University of Melbourne, Australia

    'This remarkable collection not only highlights the power of silence, but also reveals the key role of gender in the search for deeper meaning into both silence and voice. Qualitative Studies of Silence is a must-read in a new, exciting field of study.' Jane Parpart, University of Massachusetts Boston

    'This excellent book describes and explains the many functions and effects of silence in communication. The authors interpret the specificities of silence in conversation, which have frequently been neglected. This insightful volume constitutes a must-read for scholars and graduate students alike in the social sciences and beyond.' Ruth Wodak, Chair of Discourse Studies, Lancaster University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108421379
    • length: 310 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: a turn to silence Amy Jo Murray and Kevin Durrheim
    2. Literal and metaphorical silences in rhetoric: examples from the celebration of the 1974 Revolution in the Portuguese Parliament Michael Billig and Cristina Marinho
    3. Seeing silenced agendas in medical interaction: a conversation analytic case study Merran Toerien and Clare Jackson
    4. Listening to the sound of silence: methodological reflections on studying the unsaid Eviatar Zerubavel
    5. Social silences: conducting ethnographic research on racism in the Americas Christina A. Sue and Mary Robertson
    6. Intimate silences and inequality: noticing the unsaid through layered data Amy Jo Murray and Nicole Lambert
    7. Silence in the court: moral exclusion at the intersection of disability, race, sexuality, and methodology Susan Opotow, Emese Ilyes and Michelle Fine
    8. Silencing self and other through autobiographical narratives Robyn Fivush and Monisha Pasupathi
    9. Gendering the unsaid and the unsayable Gregory Coles and Cheryl Glenn
    10. The language ideology of silence and silencing in public discourse: claims to silencing as metadiscursive moves in German anti-political correctness discourse Melani Schrӧter
    11. Propaganda by omission: the case of topical silence Tom Huckin
    12. Silencing whistleblowers C. Fred Alford
    13. Between sound and silence: the inaudible and the unsayable in the history of the First World War Jay Winter
    14. Affect and the unsaid: silences, impasses, and testimonies to trauma Michael Richardson and Kyla Allison
    15. The unsaid and the unheard: acknowledgement, accountability, and recognition in the face of silence Stephen Frosh
    16. Topographies of the said and unsaid Kevin Durrheim and Amy Jo Murray.

  • Editors

    Amy Jo Murray, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
    Amy Jo Murray is a researcher based in the psychology department at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She is exploring creative ways of understanding social justice and inequality through qualitative research.

    Kevin Durrheim, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
    Kevin Durrheim is a professor of psychology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, where he runs a research lab and teaches social psychology and research methods.


    Amy Jo Murray, Kevin Durrheim, Michael Billig, Cristina Marinho, Merran Toerien, Clare Jackson, Eviatar Zerubavel, Christina A. Sue, Mary Robertson, Nicole Lambert, Susan Opotow, Emese Ilyes, Michelle Fine, Robyn Fivush, Monisha Pasupathi, Gregory Coles, Cheryl Glenn, Melani Schrӧter, Tom Huckin, C. Fred Alford, Jay Winter, Michael Richardson, Kyla Allison, Stephen Frosh

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