Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Negative assessments of referents in co-participants' cultural groups and responses in intercultural encounters
Author: Maneechote, Somporn
ISNI:       0000 0004 7965 5092
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Encounters in cultural exchange programs have been consistently and thoroughly investigated in recent years and a range of interesting insights have been garnered in relation to participants' sensitivity to different cultures, difficulties that participants have encountered, and learning academic and interactional skills from the programs, among others (Anderson et al., 2006; Jackson, 2009). However, the bulk of research in this field has relied on retrospective data (e.g. interviews, questionnaires, and self-reported diaries) and, consequently, what occurs in participants' interaction in these exchange programs from an interactional perspective has been inadequately documented. This study seeks to contribute and augment this scantiness by examining this gap in this field of research. Specifically, the study focuses on interactional situations in cultural exchange programs where offence in interaction potentially threatens to develop, i.e. when negative assessments are made on artefacts, practices, or phenomena (e.g. food items, cost of living, and ways of eating) in particular countries to which the recipients might feel attached. Adopting Goodwin and Goodwin's (1992) assessment framework and Schegloff's (1992) notion of _procedural consequentiality' (i.e. taking into account both the speakers' turns and recipients' responses to the turns to provide for the constitution of assessments), this study investigates assessment sequences in talk in which speakers negatively assess referents (e.g. artefacts, practices, or phenomena) in the co-participants' home countries. Instances of assessment sequences were collected from ten hours of videotaped English interaction on short-term intercultural exchange programs in Southeast Asian countries. The interaction data was transcribed and two micro-analysis tools, Conversation Analysis (CA) and Membership Categorization Analysis (MCA), were employed to examine both the verbal and non-verbal elements of the sequences of interaction. Analysis of assessment sequences in this corpus shows that when participants make what might be interpreted as negative assessments on artefacts, practices or phenomena from the recipients' home country, both parties of the conversation - the speakers of the assessments and the recipients - are observed to perform actions that contribute to making light of the situation. The analysis demonstrates that: 1) the speakers of the assessments produce the turns as dispreferred (e.g. employing turn design which is less direct and ambiguous, etc.), possibly as mitigating actions to soften the impact of the negative assessments; and 2) the recipients of the assessments do not appear to overtly disagree with ii the assessments; rather, they tend to produce in-between responses in which both agreeing and disagreeing are displayed. This study postulates that the participants' consideration of face in interaction (Goffman, 1967), sense of ownership of the referents being assessed, asymmetries of participants' epistemic status on the country-specific referents (Gunthner & Luckmann, 2000), as well as the setting of initial encounters (Hymes, 1974, 2009) - where it is likely that potential offensiveness can be withheld- may explain the provision of interactional work in this situation by the speakers and the recipients of the assessments. This study provides insights into cultural exchange programs from an interactional perspective, demonstrating the interactional management attended by the speakers and the recipients of the assessments, which can result in making light of situations where offence is possible. The study also has implications for CA assessment studies by providing further insights into the constitution of negative assessment in this perspicuous setting.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: RMUTSV
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available