It feels kinda important maybe: 'Feel' as an Interactional Resource for Managing Stance and Accountability
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
How ‘inner’ processes are invoked in talk-in-interaction has been a topic for conversation analysts ever since Sacks identified ‘private thought’ as a phenomenon. This paper provides an overview of the social actions organized by use of the Swedish verb “känna” – which translates as ‘feel’ – in data from university tutorials. In this exploratory study, “känna” is not treated as a linguistic item specific to Swedish, but rather as a language-transcendent social action, referred to as ‘feel’. Three main functions are distinguished:
(1) The teacher animates the students in hypothetical but probable scenarios, in which he ascribes them different feelings. These episodes show clear pedagogical features. (2) ‘Feel’ operates as a hedging device when epistemic claims are made. Its subjective quality diminishes or eliminates potential risks of accountability. (3) ‘Feel’ is deployed in questions and formulations concerning the ongoing interaction. The teacher constructs questions eliciting progress reports with ‘feel’, whereas the students deploy ‘feel’ to formulate complaints, reflections and assessments. These formulations concern their ongoing project, which all the other participants have (varying) epistemic access to.
In sum, ‘feel’ serves as an interactional device that allows the speaker to create an interactional space in which accountability and responsibility can be negotiated.
Conversation Analysis, institutional talk, classroom interaction, university tutorial, stance-taking, accountability, formulations
Languages and Literature
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-169503OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-169503DiVA: diva2:507009