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Issues in Applied Linguistics

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Collective Participation as a Resource in Multiparty Multicultural Broadcast Interactions


This paper investigates how multiparty multicultural interactions from broadcast settings are organized to provide opportunities for participants to arrange themselves into different kinds of associations for the management of the core activities of the setting. Building on previous work on collective participation and team alignment in conversational and institutional settings, this paper examines how participants in multiperson broadcast interactions invoke and display the relevance of multiperson units in talk. Drawing on data from multiperson multicultural television discussions, we examine the verbal and nonverbal practices used as resources for invoking, establishing, and negotiating the relevance of collective units of participation and investigate how these units become consequential for the organization of talk and activity in the setting. First, we consider how the institutional representatives call upon the relevance of various associations for current talk by addressing questions collectively to participants or subsets of participants. We describe the key resources used and discuss how they establish opportunities for collective participation. Second, we describe how participants display and negotiate the relevance of associations through a variety of resources, in particular by speaking on behalf of a collection of others, engaging in collaborative action, and aligning with prior speakers.

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