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Authority and camaraderie: The delivery of directives amongst the ice floes


 This analysis focuses on the institutional talk of sea-kayak guides and their clients in order to understand how guides negotiate the interactional balance of giving orders to maintain a safe and timely excursion while facilitating a fun and recreational experience. Using a mixed-method analysis including Conversation Analysis, ethnography, and statistics, this study examines 576 instances of directives found in video recordings of twenty-five Alaskan kayaking ecotourism excursions and explores the practices guides use in their talk to maintain control of an excursion while not coming across as domineering. By systemically examining directives’  design, directives are found to reveal both their temporal urgency in addition to the precipitating events that necessitate them, such as client behaviors or environmental stimuli. This study’ s analysis contributes to our understanding of how interactants mitigate face-threatening actions and focuses attention on the interactional work that directives and their accounts achieve in an institutional setting currently underinvestigated

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