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The Organization of Institutional Interaction in a Radio Counseling Call-in Show

  • Author(s): Lee, Jinhee
  • Advisor(s): Heritage, John;
  • Zuraw, Kie
  • et al.

This dissertation examines how the participants constitute their action to achieve the goal of the institution with the conversational mechanisms of sequence organization and overall structural organization in a radio counseling call-in show. Using the methodology of Conversation Analysis, this dissertation explicates how the conversational mechanisms found in mundane interaction are employed to construct the interaction when an institution of radio counseling gets involved with its specific goal of seeking and providing advice.

First, the dissertation analyzes the ways in which the callers design their opening question, the first pair part of a question and response sequence, employing various question types and an indirect question format. The callers use different types of question to present discrete agendas. In doing so, they incorporate the epistemic stance into the design of the question and try to index their epistemic stance as a knowing one. They also display their orientation to the deontic relations with the experts in the question design.

Second, the dissertation examines the ways in which the experts design their response to the callers’ yes-no question and how they either conform to or resist the constraints placed by the question. The callers bring in different agendas in their question according to its location and the extent of difference between the advice and their understanding of it, and the experts attend to them with a response ranging from a type-conforming response to a repetitional or a transformative response and try to keep their advice effective and intact.

Lastly, the dissertation analyzes what the host does as the professional party for the institution of broadcast through the overall structure of radio counseling. The host shows consistent orientation to the progress of the interaction. As a facilitator of the counseling calls, she leads the interaction by taking the initiative in transitioning between phases of counseling as well as addresses an absence of necessary components. During the problem presentation, however, the host assumes a recipient of the storytelling and displays affiliation with the callers. The host adjusts the set of responsibilities given to her according to the different stages of interaction to promote achieving the institutional goals.

In sum, the dissertation illustrates how the participants in a radio counseling call-in show construct their actions with orientation to the goal and the identities that are realized through a question and answer sequence and overall structural organization. The findings contribute to an understanding of the participants’ orientation to and employment of the sequential and overall structure of the radio counseling interaction as a resource of constructing the action in a local context, and eventually the institution itself.

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