Schisming: The Collaborative Transformation from a Single Conversation to Multiple Conversations

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This article examines schisming, a phenomenon that relates to how the number of members in a group is related to the interaction of the group. More specifically, schisming is the observation that in a conversation with at least four participants, the conversation may systematically split into two or more smaller conversations. In the data examined here, schisming is induced when, during a conversation, one person introduces a turn oriented to a subset of coparticipants who break away from the ongoing conversation and establish a new conversation while the rest of the group continues the original. The authors focused on three distinctive properties of the schisming-including turn (SIT): the change in recipiency structure before, during, and after the SIT, the sequence-structural properties if the SIT and its uptake, and the topical properties of the SIT. The authors found that in the populations studied, schisming was induced by service encounters such as requests for food or drink, topic changes, complaints, or language shifts. The authors also observed that group size was a contributing factor, as groups with more than six participants sometimes schismed into three conversations.
TidsskriftResearch on Language and Social Interaction
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)1-51
Antal sider51
StatusUdgivet - 1997

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