Adult's coalition formation in multiparty atypical interaction: Temporary diversions from shared activities at the expense of inclusion

Niklas Norén, Maja Sigurd Pilesjö

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    Adult's coalition formation in multiparty atypical interaction: Temporary diversions from shared activities at the expense of inclusion

    This paper reports from a study of adult participant's formation of coalitions within multiparty talk and how this social practice affects the participation of a participant with speech impairment. While topical talk in everyday conversation may mark co-membership or affiliation between participants (Maynard, 1980), topic changes may invoke changes in the participation framework, e.g. drawing on participants differing knowledge about the things talked about (Goodwin, 1987). In research on children's peer interaction, Goodwin (2002) reported how coalition formation in girls group interaction work to form alliances against other groups or individuals. We will draw on notions about activity and topic shifts and coalition formation in an analysis of inclusion and exclusion practices in atypical triadic interaction. Data consists of video recordings of everyday atypical interaction between one child with severe speech and physical impairment (SSPI) due to cerebral palsy, and two or three neurotypical adults, such as parents, grandparents, carers, teachers and speech and language therapists. The interaction is supported by the use of communication aids, manual bliss boards or speech generating devices. The aim of the analysis is to investigate the implications of adult's coalition formation for the shared interactional activity and for the person with SSPI. How is the formation of coalition accomplished and how does it relate to surrounding activities? How is the coalition sequence organised? What is talked about and done during the coalition sequence, and how does it affect the participation of the child with SSPI? And how do the participants close the coalition sequence? The analysis shows that the coalition practice emerges from the previous activity in different ways. The adults may shift from a pedagogical task-oriented activity into conversational talk or enter into repair work. The adults may use artefacts in the physical surround or trouble that arise during previous activities as sequential vehicles for entering into dyadic talk. The dyadic coalition is accomplished in several ways, e.g. by talk about the child in third person, exclusive exchanges of gaze, joking and laughing, and using a conversational style of turn-taking that is not adapted to the child with SSPI, which in effect blocks the child from opportunities to contribute to the coalition project. After the coalition project is brought to a closing, the adults resume the previous activity, thereby constructing the dyadic sequence as an inserted project. The primary action achieved using the coalition practice appears to be the building of an exclusive alliance between the adults, within which they can interact in a non-adapted and presumably more efficient manner. The practice, however, also excludes the child with SSPI from the tasks and topics during the diversion. Consequences for the communicative development of children with SSPI, as well as communication intervention in everyday contexts, are discussed. References Goodwin, Charles (1987) Forgetfulness as an interactional resource, Social Psychology Quarterly 50(2), 115-131. Goodwin, Marjorie (2002) Exclusion in Girls' Peer Groups. Ethnographic Analysis of Language Practices on the Playground. Human Development, 45, 392–415. Maynard, Douglas (1980) Placement of topic changes in conversation, Semiotica 30, 263-290.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    EventInternational Conference for Conversation Analysis 2018 - Loughborough, England
    Duration: 11. Jul 2018 → …


    ConferenceInternational Conference for Conversation Analysis 2018
    LocationLoughborough, England
    Period11/07/2018 → …


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