Family Talk Discourse and Identity in Four American Families

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-04-12
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Through everyday talk, individuals forge the ties that can make a family. Family members use language to manage a household, create and maintain relationships, and negotiate and reinforce values and beliefs. The studies gathered in Family Talk are based on a unique research project in which four dual-income American families recorded everything they said for a week. Family Talk extends our understanding of family discourse and of how family members construct, negotiate, and enact their identities as individuals and as families. The volume also contributes to the discourse analysis of naturally-occurring interaction and makes significant contributions to theories of framing in interaction. Family Talk addresses issues central to the academic discipline of discourse analysis as well as to families themselves, including decision-making and conflict-talk, the development of gendered family roles, sociability with and socialization of children, the development of social and political beliefs, and the interconnectedness of professional and family life. It provides illuminating insights into the subtleties of family conversation, and will be of interest to scholars and students in sociolinguistics, discourse studies, communications, anthropological linguistics, cultural studies, psychology, and other fields concerned with the language of everyday interaction or family interaction.

Author Biography

Deborah Tannen is University Professor and Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University. Her twenty books include Talking Voices, Gender and Discourse, Conversational Style, You're Wearing THAT?, Talking from 9 to 5, That's Not What I Meant!, You Just Don't Understand, and The Argument Culture.
Cynthia Gordon is a postdoctoral fellow at the Emory Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life (MARIAL) in Atlanta, Georgia. Her publications have appeared in Language in Society, Discourse & Society, Research on Language and Social Interaction, Narrative Inquiry, The Journal of Genetic Counseling, and Text & Talk.
Shari Kendall is Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the Department of English at Texas A & M University. Her publications include articles and chapters in Discourse & Society, Text & Talk, The Handbook of Language and Gender, and Speaking Out: The Female Voice in Public Contexts.

Table of Contents

About the Contributorsp. ix
Transcription Conventionsp. xiii
Introduction: Family Talkp. 3
Interactional Dynamics: Power and Solidarity
Power Maneuvers and Connection Maneuvers in Family Interactionp. 27
Talking the Dog: Framing Pets as Interactional Resources in Family Discoursep. 49
"I just feel horribly embarrassed when she does that": Constituting a Mother's Identityp. 71
Finding the Right Balance between Connection and Control: A Father's Identity Construction in Conversations with His College-Age Daughterp. 103
Gendered Identities in Dual-Income Families
Father as Breadwinner, Mother as Worker: Gendered Positions in Feminist and Traditional Discourses of Work and Familyp. 123
Gatekeeping in the Family: How Family Members Position One Another as Decision Makersp. 165
A Working Father: One Man's Talk about Parenting at Workp. 195
Family Values and Beliefs
"Al Gore's our guy": Linguistically Constructing a Family Political Identityp. 233
Sharing Common Ground: The Role of Place Reference in Parent-Child Conversationp. 263
Family Members Interacting While Watching TVp. 283
Indexp. 311
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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