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Transgression and intimacy in recreational talk narratives

Coupland, Justine and Jaworski, Adam 2003. Transgression and intimacy in recreational talk narratives. Research on Language and Social Interaction 36 (1) , pp. 85-107. 10.1207/S15327973RLSI3601_5

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Potentially transgressive or "unsafe" narrative themes offer a means of achieving intimacy among speakers. We examine 3 extracts from leisure-time conversations among different groups of young friends, where stories are told on topics that are conventionally considered "rude" or risqueacute-the defiling of food, vomiting, and watching animals having sex. The analysis shows how speakers in various ways negotiate their own local orientations to the status of topics-as transgressive but talkable-and how participants build rapport through their shared alignment to and enjoyment of transgression. Talk is established as playfully open and permissive through focus on "rude" topics. Although such newsworthy and high-involvement narratives diverge radically from prototypical small talk, viewed as phatic communion, they nevertheless meet some of its core criteria-the use of ritualized sequences, the strengthening of relational ties, and low commitment to veracity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0835-1813
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2019 02:20

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