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Shifting alignment and negotiating sociality in travel agency discourse

Ylänne, Virpi 2004. Shifting alignment and negotiating sociality in travel agency discourse. Discourse Studies 6 (4) , pp. 517-536. 10.1177/1461445604046592

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Institutional talk, including service encounter discourse, has typically been taken to be ‘asymmetrical’ and the participants of these encounters to be constrained in terms of their allowable conversational contributions. This article explores shifts of alignment from normative serverclient alignments into different directions, involving symmetrical positionings of various kinds in travel agency spoken discourse. It is shown how these shifts occur and at which points in the interaction they might be found. The relevance of the commercial institutional context is also considered. It is argued that these shifts from the supposedly unmarked asymmetrical alignment are motivated by orientations to relational goals and politeness/facework concerns, and they function as interpersonal devices achieving various relational configurations. These shifts are then related to levels of sociality that can be found in these, and other, face-to-face interactions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Uncontrolled Keywords: asymmetry, discursive alignment, facework, institutional talk, service encounters
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 1461-4456
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:51

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