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Intergenerational argumentation: Complaints and accounts during dinner conversations in Italy and Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9290-4167
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In family life, inter-generational argumentation is a pervasive feature of dinnertime conversations (Aronsson & Gottzén, 2011; Arcidiacono & Bova, 2013; Grieshaber, 1997; Ochs & Beck, 2013; Pontecorvo & Arcidiacono, 2014). The dinnertable is therefore a fruitful site for the study of multiparty argumentation and negotiations, as well as an arena where socialization into local norms takes place (Ochs et al., 1996). In fact, dinnertime conversations are events where many activities occur simultaneously and where participants successively negotiate mutual rights, obligations and accountabilities over time (Aronsson & Cekaite, 2011; Hepburn & Potter, 2011; Bova & Arcidiacono, 2014a; Sterponi, 2003, 2009). More specifically, this paper explores the role of accounts and explanations in inter-generational encounters, extending earlier work on argumentation and accountability (Aukrust & Snow, 1998; Bova & Arcidiacono, 2013; Buttny, 1993; Sterponi & Santagata, 2000). The primary focus is on how both parents and children design complaints and uptake to complaints. The data include ethnographic video-recordings of family life in the homes of sixteen Italian and Swedish middle class, dual-earner families, with at least one elder and one younger child (in total 38 children of 1.5-13 years of age). Each family was filmed during one week, before and after school. The present analyses focus on dinnertime complaint sequences, events that are rich in multiparty conversations, including argumentation between parents and children, and between siblings (Arcidiacono, 2011; Arcidiacono & Pontecorvo, 2009; Bova & Arcidiacono, in press; Drew, 1998; Edwards, 2005). The findings document the pervasive role of accounts (as responses to complaints), designed to fit a local moral and social order, illuminating how accountability is a core aspect of the intergenerational argumentation in complaint sequences by family members during social interaction. The findings also show how family argumentation unfolds around issues that are generated both by the parents and their children, indicating that the argumentative episodes of family life have a broader social function, beyond the solving of everyday conflicts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Specific Languages Social Anthropology
Research subject
Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-138324OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-138324DiVA: diva2:1066810
Conference
14th International Pragmatics Conference, Antwerp, Belgium, 26-31 July 2015
Available from: 2017-01-19 Created: 2017-01-19 Last updated: 2017-01-19Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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