Making arrangements in talk-in-interaction
Ekberg, Stuart & LeCouteur, Amanda (2014) Making arrangements in talk-in-interaction. Text & Talk, 34(4), pp. 377-400.
Arrangement-making is understood to be a ‘closing-relevant action’ (Schegloff & Sacks 1973), but little attention has been given to how people arrive at mutually acceptable plans for the future. Telephone conversations between clients and staff of Community and Home Care (CHC) services were studied to identify how arrangements for future services were made. A recurrent sequence was observed in which clients were informed of future arrangement and were prompted to reply with ‘response solicitation’ (Jefferson 1981). Response solicitations were observed at two points: either tagged to the end of an informing, or following a recipient’s response to the informing. We show how response solicitations are routinely used in instances where recipients have some discretion in relation to the arrangement under discussion. They are a means by which an informing party can display to their interlocutor that they, as recipient, have some discretion to exercise in the matter. These findings are discussed with reference to prior research on arrangement-making in other settings, which suggests the general nature of this practice.
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