STUDYING INSTITUTIONAL INTERACTION: THE CASE OF REPAIR SEQUENCES Dr. Carles Roca Cuberes Department of Audiovisual Communication UNIVERSITY POMPEU FABRA Barcelona
Study of interaction in psychiatric interviews
Main task of the psychiatrist: assess the patient’s behaviour and modify it
Effectiveness of therapy: the patient gains insight according to some theory
In practice: improvement must coincide with the psychiatrist’s in situ expectations
How is this accomplished? A ‘repair’ sequence
METHODOLOGY: CONVERSATON ANALYSIS
Ethnomethodology’s cognate discipline
Qualitative and inductive
Real interaction as the object of study
Special attention is paid to the sequential organisation of interactional activities
Employment of audio or video recordings
Transcription of data
Goal : detecting the sequential organisation of interaction in the form of patterns
Identifying a potential phenomenon
Building a collection of cases to ascertain if it constitutes a recurring interactional pattern
THE BASIC UNIT OF INTERACION: ADJACENCY PAIRS
A: Can you tell me the time?
B: It’s five o’clock
* Type of adjacency pair : question-answer
ADJACENCY PAIRS: PROPERTIES
Two turns in size
Change of speaker after the production of each turn
What is said in the first turn is relevant for the producer of the second turn
What is said in the second turn is related to what is said in the first one
ADJACENCY PAIRS: IMPLICATIONS
They suggest the presence of a wider structure available for interactants
They show how members can display a public understanding of the preceding talk
They demonstrate how shared meanings are created and sustained
The form of analysis addressed to these paired utterances can be applied to more intricate and longer sequences of talk
ADJACENCY PAIRS: CONCLUSION ADJACENCY PAIRS AS THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF INTERSUBJECTIVITY
CA AND INSTITUTIONAL TALK
Different forms of communication depending on the context
Different types of interaction or ‘speech-exchange systems’
At one pole: ordinary conversation
At the other pole: debates, court hearings, news interview, etc. -> institutional talk -> formal settings
Somewhat in between: medical or psychiatric environments, social services, etc. -> institutional talk -> non-formal settings
REPAIR SEQUENCES IN CONVERSATION
Repair as an organised set of practices through which participants are able to address and potentially resolve problems of speaking, hearing or understanding in talk.
It involves two interrelated components: initiation and repair
REPAIR: INITIATED BY A PARTIAL REPEAT
ANALYSIS OF A REPAIR SEQUENCE IN A PSYCHIATRIC INTERVIEW
1. Repair is an ordinary occurrence in everyday encounters. In the context of a psychiatric interview, though, psychiatrists might exploit its interactional properties to accomplish some therapy-related tasks: it can help therapists to assess, probe and invite patients to change their statements .
2. The concept of insight is conventionally described in psychiatric theory as the ability of patients to produce introspection, accept their mental condition and finally transform their cognitive state. This study reveals this conceptualisation to be equivocal and misleading. Transformations in the patients’ avowals appear to be the outcome of psychiatrists’ persuasion or even pressure, which materialises in the implementation of repair sequences.
3. As a result of the implementation of repair sequences (and other interactional devices) the psychiatric interview is characterised as an asymmetric interactional event.
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