Institutional TalkMitch Neave and Christie Brindley
Definition:• According to Geoffrey M. Hodgson, “an institution is a special type of social structure that involves potentially codifiable and (evidently or immanently) normative rules of interpretation and behaviour”. - Hodgson, G. M. (2006) What are institutions.Journal of Economic Issues, 40(1), 4.
Discourse:“Institutional discourse is orientated to the accomplishment of specific tasks and often involves a hierarchical participant framework and consequent apportioning of responsibility for particular parts of discourse.” Benwell, Bethan and Stokoe, Elizabeth, 2002, „Constructing Discussion Tasks in University Tutorials: Shifting Dynamics and Identities‟, Discourse Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, p430
Findings:• Initiation• Response• Follow-up• There is an asymmetrical interaction, with the tutor holding all the power.
The Institution that is Law:• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MmtVx1A8BA&feature=relmfu- Atticus Finch
Institutions:• “No social institution can be treated as a self- subsistent entity which exists independently of the accounting practices of its participants... it is within these local sequences of talk, and only there, that these institutions are ultimately and accountably talked into being.” • Heritage 1984 Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology 229; 290
Our Interaction...• OPENING- pleasantries are exchanged• REQUEST- what do you want?• INTERROGATIVE SERIES- further questions• RESPONSE- answer• CLOSING- more pleasantries are exchanged
Institutional Talk in SOC250:• There is a great deal of overlap between this topic and other areas covered in this course.• In particular; – Presentation of Self. – Dramaturgy. – Ethnomethodology. – Sociocultural and moral order in talk.
Symbolic Interactionism:• “Humans do not sense their environment directly; instead, humans define the situation they are in.” – Charon, J. M. (2009). Symbolic Interactionism: An Introduction, an Interpretation, an Integration. Northwestern University: Prentice Hall.• In other words, humans perceive and interpret their world independent of the world itself and eachother.• We have schemas or scripts for how we should be behave and this is particularly relevant in institutions.
Drama:• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8a_rN6N e10• How is humour created in this clip?
Dramaturgy:• “The backstage language consists of reciprocal first-naming, cooperative decision- making, profanity, opensexual remarks, elaborate griping, smoking, roughinformal dress, ‘sloppy’ sitting and standing posture, useof dialect or sub- standard speech, mumbling andshouting, playful aggressivity and ‘kidding’,inconsiderateness for the other in minor but potentiallysymbolic acts, minor physical self-involvements such ashumming, whistling, chewing, nibbling, belching, andflatulence. The frontstage behaviour and language canbe taken as the absence (and in some sense theopposite) of this” – Goffman 1990 Presentation of Self p. 129.
Dramaturgy:• Front and back stage personas.• Institutional talk is largely about presenting the appropriate front. • Presentation of the self.
The Institution of Politics:• Hedging.• Avoiding questions.• Saving face.• Impression management. • All part of the ‘code’ of political bullshitting.
Ethnomethodology:• Durkheim; • “The objective reality of social facts is sociology’s fundamental principle’”• Andrew; • Treat social facts as things. • We accept institutions as existing even when intangible, they help to create order.
Haecceity:• The idea that social order is an evolving ‘self- organising’ product of the members of society.• Argues that micro forces create social order and structures through their interaction. • Institutions are the product of everyday interaction.
Sociocultural identity in talk:• “You know were doing 126 there aye bro? Hop out I’ll just grab your deets bro.”• The discourse markers used here are element of a cultural script.• Incorporated hedging and seems unusual as it doesn’t meet our expectation of authority.
Conclusion:• Talk in institutional settings effectively represent the social norms of an institution.• It is culturally bound and a product of the everyday interaction between members of society. • Thanks for listening!