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By Greg Myers

The place do critiques truly come from? Drawing at the research of conversations from concentration teams, phone-ins and broadcast interviews, Greg Myers argues that individuals of the general public use reviews so as to get in addition to other folks, and demonstrates that how they are saying issues is simply as very important as what they are saying. This e-book clarifies the present debate at the nature of the public's participation in dialog.

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Additional info for Matters of Opinion: Talking About Public Issues (Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics)

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In either case, the opinion emerges or is buried because of the interaction. Goffman’s concepts of roles and performances were grounded in his ethnographies of institutions such as a Shetland Island hotel and a mental hospital and illustrated with a vast collection of clips from his reading of newspapers and non-fiction. But they are more useful as methodological and theoretical suggestions than as templates for practical analysis. For more systematic linguistic categories we can turn to another influential line in the study of interaction, the ethnography of communication, which focuses on speech in its cultural context (Hymes 1972; Gumperz 1982; Moerman 1988; Saville-Troike 1989; Duranti and Goodwin 1992; Lucy 1993).

Sacks’s answer to the question I mentioned earlier, of how we know when an argument is going on, is to look at how the participants are treating the talk. When someone says, ‘I still say though . 344; see also Antaki (1994; 1998)). All this might seem obvious enough, but Sacks’s task is to get these social observations out of the transcript, not to bring to it what he knows about, say, the power relations between interviewer and interviewee, or the pressure that groups can put on individuals. For Sacks the talk is central and has its own structuring, brought about by participants in the course of talking; it is not just an epiphenomenon of something else, such as social power or stratification.

Dayan and Katz (1992) analyse the live, continuous broadcasting of major events to show how these events enter into our conceptions of history, nationhood, and our own lives. Boltanski argues that we can reconcile the demand for a moral and emotional relation to distant others with universalistic ideas of justice (the problem some call ‘compassion fatigue’) only by understanding the way we relate to suffering through media (1999). What about the other side of this process, the way opinions are packaged for playing back to the public?

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