Power plays [Elektronische Ressource] : the representation of mother-daughter disputes in contemporary plays by women ; a study in discourse analysis / vorgelegt von Alice Spitz
618 Pages
English

Power plays [Elektronische Ressource] : the representation of mother-daughter disputes in contemporary plays by women ; a study in discourse analysis / vorgelegt von Alice Spitz

-

Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer

Description

Power plays: The representation of mother-daughter disputesin contemporary plays by womenA study in discourse analysisDissertation zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades eines Doktors der Philosophieder Philosophischen Fakultäten der Universität des SaarlandesVorgelegt von Alice Spitz aus SaarbrückenDekan: Herr Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Wolfgang SchweickardBerichterstatter/innen:Erstberichterstatter: Herr Univ.-Prof. Dr. Neal R. NorrickZweitberichterstatter: Herr Univ.-Prof. Dr. Erich SteinerDrittberichterstatterin: Frau Prof. Dr. Helga Kotthoff (Freiburg)Tag der letzten Prüfungsleistung: 6. Juli 20052To my mother, without whom this study wouldnot have come into being.3Some are kissing mothers and some are scoldingmothers, but it is love just the same –and most mothers kiss and scold together.(Pearl S. Buck)4 Table of Contents* Acknowledgements 6 1 Introduction 8 2 Dramatic dialogue as a data source for conflict analysis 142.1. Dramatic dialogue versus naturally occurring conversation 222.2. Data 36 3 Conceptualisations of interpersonal conflict: causes versus process 41 4 Power in (conflict) interaction 46 5 Methodology 53 6 The sequential organisation of mother-daughter disputes 896.1 Opening and progress of verbal conflicts: the crucial role of opposition 896.2 Conflict termination 1006.3 Aggravated versus mitigated disagreements 1236.3.1 Preference (for disagreement) order 1266.3.2 (Competitive) turn-taking patterns 1626.3.

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 01 January 2006
Reads 5
Language English
Document size 2 MB

Power plays: The representation of mother-daughter disputes
in contemporary plays by women
A study in discourse analysis
Dissertation zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades eines Doktors der Philosophie
der Philosophischen Fakultäten der Universität des Saarlandes
Vorgelegt von Alice Spitz aus SaarbrückenDekan: Herr Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Wolfgang Schweickard
Berichterstatter/innen:
Erstberichterstatter: Herr Univ.-Prof. Dr. Neal R. Norrick
Zweitberichterstatter: Herr Univ.-Prof. Dr. Erich Steiner
Drittberichterstatterin: Frau Prof. Dr. Helga Kotthoff (Freiburg)
Tag der letzten Prüfungsleistung: 6. Juli 2005
2To my mother, without whom this study would
not have come into being.
3Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding
mothers, but it is love just the same –
and most mothers kiss and scold together.
(Pearl S. Buck)
4 Table of Contents*
Acknowledgements 6
1 Introduction 8
2 Dramatic dialogue as a data source for conflict analysis 14
2.1. Dramatic dialogue versus naturally occurring conversation 22
2.2. Data 36
3 Conceptualisations of interpersonal conflict: causes versus process 41
4 Power in (conflict) interaction 46
5 Methodology 53
6 The sequential organisation of mother-daughter disputes 89
6.1 Opening and progress of verbal conflicts:
the crucial role of opposition 89
6.2 Conflict termination 100
6.3 Aggravated versus mitigated disagreements 123
6.3.1 Preference (for disagreement) order 126
6.3.2 (Competitive) turn-taking patterns 162
6.3.3 (High degree of) formal cohesion 201
6.4 Conclusion 226
7 Argumentative speech act(ion)s in mother-daughter disputes 245
7.1. Second position in conflict talk 246
7.2 Accusations 248
7.3 Directives 292
7.4 Demands for explanation 316
7.5 Threats 339
7.6 Relevance challenges 373
7.7 Competence challenges 387
7.8 Disqualifications 403
7.9 Unfavourable comments 420
7.10 Contradictions 437
7.11 Confrontational Corrections 466
7.12 Counter-claims 493
7.13 Conclusion 508
8 Summary and conclusion 531
9 Appendix: drama-reading conventions 554
10 Bibliography 566
* The notes can be found at the end of each chapter.
5Acknowledgements
Many people have helped me during the extended period that I have
been working on this study.
First and foremost, I would like to express my deep
gratefulness to my PhD supervisor Prof. Dr. Neal R. Norrick for his
valuable suggestions, guidance and encouragement throughout the
course of this work, for his generous way of giving me his time, and
for his constant willingness to help me with my project. My
gratitude also goes to Prof. Dr. Erich Steiner and Prof. Dr. Helga
Kotthoff for willingly accepting to act as my co-supervisors.
My special thanks also go to my friends and colleagues who have
given me unfailing support and encouragement and who helped me bring
this project to completion. I am particularly grateful to my friend
and former colleague Claudia Bubel, who was always available to
discuss ideas and talk through problems, and who offered valuable
feedback on earlier drafts of the thesis. Thanks for your constant
support and encouragement and for always providing a space to talk.
I am also extremely thankful to Dr. Michaela Mahlberg and especially
to Nicole Kern for their careful proofreading of the final version
of the thesis. Thank you very much for your perceptive and
insightful comments and suggestions. I would also like to thank
Sonja Noss for formatting the (seemingly endless) bibliography of
the final version. I am also very grateful to Achim Brandenburg for
formatting the final version of the manuscript. Many thanks also to
all those people who happily agreed to help me checking the proofs
of the final version of the thesis. Any shortcomings remain, of
course, wholly my own.
I am greatly indebted to the Cusanuswerk - Bischöfliche
Studienförderung for their funding of my research project. The
financial support I received from the Landesgraduiertenförderung of
the Saarland in the initial stage of my study is also highly
appreciated.
My thanks also go to Prof. Dr. Thomas Spranz-Fogasy from the
Institute for German Language (IDS) Mannheim for allowing me to use
the data from his research project on “Argumentation im familiären
Dialog” for comparison with my own examples.
I would also like to express my sincere thankfulness to all
those friends, who supported me with their understanding, warmth,
6humour, and who helped me endure some difficult times during the
process of this study. My heartfelt thanks also go to my parents and
family for giving me their love and constant support and
encouragement. Finally, I owe my deepest gratitude to my husband
Frank who gave his advice and encouragement throughout the entire
process of writing this study, even in the most difficult times of
our life, and never faltered in his confidence in my ability to
finish this project. Without his unreserved support, completion of
this study would not have been possible. Thank you for your
patience, love and understanding.
7Well begun is half done. (Aristotle)
1 Introduction
Scope of the study
Conflict is universal and ubiquitous. It is an activity that even
small children grasp rather quickly and are quite adept in
practising. Throughout their lives, people are faced with all kinds
of conflicts. Many conflict situations go by just as quickly as they
emerge. Others, however, have a long-lasting (positive or negative)
impact on people’s lives and their social relationships. But
although conflict is an everyday occurrence in our lives, its
mechanisms have not been sufficiently clarified. Even though
conflict has attracted considerable attention in the academic world,
many issues are still unaccounted for. In discourse analytic
research, verbal means of carrying out conflict have not received
much notice. Only since the early 1980s have studies in the field of
linguistic conflict research begun to examine aspects of conflict
communication, and many questions are still open.
Like conflict, power is a social phenomenon that we encounter
every day in our lives. “Power is everywhere” (Foucault 1978: 334).
Many of our social relationships can be characterised as relations
of power: employer and employee, teacher and student, parent and
child, and so on. Power has been the focus of study and concern
across all social science disciplines. Yet, as with conflict, many
questions remain unanswered.
A primary locus of conflict (Simmel 1955) and power struggles
(Emery 1992; Tannen 2001, 2003; Watts 1991) is the family. Emprical
research on family interaction has shown that family discourse
(Emery 1992; Vuchinich 1984), and in particular mother-daughter
interaction (Tannen 2001, 2003; Wodak 1984), is characterised by the
frequent occurrence of disagreement and dispute. However, there is a
relative paucity of discourse analytic research on conflict
interaction in families and almost a complete lack of studies
focussing on linguistic aspects of mother-daughter disputes. With
this study, I will attempt to fill this gap. I will investigate how
8mother-daughter disputes and underlying power relations are created
and negotiated by characters in the fictional world of contemporary
drama.
The observation that aggravated conflict is an essential aspect
of mother-daughter interaction runs counter to the fact that in
studies on gender and discourse cooperation, supportiveness and
harmony are frequently cited as organising principles of women’s
talk (cf. Coates 1989, 1991, 1994, 1998; Maltz & Borker 1991).
Likewise, female disputing style has often been described as
mitigated and conciliatory and as displaying an orientation towards
consent (Kotthoff 1984; Sheldon 1996; Trömel-Plötz 1992, 1996). A
number of studies have demonstrated, however, that conflict is in
fact omnipresent in the interaction of females, and that in the
context of argument the communicative behaviour of women may well be
offensive and confrontational (cf. Goodwin 2003: 231ff; Günthner
1992). These findings call into question the still-prevalent notion
of women as generally displaying an orientation towards cooperative,
face-saving interaction and consent. They show that in examining
women’s talk-in-interaction it is vital to avoid generalisations
about female discourse and instead to adopt a context-sensitive
approach. Specifically, what is required is detailed descriptions of
women’s discursive practices in particular interactional situations,
which take into account contextual features such as the conversants’
socio-cultural backgrounds, the situational context and
interpersonal relationship aspects (cf. also Cameron 2003; Wodak
1997). This is in keeping with the recent trend in sociolinguistics,
and in particular in research on language and gender, to look at
specific “communities of practice” (Eckert & McConnell-Ginet 1992,
1999), rather than to conceive of gender as a monolithic,
essentialist concept. A community of practice as defined by Eckert &
McConnell-Ginet (1992, 1999) is a group of people who, united by a
common enterprise, develop and share ways of doing things, ways of
talking, beliefs, values, and power relations - i.e. practices. It
is precisely such a detailed description of women’s discursive
practices in a particular interactional context in a specific
community of practice that will assume centre stage here, namely the
family.
9To date, women’s conflict discourse has largely been neglected
as an object of research. As Goodwin (1988: 55) points out, research
on female interaction patterns has tended to restrict analysis to
those features of female communication which clearly differ from
those of male discourse, excluding those which women’s and men’s
talk have in common. For example, cooperative aspects of female
language usage have been examined (e.g. Brown 1980; Coates 1989,
1991, 1994, 1996; Maltz & Borker 1982), while ways in which
disagreement may be expressed have been largely ignored (cf. however
Kulick 1993 and Sidnell 1998). Correspondingly, in her 2001 survey
of studies on conflict and discourse, Kakavá (2001: 663) states: “An
area that further needs exploration is women’s conflict.” This
dissertation will try to contribute to the clarification of this
desideratum of research on the basis of an exploratory study of
mother-daughter disputes.
Since disputes usually arise suddenly and are considered a
private matter in Western societies, the study of verbal conflict,
in particular in close relationships, faces a major methodological
difficulty: data are very hard to obtain. Therefore, I will base my
investigation on a corpus of contemporary plays by women, conflict
talk being an essential feature of drama. Characters in plays
frequently insult and interrupt one another, dispute each other’s
claims, or oppose each other in some other way.
Even though my research focuses on constructed dialogue, it has
implications for the study of naturally occurring conflict
sequences, because it reveals patterns of knowledge about the
workings of real (mother-daughter) disputes. The principles, norms
and conventions of use which underlie ordinary conversation are the
resource that dramatists use to create dialogue in plays. Hence, the
interaction in plays represents an internalised model or schema for
the production of conversation – a competence model that speakers
have access to. Thus, by looking at artificial dispute sequences
between mothers and daughters, we can reconstruct the tacit
knowledge by which women organise verbal conflict in a specific
community of practice, i.e. the family.
This study investigates the interface of conflict and power in
mother-daughter interaction. To this end, data from contemporary
10