The gift of the gab - Anthropology and conversation analysis

Zeitlyn, David (2004) The gift of the gab - Anthropology and conversation analysis. Anthropos, 99 (2). pp. 451-468. ISSN 0257-9774. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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This paper discusses the fine-grain analysis of conversation and how conversational structure is related to larger issues of social organisation. Mauss's analysis of "the Gift" is related to "adjacency pairs" and the patterns of turn-taking that form conversational structure, particularly helping identification of conversational breakdown and subsequent repair. Social tensions cause problems in communication. Hence, the study of social actors keeping conversation flowing reveals social processes. Ethnographic examples are used from Mambila in Cameroon. The moral dimension to gift exchange can help us understand why dumb insolence is offensive. Failing to return a greeting is similar to the failure to return a gift. The exchange of words shows up the web of relationships that constitute the fabric of society.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: ISI Document Delivery No.: 852NG Times Cited: 0 Cited Reference Count: 59
Uncontrolled keywords: TALK
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Social and Cultural Anthropology
Depositing User: C.G.W.G. van-de-Benderskum
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2008 12:49
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:41
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