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Hermeneutic and ethnomethodological formulations of conversational and textual talk

McHoul, A.W. (1982) Hermeneutic and ethnomethodological formulations of conversational and textual talk. Semiotica, 38 (1/2). pp. 91-126.

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This paper attempts to render explicit, and then present a critique of, certain affinities between hermeneutic and ethnomethodological work on conversation/discourse that are tentatively raised in Misgeld's (1977) discussion of Habermas and gadamer. I begin by formulating the ways in which this possible parallel could be construed both (a) by overlaying a reading of sack's and Garfunkle's work onto Misgeld's consideration of Habermas and gadamer and 9b0 by taking up certain hints that Misgeld makes directly about the relation of ethnomethodology and conversational analysis to the hermeneutic project. This is the first section of the paper. It ends by posing certain gaps or omissions concerning the questions of (a) the concept of 'rule' and (b) universals versus 'open-texture' in textual and/or conversational discourse. In the second section the collective work of Garfinkle and sacks (1970) is inspected for a balanced account of the situation-specific/situation-free characteristic(s) of talk and this is offered as a counterposition to Misgeld's synthesis of Habermas and Gadamer, although it has several affinities with it. In the third section an empirical analysis is presented by way of displaying the 'open-texture'/universals problem with respect to nonconversational (textual, monologuic) discourse.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Copyright: 1982 Mouton Publishers
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