Sunday, December 4, 2011

Discursive interaction strategies for 'doing differences'

This year, I finally took the time to submit a paper that I still consider to be one of the best parts of my dissertation, despite (or perhaps thanks to) the fact that involves an unusual combination of things: a conceptual framework based on multi-actor change, interactional framing theory, dealing with dualities and discursive psychology, a methodological approach based on discourse and conversation analysis, a case of hydraulic modeling for an irrigation system and a context of development cooperation in South America. I'm very happy it has now been accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science as part of a special issue on qualitative approaches to change. The comments by the reviewers and the editorial guidance by Inger Stensaker really helped me to turn this paper into a coherent and digestable article - so I hope. The key contribution is the identification of a set of interaction strategies for dealing with differences in issue framing (see figure). The article is due to appear in 2012, but the pre-print can be downloaded here.

Issue framing in conversations for change: discursive interaction strategies for ‘doing differences’

Art Dewulf and René Bouwen

In conversations for change between multiple actors about complex issues, differences in issue framing are bound to emerge. When the participants frame the meaning of an issue in diverging terms, they face the challenge of dealing with this frame difference in the further conversation. We draw on literature on framing, dualities and interaction to explore how participants in conversations deal with these frame differences through language-in-interaction. With discourse and conversation analysis as a methodological approach, we analyzed interaction sequences in the context of multi-actor projects of natural resources management. We identify five interaction strategies that involve different ways of ‘doing differences’: frame incorporation, frame disconnection, frame polarization, frame accommodation and frame reconnection. The discursive characteristics of each of these interaction strategies can be understood by considering the multiple interactional challenges faced by participants when they engage in conversations for change.

No comments:

Post a Comment