Symposium am Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS):

(Un-)Cooperative Behaviour in Social Interaction

am 4. bis 6. Dezember 2024
IDS Mannheim, Vortragssaal

Organisation: Dr. Alexandra Gubina und Dr. Mathias Barthel

While cooperation is central to social interaction, it is hard to deny that uncooperative behaviour is also common in everyday life and plays an important role in various interactional settings, as in family interactions (Frankenberg, 1979; Vuchinich, 1990), therapeutic discourse (Labov & Fanshel, 1977), army training (Culpeper, 1996), courtrooms (Heritage & Clayman, 2011: ch. 4; Lakoff, 1989; Penman, 1990), news interviews (Clayman & Heritage, 2002), mediation (Deppermann, 1997; Nothdurft, 1996; Spranz-Fogasy, 1986), and political discussions (Heritage & Clayman, 2011: ch. 5; Luginbühl, 1999).

In this 3-day symposium, we will approach the study of (un-)cooperative behaviour in social interaction with the methods and perspective of conversation analysis and interactional linguistics (CA/IL). Within these research areas, cooperation is treated as advancing the initiated course of action and “collaborating with the agenda being pursued by the prior speaker” (Clayman, 2002: 231). Thus, uncooperative or discordant actions halt the progression of the launched course of action and resist the prior speaker’s agenda or project (Levinson, 2013) or the normative order and expectations in a particular environment in general, thereby violating social solidarity (Clayman, 2002). We will seek to (i) identify different types of uncooperative behaviour in mundane and institutional talk-in-interaction, (ii) uncover how and which interactional factors contribute to our situated understanding of an action as cooperative versus uncooperative, and (iii) discover hitherto undescribed practices for different kinds of discordant actions in social interaction and the ways in which participants respond to them.

The proposed sessions and discussions will centre around the following topics:

  1. Linguistic and embodied practices related to (un-)cooperative behaviour           
  2. Conflictual talk and disaffiliative actions in mundane interaction
  3. The complexity of (dis-)affiliative and (un-)cooperative responses        
  4. Uncooperative behaviour as ‘violence’            
  5. Conceptualization of (un-)cooperative behaviour and related concept