Story sequencing and stereotyping
A case study from talk about the crowded buses of China
Over the last decade, sometimes violent conflicts have erupted between generations in China over who should have a seat on a crowded bus. Through a small story approach to an extended sequence of Chinese bus stories, this study examines how elder-blaming comes to be instantiated in talk-in-interaction. The analysis elaborates Deppermann's finding that cooperative in-group bonding is not the sole reason that out-group stereotypes are instantiated: competition among interactants as they “top” one another’s stories also plays an important part. We nuance this, first, by pointing to actions that are simultaneously cooperative and competitive. Second, we foreground how the interactional troubles of our storytellers fundamentally revolve around issues of epistemic accountability and, in turn, are assuaged by cooperative epistemic acts, in which stereotyping and story "topping" entwine.
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