Calling for Help
Language and social interaction in telephone helplines
Carolyn Baker | University of Queensland
Michael Emmison | University of Queensland
Alan Firth | Aalborg University
Telephone helplines have become one of the most pervasive sites of expert-lay interaction in modern societies throughout the world. Yet surprisingly little is known of the in situ, language-based processes of help-seeking and help-giving behavior that occurs within them. This collection of original studies by both internationally renowned and emerging scholars seeks to improve upon this state of affairs. It does so by offering some of the first systematic investigations of naturally-occurring spoken interaction in telephone helplines. Using the methods of Conversation Analysis, each of the contributors offers a detailed investigation into the skills and competencies that callers and call-takers routinely draw upon when engaging one another within a range of helplines. Helplines in the US, the UK, Australia, Scandinavia, The Netherlands, and Ireland, dealing with the provision of healthcare, emotional support and counselling, technical assistance and consumer rights, tourism and finance, make up the studies in the volume. Collectively and individually, the research provides fascinating insight into an under-researched area of modern living and demonstrates the relevance and potential of helplines for the growing field of institutional interaction.
This book will be of interest to students of communication, applied linguistics, discourse and conversation, sociology, counselling, technology and work, social psychology and anthropology.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 143] 2005. xviii, 352 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
Notes on contributors | pp. xi–xiv
Preface | pp. xv–xvii
Calling for help: An introductionAlan Firth, Michael Emmison and Carolyn Baker | pp. 1–35
Calibrating for competence in calls to technical supportCarolyn Baker, Michael Emmison and Alan Firth | pp. 39–62
Collaborative problem description in help desk callsHanneke Houtkoop, Frank Jansen and Anja Walstock | pp. 63–89
The metaphoric use of space in expert-lay interaction about computing systemsWilbert Kraan | pp. 91–105
The mitigation of advice: Interactional dilemmas of peers on a telephone support serviceChristopher Pudlinski | pp. 109–131
Four observations on openings in calls to Kids Help LineSusan Danby, Carolyn Baker and Michael Emmison | pp. 133–151
‘I just want to hear somebody right now’: Managing identities on a telephone helplineHedwig te Molder | pp. 153–173
Callers’ presentations of problems in telephone calls to Swedish primary careVesa Leppanen | pp. 177–205
Constructing and negotiating advice in calls to a poison information centerHakan Landqvist | pp. 207–234
Opportunities for negotiation at the interface of phone calls and service-counter interaction: A case studyDenise Chappell | pp. 237–256
Institutionality at issue: The helpline call as a ‘language game’Brian Torode | pp. 257–283
Aspects of call management
Some initial reflections on conversational structures for instruction givingGed M. Murtagh | pp. 287–307
Working a call: Multiparty management and interactional infrastructure in calls for helpJack Whalen and Don H. Zimmerman | pp. 309–345
Name Index | pp. 347–348
Subject Index | pp. 349–351
“[...] Calling for Help brings out various aspects of institutional talk that have been scantly studied by discourse analysts. In this respect, this book has opened a new frontier in conversation analysis. Because of its approach to language as a means of social interaction, the book can offer a great deal to those interested in studying language in society.”
Shiv R. Upadhyay, York University, Toronto, Canada, on Linguist List, Vol. 17.3279 (2006)
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number: 2005050837 | Marc record