Chapter published in:How Emotions Are Made in Talk
Edited by Jessica S. Robles and Ann Weatherall
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 321] 2021
► pp. 77–98
Chapter 1.3Displaying emotional control by how crying and talking are managed
In this study I investigated crying, as a display of emotional upset. The aim was to provide a detailed description of how turns of talk were organised around crying. Using conversation analysis, I examined a sample of 26 calls to a helpline for victims. Talking and crying regularly occurred together, with evidence of effort to keep talking and suppress crying. A loss of emotional control was displayed when talking was suspended by crying. However, even when flooded out by crying, the resumption of talk was routinely linked back to where it had been disrupted which suggests a normative orientation to not crying and to progressing talk. I use the findings to elaborate on the concept of being flooded out by emotion so being out of play for interaction (Goffman, 1961, 1974), in microanalytic terms. A conclusion considers the relationships between the sequential organisation of talking and crying and social-cultural norms about emotions.
Keywords: crying, telephone helplines, talk-in-interaction, conversation analysis, emotion displays, sequential deletion, sound objects
- 1.1Crying and talking
- 2.Data and method
- 3.1Resuming talk after crying interrupts it
- 3.2Crying speaker resumes talk after a call-taker takes a turn
- 3.3Talk after crying in a transition relevant place
- 3.4Resuming talk after crying when no-one is speaking
- 4.Concluding comments
Published online: 12 May 2021
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