[Varieties of English Around the World G67] 2022
► pp. 133–158
Negotiating power and authority in a Trinidadian radio phone-in programme
Phone-in radio programmes are a particular type of participatory media genre in which a host and/or a group of experts interact with the wider public according to certain genre-specific norms and conventions. In Caribbean societies, phone-ins are experiencing ever-increasing popularity as a forum of public discourse and have, to some extent, replaced earlier platforms of public communication. They are important for researching socio-cultural change as they constitute a sensitive barometer of ongoing and changing discourses in society. Phone-ins are therefore particularly interesting for the investigation of discourse on particular public issues. but also for examining conversational interaction between the primary interactants of the format (host and caller) in a specific discourse community.
This chapter will take a particular phone-in programme in Trinidad – The Morning Show (Power 102 FM) with notorious host figure “The Gladiator” – as one particular example to investigate the negotiation of power and authority in openings, closings as well as turn-taking and floor-holding between the interactants. For this end, Conversation Analysis as a method of investigating the organization of talk will be introduced and used. A further issue will be the use of greetings and forms of address in creating a sense of identity and membership in this discourse community.
- 1.Introduction: Participation and argumentative talk in public space
- 2.Talk-in-interaction in radio phone-in programmes
- 3.Phone-in programmes in the Caribbean and other postcolonial contexts
- 3.1The politics of talk radio in Trinidad
- 3.2Communication patterns in Caribbean talk radio
: On a Trinidadian radio phone-in community
- 4.1Establishing identities: Opening sequences and greetings
- 4.2Question-answer sequences: Challenging the host
- 4.3Holding the floor: Power and authority in turn-taking sequences
- Transcription conventions