Publication details [#61130]

Solberg, Janne. 2016. Argument in professional-client encounters. Building cases through second-hand assessments. Pragmatics and Society 7 (3) : 366–390.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Adopting the methods of Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis, this article aims to add to our knowledge of the dynamics and resistance in professional-client encounters. It does this by examining the argumentative function of second-hand assessments in the setting of vocational rehabilitation. In the situated negotiation of appropriate work-targeted initiatives (education, job training, etc.), the practice of reporting second-hand assessments functions either as ‘opposing’ the professional’s investigations, or, when used in initiating turns, as ‘promoting’ the client’s case. Regarding the first, second-hand assessments provide opportunities to oppose and redirect the institutional agenda. That is, the issue introduced by the professional is fended off more or less openly through second-hand accounts, which provide a presumptive better grasp on the matter at hand.