Publication details [#64116]

Johnson, Rebekah J. 2018. The discursive practices of “guilting” in family discourse. Socialization, identity construction, and parental expectations. Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict 6 (2) : 203–227.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This study looks at the way in which four members of a Midwestern American family co-construct the adult child identity of two graduate school students by using particular discursive practices while discussing topics related to parental expectations and decision-making. More specifically, it focuses on what constitutes “guilting” in the adult child-parent interactions. The data shows that guilting, both direct and indirect, is accomplished through making complaints and assessments. Participants orient to particular utterances as guilting and respond with justifications, explanations, or deflection. Guilting is shown to be used as a tool to control others’ future actions and/or to establish closer connection.