Disagreements in television discussions: How small can small screen arguments be?

Alexandra Georgakopoulou and Marianna Patrona

Abstract

Based on a case study, this paper explores the interaction between the act of disagreeing and the contextual parameters of Greek television panel discussions. The analysis of the data reveals that, in contrast to previous literature on disagreements in TV interview situations, the disagreements at hand are both (host)-unmediated and rendered less dispreferred by being delayed, indirectly posed, and/or mitigated. The discussion sheds light on the systematic ways in which the above is sequentially achieved so as to suit the parameters of the given context. It is argued that the preference features that accompany disagreements attend to the specialized floor-holding and turn-taking rights as well as to the public occasion of the interactions. As such, they index the participants’ management and negotiation of their roles and identities as interviewees, interlocutors, and public speakers.

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