Enticing a challengeable in arguments: Sequence, epistemics and preference organisation

Edward Reynolds


This article reports on an interactional practice found in one form of adversarial talk, arguments during protests, where participants work to ‘entice’ a particular answer from an opponent using an uncontroversial questions in order to challenge the opponent on the basis of their own answer. Based on a collection of arguments during protests posted to YouTube, this article uses conversation analysis (CA) in order to investigate the way in which participants employ these uncontroversial questions as ‘pre-challenges’, using speaker selection, recipient focused topics and a moral ordering of talk to work to obligate a particular answer from the recipient. The results of the analysis illustrate several ways in which participants manipulate epistemics, speaker selection, and recipient design as resources for enacting social conflict.

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