Dealing with disagreements at water management meetings
Abstract: This thesis examines how disagreements and doubts in communication are managed in institutional, multiparty talk in interaction regarding management of water related issues. Using a theory of conversation analysis (Sacks, Schegloff, and Jefferson, 1974), I analyze ways disagreements and doubts in communication are managed and understood at six water management meetings. At the observed meetings, the frameworks of a new EU financed water management project are being discussed. The actors involved are officials from Municipalities, County Administration Boards and Water Councils, and researchers. I will encounter different ways disagreements and doubts in communication are managed at these meetings through concessive, e.g. “yes, but…” exchanges, laughter, tactful blindness and stand-offs by postpone the management of the disagreement to another, unspecified, time point in the future. At the meetings, the concessive approach creates both misunderstandings and solves disagreements through repeated turn-takings. I hope this thesis will give interested individuals a better understanding of institutional, multiparty talk in interaction regarding water related issues.
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