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# Aggressive interaction through discourse : episodes, accounts and narratives

Gaitón, Alfredo (1989) Aggressive interaction through discourse : episodes, accounts and narratives. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

## Abstract

The aim of this work was to propose a conceptual framework for the understanding of human aggression which takes into account contemporary developments in social psychology. The background to the proposal is presented in Part I. This includes a review of classic' theories of aggression which is followed by a discussion of wider issues and controversies affecting social psychology as a whole, commonly referred to as the crisis'. From these epistemological considerations a number of criteria and methodological guidelines are derived and adopted in the Framework presented in Part II. Its main purpose is that of relating aggression to the domains of Action, Knowledge and Discourse. Its structure consists of five successive and inter-related levels of analysis. Concepts and theories within social psychology and other related areas, such as sociology and linguistics, are subjected to reconstitution' and formalisation', i.e. incorporating them into particular levels through their linking to some conceptual strategy and reformulating their main elements as conceptual models. The most basic level (Level-1) focuses on the analysis of sequences of Action (and Inter-action) stressing the temporal dimension as well as the hierarchical structure of Action (sequential models are identified). Sequences of aggressive everyday interaction are analysed and different methodological approaches explored. Level-2 attempts to understand aggressive interaction in its context by means of two conceptual strategies: grounding sequences' in a behavioural ecology and in a cultural context, and humanising/embodying action' (a conceptualisation of the participation of humans in social interaction). The next level (Level-3) studies processes of social control and regulation which are used in everyday life to deal with fractures' of the flow of interaction, (e.g. predicaments), particularly arising from what has been called here affronts'. The next two levels deal more directly with Discourse: Level-4 studies explanatory discourse as an activity in which participants collectively construct the meaning of an episode in conversation (outside the original context of its occurrence). Empirical data are presented and an analytical procedure is developed. Level-5 discusses a particular kind of linguistic product, i.e. narratives. Issues of structure and function are discussed. Two analytical tools are proposed and applied to a sample of narratives of aggressive episodes. They are intended to allow us to represent effectively the structure of the narratives under study, make use of their referential function (understanding the incident of aggression) and account for the interactional function(s) that their production in a specific context might serve.

Published date: 1989

## Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 461461
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/461461
PURE UUID: cc0ce666-8396-419d-aa60-17aa69a4d4c2

## Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Jul 2022 18:47

## Contributors

Author: Alfredo Gaitón