Critical Incidents as Small Interactional Stories and Their Functions in the Context of Cultural Belonging


The poster presentation highlights a sub-area of my ongoing doctoral project, which is dedicated to the negotiation of cultural identities in conversations between German native speakers and Russian native speakers learning German as a foreign language. 30 hours of oral, face-to-face communication with different focal points (first contacts, conversations among friends, random conversations among flatmates, online meetings etc.) were audio-recorded, transcribed according to cGAT conventions, and interpreted using sequence analysis. Results indicate that participants have established linguistic and conversational routines for negotiating cultural belongings. It is illustrated how interactants reconstruct experiences by means of small interactionally constructed stories, mark them as critical, authenticate morally sensitive content, and how they exploit such stories to differentiate or "connect" with each other. The study is the first to describe critical incidents and their role in producing cultural belonging from an interactionalist perspective. It also indicates that the CIs can be described as a communicative genre.

Author Information
Lea Wölk, University of Erfurt, Germany

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2023
Stream: Culture and Language

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Virtual Presentation

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon