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Natural Data and Discourse Perspectives in Analyzing Interpersonal Influence in Family Communication

Leah Wingard

UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families
Working Paper No. 10


Episodes of influence communication (e.g. getting someone to do something) are central to the way families accomplish everyday life. This paper reviews several key concepts (among them compliance gaining and orientations to goals and obstacles) that have been considered important in the study of interpersonal influence communication. This paper considers the robustness and salience of these concepts by analyzing influence episodes in naturally occurring interactions using a conversation analytic approach. The analysis reveals the ways in which these often used and widely accepted concepts can be problematic. I suggest that a more nuanced way of understanding how family members influence one another in interaction is made possible by an analysis that focuses greater attention on the turn by turn negotiations during influence communication.

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