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Title: Telling people what to do (and, sometimes, why): contingency, entitlement and explanation in staff requests to adults with intellectual impairments
Authors: Antaki, Charles
Kent, Alexandra
Keywords: Requests
Directives
Imperatives
Entitlement
Contingency
Intellectual impairment
Institutional talk
Conversation analysis
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: © Elsevier
Citation: ANTAKI, C. and KENT, A., 2012. Telling people what to do (and, sometimes, why): contingency, entitlement and explanation in staff requests to adults with intellectual impairments. Journal of Pragmatics, 44 (6-7), pp. 876 - 889
Abstract: How do support staff resolve the interactional dilemma of getting their clients to do things, while respecting their independence? In a corpus of over 200 everyday requests made by residential home staff to adults with an intellectual impairment, the staff tended to use formats which claimed high entitlement to be obeyed, and made little acknowledgement of the contingencies facing their interlocutors. Bald imperatives were overwhelmingly the most common format used. The findings suggest that staff resolve the dilemma of care and control mostly in favour of getting jobs done, at the expense of residents' potential trouble in fulfilling their requests. In the rare cases where requests were accompanied by explanations, these legitimised the staff member's entitlement, or showed their awareness of the contingencies that could affect the resident's response: this provides useful evidence of the reality of these categories to the participants. We discuss three factors that might influence the degree of directiveness in the request: the physical immediacy of the action; a prior fault; and an obligation of the requester to instruct and socialise. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Description: This article is closed access, it was published in the Journal of Pragmatics [© Elsevier]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2012.03.014
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2012.03.014
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/14912
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2012.03.014
ISSN: 0378-2166
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Social Sciences)

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