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Content management in adolescent-directed talk about sex
Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, English.
2006 (English)In: Sociolinguistics Symposium 16, Limerick, Ireland, 2006Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In expert-novice exchanges, accommodation usually takes the form of 'content convergence' (Giles & Smith, 1979), where a lack of shared expertise on a particular topic may lead to the manipulation of content for the purpose of increasing comprehension and facilitating communication. Performed by the expert participant, such accommodation is based primarily on the limited knowledge of the novice. However, my data from expert-novice exchanges on the topic of sex and sexuality show content convergence to be negligible. Instead, accommodation in the form of `content management' characterized by access to or denial of information dominates. The research is based on conversations recorded at a youth center in Germany (German-language data). Five adult volunteers (four males, ages 20, 21, 24 and 39; 1 female, age 20) at the center each agreed to participate in one conversation about sex and sexuality with an inquisitive adolescent (14-year-old female or 13-year-old male) from the same youth center. Because of their social status as well as familiarity and experience with the topic, the adults represent the experts, while the adolescents freely admit to being novices. The adult experts manage the content of conversation by either accommodating the novices' desire to gain information or denying this desire through avoidance strategies. The extent of accommodation or avoidance is shown not to be a function of novice knowledge, but rather of age and gender. Experts accommodate to novices of the same gender and similar age by directly answering questions, being candid, joking and laughing. Their exchanges are further characterized by extensive topic exploration and detail. In exchanges among participants of dissimilar ages and genders, experts resort to avoidance strategies including requests for other-disclosure, hedging, opting out or making third-party references. Persistent topic exploration efforts by the novices are similarly and consistenty deflected, often resulting in conflict.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Limerick, Ireland, 2006.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-3328OAI: oai:dalea.du.se:3328DiVA, id: diva2:521836
Conference
Sociolinguistics Symposium 16, Limerick, Ireland, 6-8 July, 2006
Available from: 2008-06-25 Created: 2008-06-25 Last updated: 2012-04-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf