Footing and identity in interaction at a conversation club

Eric Hauser

Abstract



Taking Goffman’s concepts of footing and production format as a foundation, this study analyzes instances of interaction among native and non-native speakers of English in a conversation club at a language school. Following examples of how the production format of a turn may be established, the analysis focuses on the interactional work that is accomplished with different production formats in specific instances. The main generalization that can be drawn about the interactional work accomplished through this generic speaking practice is that it is varied and does not seem to be constrained by the exigencies of interaction in the conversation club. The analysis then shifts to how the establishment of production format provides a resource for the invocation and local constitution of three specific identities of the non-native speakers, as language learners, as language school students, and as members of a culture separate from the native speaker.

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