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Linguistics Vanguard

A Multimodal Journal for the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Bergs, Alexander / Cohn, Abigail C. / Good, Jeff


CiteScore 2018: 0.95

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.381
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.841

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2199-174X
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Ageism and interactional (mis)alignment: Using micro-discourse analysis in the interpretation of everyday talk in a hair-salon

Rachel HeinrichsmeierORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9433-9317
Published Online: 2019-06-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2018-0031

Abstract

In the fifty years since Robert Butler coined the term, ageism remains one of the most widely-experienced forms of discrimination in Europe. Some forms of ageism seem overt and easy-to-identify; in many cases, though, it is invisible and deeply rooted in everyday life. This applies, too, to ageism-in-interaction, which, as I argue in this paper, can be very subtle, deeply embedded in a web of routines and expectations generated over a longer interactional history.

I illustrate this embeddedness of ageism-in-interaction by focussing, as a case-study, on an encounter in a hair-salon between an 83-year-old woman and her stylist, aspects of which we might initially be tempted to attribute to the stylist’s orientations to the client’s (older) age. However, as I show, closer scrutiny of the emergent interaction, combined with progressive widening of the analysis to encompass data outside this focal exchange, suggests more nuanced understandings of what is going on. As I also aim to show, the nose-to-data attention to the emergent interactions in this case-study, informed by conversation analysis and combined with wider ethnographic knowledge, is the tool-kit we need to reveal the less visible instances of ageism-in-interaction.

Keywords: language; ageing; everyday ageism; interactional sociolinguistics; being busy

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About the article

Received: 2018-05-14

Accepted: 2018-12-04

Published Online: 2019-06-22


Citation Information: Linguistics Vanguard, Volume 5, Issue s2, 20180031, ISSN (Online) 2199-174X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2018-0031.

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