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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

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Disagreement and Opposition in Multigenerational Interviews with Greek-Australian Mothers and Daughters

Eleni Petraki1


Address for correspondence: School of Languages and International Education, University of Canberra, 2601, ACT, Australia 〈 〉.

Citation Information: Text - Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse. Volume 25, Issue 2, Pages 269–303, ISSN (Online) 1613-4117, ISSN (Print) 0165-4888, DOI: 10.1515/text.2005.25.2.269, July 2005

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Previous research on oppositional discourse has pointed out the need in the turn-by-turn analysis of conflict and disagreements. Work on cros-scultural disagreements and conflict is also imperative in the current age of globalization and international movement. This paper examines the negotiation of disagreements and differences between three generations of Greek-Australian women during their participation in interview-narratives. The paper first discusses the structural ways with which the women build their disagreements and negotiate their arguments in an interview setting and how they turn the interview into a place of dispute. Three disagreement strategies are discussed in this section: the participants' questioning the opponent's arguments, appealing to logic, and calling for defense. This paper also discusses the function of the disagreements in intergenerational conflict. Through the disagreements, participants display their cross-cultural and intergenerational differences. It is also revealed that disagreements are a means for the women to display and account for their competence as mothers and daughters in the presence of the interviewer and for the ‘record of the interview’. The study of disagreements provides useful insight into the areas of cross-cultural communication and intergenerational interaction.

Keywords: disagreement strategies; Greek oppositional discourse; intergenerational conflict; conversation analysis; discourse analysis; interview-narratives

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