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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

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Volume 36, Issue 6


Analogies in interaction: practical reasoning and participatory design

Sofia Lundmark
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Education, Uppsala University, Box 2136, 750 02 Uppsala, Sweden
  • School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Södertörn University, 141 89 Huddinge, Sweden
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Gustav Lymer
Published Online: 2016-09-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2016-0031


The present study examines a set of discussions among professional counselors in the area of youth counseling, as they participate in the development and design of an online video-mediated communication platform. With an overarching interest in how participatory design is performed through conversations, the analysis focuses on analogical reasoning through which the envisaged system is anchored to existing technologies and work practices. Three forms of analogical reasoning are identified: formulating design alternatives; challenging problem formulations; and telling stories. In various ways, these forms of analogical reasoning inform the ongoing design decision-making process, where the hypothetical technology and its organizational and work-related implications are evaluated. The study contributes to how analogical reasoning is done in interaction, and places the findings in the context of participatory design and studies of design reasoning.

Keywords: analogical reasoning; participatory design; youth counseling; conversation analysis; ethnomethodology


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About the article

Sofia Lundmark

Sofia Lundmark is a PhD student at the Department of Education, Uppsala University, and Lecturer at the School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies at Södertörn University. Her current research interests cover critical perspectives and norms in design as well as transformative processes in participatory design projects. The aim of her ongoing research (PhD) concerns empowerment, participation and norm-critical efforts in the design of online youth counseling services.

Gustav Lymer

Gustav Lymer is Associate Professor at the Department of Education, Uppsala University. He has previously published in journals such as Discourse Studies, Social Semiotics, Journal of Pragmatics, Journal of the Learning Sciences and Mind, Culture & Activity. His current research, informed by ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, is concerned with exploring the interactional constitution of instruction, knowledge, reasoning and skill in higher education and workplace settings.

Published Online: 2016-09-20

Published in Print: 2016-11-01

Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 36, Issue 6, Pages 705–731, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2016-0031.

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