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Accountability in Social Interaction$
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Jeffrey D. Robinson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190210557

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210557.001.0001

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The Omnirelevance of Accountability

The Omnirelevance of Accountability

Off-Record Account Solicitations

(p.321) 11 The Omnirelevance of Accountability
Accountability in Social Interaction

Chase Wesley Raymond

Tanya Stivers

Oxford University Press

This chapter builds on the work of Garfinkel and Heritage to argue that when questioners pose a known-answer question concerning a behavior, decision, or opinion for which an account is possible, recipients orient to the relevance of both a confirmation and an account for that conduct. Insofar as the initial confirmation effectively closes the request-for-confirmation sequence, the provision of an account is in a substantially more volunteered context than following a direct request for an account (e.g., after Why questions), which places recipients in a comparatively “coerced” position. Deviant cases—in which interactants decline to provide an account following their confirmation—provide additional evidence for the claim that known-answer requests for confirmation solicit accounts. This argument suggests both that there is a social preference for accounts to be provided for conduct that is presented without explanation, and also that interactants are reticent to overtly request accounts.

Keywords:   conversation analysis, accountability, answer, intersubjectivity, morality, social norm, question, reflexivity, social interaction

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