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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

'Mr Angry' - Data Session

Ever called a helpline and got really angry at the 'helper(s)' on the other end of the line? Today I presented data at our weekly MARG meeting and took the opportunity to revisit the fascinating 'Mr Angry' transcript/recording - a recording of a man who becomes extremely angry when the helpline will not help him unless he first pays money for the help. He sees himself as a long-time 'loyal' customer and entitled to a 'freebie' - and makes his (ultimately unsuccessful) case in a robust manner - which includes shouting the good old Anglo-Saxon 'SHIT'.

Thanks to the hugely-talented members of MARG for their insights, attention to detail and more detail, and their ideas. It was inspiring to collectively pore over detail in the transcript, and to build up rich layers of commentary and insight. For me, there is much to develop and write about in a journal article based on the recording. I think my goal will be to shape it into an article that looks at institutional mandates and identities by explicating how these can so easily conflict with non-members' mandates and identities. Identities in conflict, that sort of thing, and how parties to the interaction 'escalate' their anger, 'deflect' it, mollify, minimise, upscale it, etc. Mr Angry was not happy with the "very greedy little people" he saw the call-taker as representing. I would like to show how his anger was micro-managed and contextually moulded in the unfolding interaction.

Certainly there were no 'dry clacking bones' in the transcript/recording we examined today - so this would have been to the approval of Michael Moerman (who, in his book 'Talking Culture', 1988, complains that CA data materials are lacking in emotion and the visceral realities of real life experiences).

By the way, Moerman's wonderful book is available free to read online here

Tomb of The Elephant Man

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Your Presentations

I very much enjoyed your presentations - well done everyone for being so engaged and enthusiastic! It was great that we covered such a wide range of issues. I also felt that our discussions were most interesting and useful. I'm keen to know what you think of the module so far - how's it going for you?