Blood money: The routine violation of conversational rules
DOI: 10.1080/08934219709367660
Title: Blood money: The routine violation of conversational rules
Journal Title: Communication Reports
Volume: Volume 10
Issue: Issue 1
Publication Date: January 1997
Start Page: 63
End Page: 73
Published online: 21 May 2009
ISSN: 0893-4215
a Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies , Arizona State University West
Abstract: A qualitative case study was conducted to examine interactional management rules in naturally‐occurring conversation. The research question guiding this study was: how do interactants adapt when the conversational rules identified as essential for successful interaction are repeatedly and consistently violated? The context chosen for this study was a plasma donation center where persons came together to sell their Blood plasma, and had opportunities to interact for over three hours per visit. As a participant/observer, the researcher donated plasma sixteen times over a two‐month period to observe conversations. Wiemann's (1977) conversational management rules were adopted as a descriptive framework, and data were drawn from fieldnotes recorded over the thirty‐eight hours of observation time. It was discovered that conversational management rules were consistently violated in this context. However, the regular participants in this context treated the violations as unproblematic episodes. It is posited that violations of conversational rules become “normalized” when both interactants acknowledge that task requirements take precedence over the rules for interaction management.

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