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Title:The instantiation of emotion in conversations between romantic partners, male friends, female friends, and cross-sex friends
Author(s):Staske, Shirley Ann
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Delia, Jesse G.
Department / Program:Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Speech Communication
Sociology, General
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to explore how natural language users employ emotional expressions in conversation with close relational partners. Three research questions were addressed: (1) How is emotion instantiated in conversation between close relational partners, (2) What are the consequences of that instantiation for the social functions of emotions within the developing conversation, (3) How is the frequency and form of the instantiation of emotion in conversation differentially influenced by varying relational definitions shared by interactants?
The primary data base for this conversational analytic study consisted of forty-four videotaped and transcribed conversations from romantic partners, male friends, female friends, and cross-sex friends who discussed an issue which had been emotionally influential in their relationship. However, since quantitative methods appeared useful in providing supporting data with which to answer the third research question, fourteen one-way analyses of variance were performed to test for differences between the four relational types on various measures.
The first research question was answered by reference to three primary forms by which natural language users instantiated emotion in conversations with their relational partner: (1) emotion terms (words in the lexicon representing emotionality), (2) metaphors and metonymies, and (3) narratives whose point was an actor's emotional experience. Answering the second research question required an analysis which did not privilege information-transmission as the chief function of emotion instantiations. Rather, it was found that the instantiation of emotion was guided by a constraint system that took into account three primary exigencies: the great utility of emotional attributions as resources in the construction of selves, relationships, and a meaningful social world, (2) the necessity of justifying emotional experiences by reference to the social situation seen to have produced them, and (3) the fundamentally interactive nature of ordinary verbal interaction which influences the likelihood of survival and/or transformation of a particular instantiation of emotion.
Finally, the four relational types were found to be distinct categories of relationship. Partners were found to interactively construct relational definitions through the use of emotional expressions and to interactively construct emotional experiences so as to affirm their relational identities as well as the nature of their relational bond.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Staske, Shirley Ann
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9503330
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9503330

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