Displays of Trust/Mistrust in Public Meetings: “I don’t believe you are going to jack us around!”


For public meetings in general, and for the North Omaha Development Project Meeting in particular, a Conversation Analysis (CA) approach asks how participants in public meetings involved in decision-making communicate and display their trust and mistrust of one another. From a CA perspective, while it is important to examine ways to cultivate greater trust in the public arena, research is also warranted that looks closely at people’s observable talk and behavior to better understand how the qualities of trust and mistrust are enacted by participants and how others orient to those displays. Power differences are critical, and whether the organizers are controlling the agenda or whether the attendees are attempting to influence the meeting’s procedural mechanisms, these are behaviors that must in the end be performed as the proceedings unfold. Displays of observable behavior are subject to empirical analysis and are the focus of what a CA approach can contribute to the study of public meetings.


public meetings, performance, language and social interaction, interaction analysis, improvisation, embodied actions, conversation analysis

How to Cite

Jarmon L., (2009) “Displays of Trust/Mistrust in Public Meetings: “I don’t believe you are going to jack us around!””, Journal of Public Deliberation 5(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/jdd.89







Leslie Jarmon ( )





Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Peer Review

This article has been peer reviewed.

File Checksums (MD5)

  • PDF: 76afec841f1a94edc17641c1f4654c54