This paper applies conversation analysis methods to a large public meeting. Examination of various pivotal speech acts and actions as performed by the presenters as well as the attendees suggested the enactment and sequencing of these different modes of interaction did not evolve randomly. As in any system, all elements within a group are interdependent and reciprocally influential; therefore, in this meeting, as the communication modes, communication goals, topic initiation, and agenda management roles shifted, individual parties and the group as a whole subtly coordinated to accommodate those shifts. One particular participant performed several implicit and explicit functions in the ongoing communication system of this meeting. Comparing his apparently spontaneous behaviors to the planned procedures of the program presenters revealed possible insights into how better to serve the diverse goals of presenters who want an orderly intake of information and attitudes and attendees who want a sense of involvement and empowerment.
systems, speech acts, public meetings, multiparty talk, group communication, forum, conversation analysis (CA)
How to Cite
Plummer E., (2009) “Meetings that Evolve Interactively: Viewing a Town Hall Discussion with an LSI Perspective”, Journal of Public Deliberation 5(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/jdd.90