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Conversational Realities
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Conversational Realities
Constructing Life through Language


January 1994 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"This book is fascinating and--eventually--might prove very valuable for those concerned with SLA." --Studies in Second Language Acquisition Imaginative and original, Conversational Realities claims that psychological and sociological "realities" are both socially constructed and sustained within the context of our everyday conversation. In this interdisciplinary analysis, John Shotter highlights the socially contested--but imaginary--nature of the "things" we talk about in our social lives and throws light on the construction processes of these "things." Using interesting examples from psychotherapy, management, and everyday life, the author offers a broad-ranging exploration of the rhetorical, argumentative nature of conversational communication. Conversational Realities should be read by academics and students of psychology, communication studies, linguistics, and sociology.

 
Introduction
A Rhetorical-Responsive Version of Social Constructionism

 
 
PART ONE: A RHETORICAL-RESPONSIVE VERSION OF SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM
 
The Conversational Background of Social Life
Beyond Representation

 
 
Situating Social Constructionism
Knowing `From Within'

 
 
Dialogue and Rhetoric in the Construction of Social Relations
 
PART TWO: REALISM, THE IMAGINARY AND A WORLD OF EVENTS
 
The Limits of Realism
 
Social Life and the Imaginary
 
Linguistic Relativity in a World of Events
 
PART THREE: CONVERSATIONAL REALITIES
 
In Search of a Past
Therapeutic Re-Authoring

 
 
Real and Counterfeit Constructions in Interpersonal Relations
 
The Manager as a Practical Author
Conversations for Action

 
 
Rhetoric and the Recovery of Civil Society
 
Epilogue
Rhetorical-Responsive Social Constructionism in Summary Form

 
Roy Bhaskar
Afterword

`I like this book, will recommend it to colleagues and students, and expect it to become a staple citation in articles and books I publish... Sometimes books an academic reads enable a person to make connections among previously disconnected pieces of experience, recurring preferences and passions, and particular life decisions. Reading Conversational Realities accomplished this for me... it is theoretically rich, philosophically thoughtful and experientially evocative' - Human Studies

`[An] immensely thoughtful, informative and persuasive treatment of the "rhetorical-responsive version of social constructionism" via an eclectic blend of, principally, European and American linguistics, philosophy and social psychology... Shotter's book is most important for continuing the work begun by Billig and others bringing recognition via recollection to the rhetorical corpus. He claims to target his recovery of these materials toward psychologists; readers in related disciplines will certainly also benefit' - Discourse & Society

`This book is fascinating... It is important for several reasons. First, it provides an overview of an approach to the social sciences known as social constructionism... Second, Shotter maintains that the fundamental human reality is persons in conversations... Third, Shotter is concerned with practical implications, not just theoretical conceptions' - Studies in Second Language Acquisition

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