'Oh, I've known a lot of Irish people': Reading groups and the negotiation of literary interpretation

PEPLOW, David (2011). 'Oh, I've known a lot of Irish people': Reading groups and the negotiation of literary interpretation. Language and Literature, 20 (4), 295-315.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963947011401964
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947011401964


Reading groups are an increasingly popular phenomenon in contemporary life, offering a space for readers to share literary and personal experiences. Although there is a growing body of research into reading groups, few studies have considered in detail the language used by readers as they debate the meaning of texts. This article offers a close analysis of interaction in reading groups, focusing on a meeting held by a book club in 2009. Employing a mixed-methodology approach, combining conversation analysis and communities of practice, this study analyses the reading group’s interaction in fine detail while also accounting for elements of group dynamics that influence the talk in this specific community of readers. I consider how members go about articulating their interpretations of the stories in the context of the reading group, focusing on the way that members present these interpretations as reasonable and valid. Three features of interaction are found to be important to this: category entitlement, the ‘oh’-preface and X then Y structures. I conclude that the interpretations offered in the reading group are necessarily socially situated and are inextricable from the interactive context in which they are produced.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Humanities Research Centre
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947011401964
Page Range: 295-315
Depositing User: Sam Wharam
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2012 08:56
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 20:00
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6354

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