Unformatted text preview: ion, lack of interest or disagreement, has been associated more with male speakers. Once again, what is
being recommended here would seem to be gendered, matching what is
believed and what in some cases has been found to be women's rather than
It is not surprising that service workers should receive instructions on the
subject of asking questions, since question-answer routines are characteristic of
institutional talk (Drew and Heritage 1992). What is more interesting, however, is the stress placed on using questions not merely to elicit information (the
function that makes questioning so central to institutional discourse), but to
display interest in the customer as a person, to make the interaction a more
`genuine' dialogue, and to give the customer `space' to speak freely and at
length. This concern (facilitating extended talk) is observable in advice on the
kinds of questions workers are told they should prefer. Typically they are advised
to avoid what linguists would call `conducive' questions, those which strongly
favour a predetermined answer, and sel...
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- Spring '08
- The Land, Call centre, Blackwell Publishers Ltd.