Conversation is an activity that takes place within

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Conversation is an activity that takes place within social interactions. Conversations have rules and a structure that are followed to align with societal norms. Ethnomethodologists mainly study conversation by identifying these rules and structures involved in conversation. Every person possesses some degree of conversational competence without even realizing that they are following norms and rules set out by society. Conversation analysis attempts to confirm that social order exists by studying conversation. Analysis can be performed by recording conversations, as they normally occur, then reviewing the tape in great detail. All aspects of the conversation must be recorded, including the pauses, stutters and unclear noises. If people enter and leave the conversation during the recording, it also must be included in the analysis. Including all of these sounds can be difficult to arrange when analyzing. The rules of the order of a conversation revolves around the concept of taking turns when talking to someone. This one of the rules that governs how a conversation routinely works.
However, these rules are often broken during a conversation, such as when someone is interrupted while speaking. Someone may speak out of turn or speak over someone else. When the rules are broken like this, it is still possible to follow the rules and repair the conversation to get it back on track. The main topics that are focused on in conversation analysis are: opening a conversation, introducing yourself, taking a turn and letting the other person take a turn, starting a topic, managing multiple topics and closing a conversation. These are the areas of a conversation that are focused on when reviewing a recorded of a conversation for analysis. Problems can arise at different points of the conversation depending on the particular scenario. In some conversations, the topic can be the issue. Conversations must have a topic but having too many or lack of topics can be problematic. Formulation is another aspect of a conversation that has the potential for problems to arise. Conversations must be interpreting by all members involved and there could be errors in the interpretation of what is being said. When someone involved in the conversation is unsure of their interpretation, it is normal for them to ask for clarification. The process of clarifying an interpretation to find out the real meaning is the act of formulation. The structure of conversation enables the overall structure of society.

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