Title

A Discursive Approach to the Playful and Gendered use of Insults and Criticisms in Romantic Couple’s Everyday Banter

Location

3030

Format Type

Paper

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

January 2016

End Date

January 2016

Abstract

The present study focuses on the gendered and playful ways that insults and criticisms are formulated by young adult romantic couples in their natural interactional contexts. A discourse analytic approach was used to examine how twenty young adult romantic couples (ages 19-26) use gender to playfully pursue insults and criticisms in their natural ecological contexts. This study has a two-fold motivation. First, there is a dearth of micro-analytic qualitative research detailing the ways that insults and criticisms are mobilized in romantic couple’s natural conversations. Second, research suggests that conflicts among contemporary young adults ('millennials') may often be sociable in nature, and thus may not pose the kind of adversarial face-threats for young adult intimates in the ways that would be traditionally expected. Discursive analyses demonstrate three conspicuous patterns. First, that the vast majority of the insults and criticisms are gendered. Second, that nearly all of the excerpts involve the creative use of various forms of irony, laughter, rekeyings, abrupt non-sequiturs, and topic shifts to allow the gendered insults/criticisms to appear playful. And finally, the analyses show how these gendered and playful insults/criticisms are consequential as preliminaries for affiliation. The central implication is that in contexts where there is a press for relationality (e.g., romantic relationships), insults and criticisms may sometimes function as a kind of playful repartee, and instead of orienting to them as threatening, intimates may treat them as methods to create alignment and affiliation through an implicit, but shared transgression of socio-relational norms.

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Jan 16th, 4:15 PM Jan 16th, 4:35 PM

A Discursive Approach to the Playful and Gendered use of Insults and Criticisms in Romantic Couple’s Everyday Banter

3030

The present study focuses on the gendered and playful ways that insults and criticisms are formulated by young adult romantic couples in their natural interactional contexts. A discourse analytic approach was used to examine how twenty young adult romantic couples (ages 19-26) use gender to playfully pursue insults and criticisms in their natural ecological contexts. This study has a two-fold motivation. First, there is a dearth of micro-analytic qualitative research detailing the ways that insults and criticisms are mobilized in romantic couple’s natural conversations. Second, research suggests that conflicts among contemporary young adults ('millennials') may often be sociable in nature, and thus may not pose the kind of adversarial face-threats for young adult intimates in the ways that would be traditionally expected. Discursive analyses demonstrate three conspicuous patterns. First, that the vast majority of the insults and criticisms are gendered. Second, that nearly all of the excerpts involve the creative use of various forms of irony, laughter, rekeyings, abrupt non-sequiturs, and topic shifts to allow the gendered insults/criticisms to appear playful. And finally, the analyses show how these gendered and playful insults/criticisms are consequential as preliminaries for affiliation. The central implication is that in contexts where there is a press for relationality (e.g., romantic relationships), insults and criticisms may sometimes function as a kind of playful repartee, and instead of orienting to them as threatening, intimates may treat them as methods to create alignment and affiliation through an implicit, but shared transgression of socio-relational norms.