Challenges of trust in atypical interaction

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All effective communication is based on the participants trusting that they share their basic orientations to the world – that is, they have a common ground. In this paper, however, we examine situations in which such trust is lacking. Drawing on conversation–analytic methodology and on 30 hours of video data featuring persons with dementia and their caregivers in a Swedish-language daycare center in Finland, we consider some of the social consequences resulting from a lack of trust. Our analysis focused on three different interactional contexts, highlighting the relevance of different facets of the participants’ common ground. These facets are anchored in the deontic, epistemic, and emotional orders, respectively. We show that, with regard to each order, a lack of trust in the existence of common ground has drastic consequences, leading to (1) problems related to getting one’s will acknowledged, (2) a scarcity of conversational partners, and (3) a lack of resources to maintain affection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-125
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • atypical interaction
  • conversation analysis
  • trust

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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