Participation within multiparty conversation: Responses to indirect complaints about a co-present participant

Ray Wilkinson, Julie Bouchard, Veronica Gonzalez Temer, Antti Kamunen, Julia Katila, Carla Cristina Munhoz Xavier, Anca Cristina Sterie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Throughout his work Goffman highlighted the limitations of the ‘speaker’-‘hearer’ model for understanding how persons participate in social situations. In his influential late article Footing he decomposed the role of speaker and hearer into a set of production and reception roles, which for the reception roles included distinctions between addressed and unaddressed participants as well as overhearers and bystanders. In this chapter, Wilkinson et al. build on the insights of Goffman and of others who developed his insights into participation. They do this by focusing on how participants within multiparty conversation organize their participation in situ through the production of actions which can make a response, and hence participation, relevant and expectable from one or more other participants. Analysing one type of action – an indirect complaint about a co-present participant – they provide evidence that participants treat such a complaint as making a response relevant from the complainee (complained-about person) despite that person not being addressed, and they show how this can have implications for the participation of both the complainee and other participants. As such, they highlight how the production of actions within multiparty conversation can provide expectations and opportunities concerning how participants may endogenously organise their participation together.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Perspectives on Goffman in Language and Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationBody, Participation and the Self
EditorsLorenza Mondada, Anssi Peräkylä
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781000929430, 9781003094111
ISBN (Print)9780367555771
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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