Abstract for Conversation Analysis and Socially Shared Cognition

Emanuel A. Schegloff: "Conversation Analysis and 
Socially Shared Cognition," in L. Resnick, J. 
Levine and S. Teasley (eds.), Perspectives on 
Socially Shared Cognition. (Washington, D.C.: 	
American Psychological Association, 1991),

In this effort to develop an appreciation of how 
the social analysis of conversation relates to 
socially shared cognition, I will proceed in three

First, it seems appropriate in a volume organized,
sponsored, and supported by psychologists, and 
composed for the most part of contributions by 
psychologists, to indicate some of the resonances
that the term socially shared cognition sets off 
for a sociologist, if only to provide some 
background for the different approach I take. This
introduction will of necessity be limited to a 
sketch of some of the relevant intellectual 
background, so boldly drawn as to verge on 
caricature, but will focus on the relevance of a 
preoccupation with the procedural sense of and
basis for-"social sharedness," and with talk-in- 
interaction as a strategic setting in which to 
study social sharedness.

In a second stage, I will outline briefly a few 
basic components of that approach to talk-in- 
interaction that represents the narrower usage of
the term conversation analysis, and identify a 
number of distinct areas in which this approach 
has explicated ideas that would fall under - or 
might expand the scope of the study of - socially
shared cognition. In the course of this account, 
I will introduce several central elements of the 
organization of talk-in-interaction that 
conversation analysis has focused on and that 
appear to have multifaceted relevance for the 
interface between interaction and cognition. I 
will particularly address the organizations of 
turn-taking and of repair, one of which provides
the arena for the somewhat more detailed 
undertaking that follows.

In the third stage, I will examine a few aspects 
of that component of the organization of repair 
that furnishes what I call "the last structurally 
provided defense of intersubjectivity in 
conversation." By this phrase, I allude to the
relevance for participants in interaction of 
"intersubjectivity''- the maintenance of a world 
(including the developing course of the 
interaction itself) mutually understood by the 
participants as some same world. I mean to 
underscore as well that there are structures 
operating to organize ordinary talk-in-
interaction, that these structures engender 
opportunities to detect and repair problems in the
achievement and maintenance of intersubjectivity,
and that these opportunities and their use are 
describable. I will describe two variant forms 
that efforts to repair problems of inter- 
subjectivity can take. In the present context, I 
take this topic to be a centrally relevant aspect of socially shared cognition.

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