Att tala med, mot och förbi varandra : Samtal mellan föräldrar och skolledning på en dövskola

Sammanfattning: In the spring of 1997 a group of parents of deaf and hearing-impaired children and representatives of a special school in the south of Sweden began to hold formally arranged meetings in order to start a “dialogue”. This particular form of collaboration became the focus of this study. The meetings lasted two to three hours and I attended seventeen of them. The transcriptions of those meetings form the basis for the analysis. In many arenas of contemporary western society there is a strong belief in dialogue; this is seen as a way to constructive and edifying ends. People do communicate with intentions to understand and help each other and to create commonly adhered to values and goals, but also to manipulate and control each other. I have analysed empirical material from a constructivist perspective. More specifically, I examine how problems are produced, dissembled and fought over as they are constructed in the world of deaf education. Different kinds of dialogical aspects of talk, such as the climate of conversation and the speed of talk are identified. Turns of talk are analysed in an attempt to discover how a specific conversation develops. The study shows how both parties tried to find different ways to avoid talking about responsibility and guilt. In many cases this lead to an evasive speech, which in its own way makes agreement possible. Vagueness is analysed as a conversational tool. The study points out a way of talking, a kind of repeated pattern that constantly seemed to circulate around “a minimum of consensus”. The dissertation focuses on how identities and categories are created and shaped in these specific speech situations. For example how the construction of a particular problem involves malleable and constantly ongoing identity creation. It is mainly in the formulation of the pupils’ capacity and competence that different attributions are made. Finally, the study argues that conversation is both a governed and intended action and an action with unforeseen elements and it is here that social order constantly is sought to be established.

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