Explaining and Arguing: The Social Organization of Accounts

Dr Charles Antaki

'The most comprehensive work to date on explanations and accounts. Antaki is one of the few thinkers conversant both with the new qualitative paradigms in the social sciences--conversation analysis, discourse analysis, rhetorical approaches--and with the mainstream social psychological approach of attribution theory. Lucid and never ponderous, the book gives a much-needed shape and coherence to this cross-disciplinary area.' --Richard Buttny, Syracuse University 'Excellent. . . . An engagingly written and well-researched critical overview of the literature on everyday explanations, combined with a clear theoretical position. A beautifully crafted piece of work.' --Derek Edwards, Loughborough University, London Explanations identify causes, back up claims, and justify actions. Social scientists study them because they reveal how people understand and construct their worlds. This stimulating book offers a critical review of the major approaches to the study of everyday explaining and arguing. Using numerous concrete examples to illuminate the range of contemporary approaches, Antaki's concern is to test theory against practice. He draws a picture of explanation as a rich social achievement of speaker and audience, involving a balance between delicate maneuver and the exercises of discursive power. Explaining and Arguing is essential reading for students and scholars in social psychology, sociolinguistics, and communication studies.

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