Controversial Issues in Participatory Urban Planning: An Ethnomethodological and Conversation Analytic Historical Study

  • Lorenza Mondada


This chapter contributes to a longitudinal and historical ethnomethodological and conversation analytic (EMCA) approach to interactional phenomena as they evolve across time by studying long-term controversies within an urban participatory project. On the basis of a unique video corpus documenting a grassroots political project over six years, the chapter not only shows how it is possible to follow discussions among participants in the long run—by focusing on specific actions through time—but also demonstrates how the participants themselves progressively build the history of the project, by focusing on members’ perspectives on history in the making. The issue is to produce an account of history as a locally situated achievement built and oriented to as such by members, within an emic praxeological and interactional perspective.



This chapter has been supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation project ‘Speaking in Public’ (100014_144376--100012_162689/1). I warmly thank Sara Keel for her insightful comments.


  1. Antaki, C., Leudar, I., & Barnes, R. (2007). Members’ and analysts’ interests: “Formulations” in psychotherapy. In A. Hepburn & S. Wiggins (Eds.), Discursive research in practice (pp. 166–181). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnes, R. (2007). Formulations and the facilitation of common agreement in meetings talk. Text & Talk, 27(3), 273–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Clayman, S. (2007). Speaking on behalf of the public in broadcast news interviews. In E. Holt & R. Clift (Eds.), Reporting talk: Reported speech in interaction (pp. 221–243). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Clayman, S., & Heritage, J. (2009). Question design as a comparative and historical window into president-press relations. In M. Haakana, M. Laakso, & J. Lindström (Eds.), Talk in interaction: Comparative dimensions (pp. 299–315). Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society.Google Scholar
  5. Clayman, S. E., Elliott, M. N., Heritage, J., & McDonald, L. L. (2006). Historical trends in questioning presidents, 1953–2000. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 36(4), 561–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Garfinkel, H. (1967). Studies in ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  7. Heritage, J., & Watson, D. R. (1979). Formulations as conversational objects. In G. Psathas (Ed.), Everyday language: Studies in ethnomethodology (pp. 123–162). New York: Irvington.Google Scholar
  8. Holt, E., & Clift, R. (Eds.). (2007). Reporting talk: Reported speech in interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Jefferson, G. (1978). Sequential aspects of storytelling in conversation. In J. Schenkein (Ed.), Studies in the organization of conversational interaction (pp. 219–248). New York: Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Koschmann, T. (2013). Conversation analysis and collaborative learning. In C. Hmelo-Silver, C. A. Chinn, C. Chan, & A. M. O'Donnell (Eds.), International handbook of collaborative learning (pp. 149–167). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Lynch, M. (2009). Ethnomethodology and history: Documents and the production of history. Ethnographic Studies, 11, 87–106.Google Scholar
  12. Lynch, M., & Bogen, D. (1996). The spectacle of history: Speech, text and memory at the Iran-contra hearings. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Markee, N. (2008). Toward a learning behavior tracking methodology for CA-for-SLA. Applied Linguistics, 29(3), 404–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mondada, L. (2006). L’ordre social comme un accomplissement pratique des membres dans le temps. Médias et Culture, 2, 85–119.Google Scholar
  15. Mondada, L. (2012). Espaces en interaction: espace décrit, espace inscrit et espace interactionnel, dans un débat d’urbanisme participatif. Bulletin VALS-ASLA, 96, 15–42.Google Scholar
  16. Mondada, L. (2015). The facilitator’s task of formulating citizens’ proposals in political meetings. Gesprächsforschung, 16, 1–62.Google Scholar
  17. Mondada, L. (2016). Going to write: Embodied trajectories of writing of collective proposals in grassroots democracy meetings. Language and Dialogue, 6(1), 140–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mondada, L., Svensson, H., & Van Schepen, N. (2015). “Why that not now”: Participants’ orientations towards several organizational layers in social interaction. Bulletin VALS/ASLA, 101, 51–71.Google Scholar
  19. Pekarek Doehler, S. (2010). Conceptual changes and methodological challenges: On language and learning from a conversation analytic perspective on SLA. In P. Seedhouse, S. Walsh, & C. Jenks (Eds.), Conceptualising learning in applied linguistics (pp. 105–126). New York: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sacks, H. (1992). Lectures on conversation I-II. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  21. Schegloff, E. A., & Sacks, H. (1973). Opening up closings. Semiotica, 8(4), 289–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Stivers, T., & Hayashi, M. (2010). Transformative answers. Language in Society, 39(1), 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Watson, R. (2008). Comparative sociology, laic and analytic: Some critical remarks on comparison in conversation analysis. Cahiers de Praxématique, 50, 203–244.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenza Mondada
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BaselBaselSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations