Linguistic encounters: the performativity of active listening

SOFIA LITERARY THEORY SEMINAR

24 June 2016, New Conference Room, Sofia University

Beata Stawarska University of Oregon

image1 In my talk, I examine social encounters in language by combining an inquiry into individual saying acts (otherwise called speech-acts) with a reflection on how the enabling and constraining social conditions impact the success of such acts in the present. In other words, I propose to work at the intersection of a micro-sociology of social encounters with a larger structural focus on historically contingent social positions. Yet my overall task is not only diagnostic but also emancipatory, and I seek resources for resisting the received and sedimented social relations of power, including at the level of the individual sayings themselves. I therefore recover Bourdieu’s central claim that language mirrors social conditions of power operative in our not-solely-linguistic lives but emphasize, in agreement with Butler’s conception of linguistic performativity, that an ongoing linguistic practice does not solely reflect…

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