This collection of papers explores the wide range of social settings, genres, and topics in which talk might, in various senses, be regarded as "small." It further explains the implied contract between "small" and (supposedly) "full" forms of talk, along with the sociopolitics such assumptions carry with them. Each of the papers, in its own way, examines how, as part of the process of fulfilling their intrinsically human needs for social cohesiveness and mutual recognition, people actively recreate the bonding and respecting behaviors, in local conversational routines, that are the social fabric of their communities. Beyond this, the papers take inquiry into small talk forward and mainly in one direction--to a richer and more diverse appreciation of the social functioning of small talk.
Volume 36, Number1, 2003
Contents: J. Coupland, Small Talk: Social Functions. J. Thornborrow, The Organization of Primary School Children's On-Task and Off-Task Talk in a Small Group Setting. M. McCarthy, Talking Back: "Small" Interactional Response Tokens in Everyday Conversation. J. Holmes, Small Talk at Work: Potential Problems for workers With an Intellectual Disability. J. Coupland, A. Jaworski, Transgression and Intimacy in Recreational Talk Narratives.