Explaining One's Self To Others

Reason-giving in A Social Context

Edited by Margaret L. McLaughlin, Michael J. Cody, Stephen John Read

© 1992 – Routledge

334 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780805807998
pub: 1992-05-01
US Dollars$95.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

To date, the study of communicated explanations has been, at best, unsystematic. There has been little recognition that many, if not most, explanations are eventually delivered to a hearer or hearers. These potential audiences constrain the way the explanation is ultimately shaped. Similarly, researchers have devoted themselves to the study of "accounts," for the most part without an accompanying interest in the fundamental processes of event comprehension. This volume is devoted to bridging the gap between these two traditions.


"In assembling this collection of papers, McLaughlin, Cody and Read set out to bridge 'the gap' between the attribution and accounts literatures. In fact, they've drawn together three literatures (attributions, accounts-as- stories, and accounts-as-alignment-talk), each of which has in recent years pointed to a fourth: cognitive science. That's a real plus, and it makes this collection particularly valuable."

International Society for the Study of Personal Relationships

Table of Contents

Contents: Part I:The Nature of Social Explanations. S.J. Read, Constructing Accounts: The Role of Explanatory Coherence. R. Lamb, M. Lalljee, The Use of Prototypical Explanations in First- and Third-Person Accounts. D.J. Hilton, R.H. Mathes, T.R. Trabasso, The Study of Causal Explanation in Natural Language: Analyzing Reports of the Challenger Disaster in The New York Times. J. McClure, An Economy of Explanations. A. Furnham, Lay Explanations. W. Turnbull, A Conversation Approach to Explanation, with Emphasis on Politeness and Accounting. B. Weiner, Excuses in Everyday Interaction. Part II:Explanations and Social Contexts. L. Bennett, Legal Fictions: Telling Stories and Doing Justice. F.D. Fincham, The Account Episode in Close Relationships. R.J. Bies, S.B. Sitkin, Explanation as Legitimation: Excuse-Making in Organizations. P. Essed, Alternative Knowledge Sources in Explanations of Racist Events. M.J. Cody, D.O. Braaten, The Social-Interactive Aspects of Account-Giving. K. Aronsson, C. Nilholm, Storytelling as Collaborative Reasoning: Co-Narratives in Incest Case Accounts. A.L. Weber, J.H. Harvey, T.L. Orbuch, What Went Wrong: Communicating Accounts of Relationship Conflict. M.L. McLaughlin, M.J. Cody, R. Dickson, V. Manusov, Accounting for Failure to Follow Advice: Real Reasons Versus Good Explanations.

About the Series

Routledge Communication Series

The Routledge Communication Series covers the breadth of the communication discipline, from interpersonal communication to public relations, offering textbooks, handbooks, and scholarly reference materials.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies