Interactive-orientation and argumentation in scientific texts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Sociologists have frequently sought to explain people's beliefs and claims to knowledge in terms of those people's interests. Yet in every case the knowledge/interest connection is an interpretative and revisable one and, moreover, people may have many possibly-ascribable interests. Accordingly the ascription of interests in any particular case is fraught with difficulty. However, actors themselves appear regularly to engage in this kind of interpretative work. Using concepts from sociolinguistics and conversation analysis, this study illustrates through the example of one famous scientific paper how written scientific arguments can be seen to depend on this kind of work also. The study proposes that scientific arguments have a specific interactive orientation, and that technical texts can be seen to operate as a nexus of persuasion, action and belief.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-157
Number of pages26
JournalThe Sociological Review
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1984


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