Calling for Help : Language and social interaction in telephone helplines.

Baker, Carolyn.
Philadelphia : John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2005.
1 online resource (372 pages)

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Other records:
Social interaction.
Helplines -- Social aspects.
Telephone -- Social aspects.
Telephone calls.
Interpersonal communication.
Electronic books.
Telephone helplines have become one of the most pervasive sites of expert-lay interaction in modern societies throughout the world. Yet surprisingly little is known of the in situ, language-based processes of help-seeking and help-giving behavior that occurs within them. This collection of original studies by both internationally renowned and emerging scholars seeks to improve upon this state of affairs. It does so by offering some of the first systematic investigations of naturally-occurring spoken interaction in telephone helplines. Using the methods of Conversation Analysis, each of the contributors offers a detailed investigation into the skills and competencies that callers and call-takers routinely draw upon when engaging one another within a range of helplines. Helplines in the US, the UK, Australia, Scandinavia, The Netherlands, and Ireland, dealing with the provision of healthcare, emotional support and counselling, technical assistance and consumer rights, tourism and finance, make up the studies in the volume. Collectively and individually, the research provides fascinating insight into an under-researched area of modern living and demonstrates the relevance and potential of helplines for the growing field of institutional interaction. This book will be of interest to students of communication, applied linguistics, discourse and conversation, sociology, counselling, technology and work, social psychology and anthropology.
Calling for Help
Editorial page
Title page
LCC data
Table of contents
Notes on contributors
Calling for help
1. Overview
2. Helplines: Some background
3. Seeking and providing help
4. The popularity of helplines and some interactional implications
Low cost
Anonymous expert
The conversationally-engaged call-taker
5. The studies
Part I: Technical assistance
Part II: Emotional support
Part III: Healthcare provision
Part IV: Consumer assistance
Part V: Aspects of call management
I. Technical assistance
Calibrating for competence in calls to technical support
1. Introduction
2. Accounting for the call
3. Calibrating for competence
Technical competence
Social-interactional competence
The caller's first description of their computer/software competence
CT calibrations as orientation to the heard `competence' of the caller
4. The contingent use of a pedagogical format
5. Conclusion
Collaborative problem description in help desk calls
1. Introduction
2. Overall organization of the calls
Ticket announcement
3. The collaborative construction of the computer-aided ticket
CTs production of incomplete and-prefaced statements as questions
Caller's orientation to the information to be recorded by CT
CTs working aloud while typing
4. Reading back the problem description
Problem description - acceptance/non-acceptance
5. Conclusion
The metaphoric use of space in expert-lay interaction about computing systems
1. Introduction
2. Spatial scalability in concepts
3. Conceptual models and interactional structure
4. Interactional strategy at the beginning of a helpdesk call
5. Conclusion
II. Emotional support
The mitigation of advice
1. Introduction
2. The practice of giving advice
3. Dilemmas of advice-giving on consumer-run warm lines
4. Methodology: Procedures for data collection and analysis
5. Encouraging clients to adopt a solution
Client tells of an urgent problem
Client implicitly seeks a solution
6. Discussion
Four observations on openings in calls to Kids Help Line
1. Introduction
2. Kids Help Line
Observation 1
Observation 2
Observation 3
2.1. Observation 4
3. Conclusion
'I just want to hear somebody right now'
1. Introduction
2. Analytic material and context
3. Analysis
Seeking help? (segment 1)
A competent participant
Needs and identities
What is your star sign? (segment 2)
I can't hear you, now what did you say?
Aha aha: Outlining the client (segment 3)
Having a very sensitive side (from Cancer probably)
Psychological peeling
4. Conclusion
Original Dutch extract
III. Healthcare provision
Callers' presentations of problems in telephone calls to Swedish primary care
1. Introduction
1.1. The focus of this study
1.2. The database
1.3. Working on the telephone and computer
2. Callers' presentations of problems
2.1. Requests to see a doctor
2.2. Questions
2.3. Narratives
3. Discussion
Constructing and negotiating advice in calls to a poison information center
1. Introduction
2. The first advice sequence
3. Caller's response and its consequences
4. Conclusion
IV. Consumer assistance
Opportunities for negotiation at the interface of phone calls and service-counter interaction
1. Introduction
2. Aims of the study
3. The data.
4. Background to the study: Stages of `Troubles-Telling'
5. Data analysis: Example 1
Stage 1: Customer as `troubles-teller'
Stage 2: Customer as `troubles-recipient'
6. Data analysis: Example 2
Stage 1: Customer as `troubles-teller'
Stage 2: Customer as `troubles-recipient'
7. Data analysis: Example 3
8. Summary and conclusion
Appendix: Transcription notation
Institutionality at issue
1. Introduction: when institutionality is at issue
2. Language games in Wittgenstein and Garfinkel
3. Big and little language games in call 01
Language games in a Consumer Complaint narrative
Insertion sequence
4. Big game, play one
The Sale of Goods Act and the ``short length of time''
5. Replaying the big game
6. The footing shift in the replay
Caller's new ending - Preface
7. Institutionality at issue in a little game
Institutionality at issue in caller's new ending - First
Institutionality at issue (ii) in caller's new ending - Then
Caller's new ending - Response
8. Institutionality at issue in the big game - helper's new ending story
Helper's new ending - Then
Call closing as caller's story response
Call completion in two game plays
9. Conclusion
Sacks' agent/client game
One game or many?
V. Aspects of call management
Some initial reflections on conversational structures for instruction giving
1. Introduction
2. Instruction giving and instructional sequences
3. A system for the transfer of instructions
Requesting the telephone number: The basic instructional chain
Departures from the typical structure
Further instructions
4. Ambiguity and repair
End repairs
Formulating instructional courses
5. Conclusion
Appendix CN2:4-00
Working a call
1. Introduction.
2. Central County Dispatch
3. Interactional scaffolding
4. Mutual monitoring
5. Transitions between work and not-work activities
Methods for disengaging talk
Re-engagement displays and fitting
Disengagement displays and fitting
6. "Speeding cars and a loud party'' redux
7. Conclusion
Name index
Subject index
The Pragmatics &
Beyond New Series.
Description based on publisher supplied metadata and other sources.
Local notes:
Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, Michigan : ProQuest Ebook Central, 2021. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest Ebook Central affiliated libraries.
Emmison, Michael.
Firth, Alan.
Other format:
Print version: Baker, Carolyn Calling for Help