Naming and negotiating relationships in call centre talk

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Globalization, Communication and the Workplace: Talking across the world, 2010, 1, pp. 88 - 105
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Much of the research interest in the discourse oj call cenlre interactions focuses on interpersonal meaning, that is on how speakers relate to each other, on positions of power and identity, and on emotions such as positive or negalive satisfaction. Much of the research to date relies on surveys oj perceptions and to a lesser extent on observational, ethnographic data while the retrospectively oriented interpretations of participants provide some insight into customer·CSR relations, they tell us little about the actual roles played by the speakers in interaction, how meanings unfold in talk to generale the potential for perceived satisfactory or unsatisfactory outcomes. The analyses underpinning this discussion focus on what speakers actually say and specifically on how speakers name and reference each other in the talk. The aim is to better understand the ways in which choices in naming junction to construct, to maintain or to shift relationships between customers and CSRs across the duration of a call. While naming practices might be culturally or institutionally proscribed to a greater or lesser extent, shifts in naming choices are also seen to result from contingent decisions to do with the management of the talk towards satisfactory outcomes.
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