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Conversational Realities Constructing Life through Language by John Shotter

Conversational Realities Constructing Life through Language

Part of the Inquiries in Social Construction Series Series


Conversational Realities Constructing Life through Language by John Shotter

This imaginative and original book challenges the traditional scientific view that naturally occurring psychological and sociological `realities' are to be discovered underlying appearances. Instead, it claims that such orderly realities are both socially constructed and sustained within the context of people's disorderly, everyday conversational activities. John Shotter's interdisciplinary analysis highlights the socially contested but imaginary nature of many of the `things' we talk about in social life and illuminates the processes of their construction. He offers a broad-ranging exploration of the rhetorical, argumentative nature of conversational communication, using examples from psychotherapy, management and everyday life.


`I like this book, will recommend it to colleagues and students, and expect it to become a staple citation in articles and books I publish... Sometimes books an academic reads enable a person to make connections among previously disconnected pieces of experience, recurring preferences and passions, and particular life decisions. Reading Conversational Realities accomplished this for me... it is theoretically rich, philosophically thoughtful and experientially evocative' - Human Studies

`[An] immensely thoughtful, informative and persuasive treatment of the rhetorical-responsive version of social constructionism via an eclectic blend of, principally, European and American linguistics, philosophy and social psychology... Shotter's book is most important for continuing the work begun by Billig and others bringing recognition via recollection to the rhetorical corpus. He claims to target his recovery of these materials toward psychologists; readers in related disciplines will certainly also benefit' - Discourse & Society

`This book is fascinating... It is important for several reasons. First, it provides an overview of an approach to the social sciences known as social constructionism... Second, Shotter maintains that the fundamental human reality is persons in conversations... Third, Shotter is concerned with practical implications, not just theoretical conceptions' - Studies in Second Language Acquisition

About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

9th December 1993


John Shotter

More books by John Shotter
Author 'Like for Like'


SAGE Publications Ltd


208 pages





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