Bringing Conversations to an End—Examples from German Job Centers

Daniela Böhringer


The aim of this paper is to analyze endings of conversations between agents and clients in German job centers, as an example of institutional talk. It is based on audio-recordings of 52 naturally occurring encounters in various job centers.  Data are examined using conversation analysis. Encounters between agents and clients in German job centers are conversations-in-a-series. They are integrated in a flow of institutional talk over time. To establish conversations-in-a-series participants may use arrangement sequences at the end of their encounter. In this paper different kinds of realization of arrangements are examined. Arrangements may be understood as a way of indicating social relationship over time. This is relevant for social services in general because it can be shown that relations are displayed and stabilized over time on a very detailed level of interaction.



social services; conversation analysis; closing of conversation


Copyright (c) 2011 Daniela Böhringer

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