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[Xmca-l] Re: CHAT Discourse

In writing my response to Mike's invitation to post brief summaries etc, I realized something that may explain why there is a question about the usefulness of CHAT in doing empirical work (I'm not saying just research, but work - intentionally).  That is that in order to engage with non-academics using CHAT, you have to be able to explain to them why you're doing what you're doing. You can't make the fine distinctions that typify conversations on XMCA. This may sound like simplification with resulting loss of meaning, but I don't think that actually is what happens. Instead, the practice into which you pull people brings out the meaning.  But  while that's going on, you have to be able to explain what's going on in plain English (or whatever language you're working in). 

I'm not talking about students. if you're teaching CHAT to students, of course you can use the terminology that has become the standard for CHAT. That's part of what you're teaching. They're expected to be able to use it themselves and join the discussion (cocktail party?).  I'm talking about adults with whom one is working on a project., who didn't sign up for having to learn a lot of strange-sounding vocabulary. Getting them on board with the project requires letting them in on the theoretical framework that you are operating with, right? So they don't feel blindsided, and so they can have some control over what's happening. And in order to do that, you've got to minimize the terms of art that require too much background. 

Helena Worthen

On Sep 15, 2014, at 9:15 AM, mike cole wrote:

> Lastly, perhaps it would be helpful if those of us who believe that
> empirical work guided by CHAT ideas of some value has been produced in,
> say, the past two decades, would post brief summiaries of that work with
> references.
> Maybe its just all verbal sound and fury, signifying the usual!
> mike