The discussion started by Iraj seems to require new analytic and data
gathering resources in order that they be dealt with satisfactorally
within exisiting chat approaches I know of. This impression is reinforced
by Jay and David's interesting additions to Iraj's observations.
What has me wondering is how to go beyond noticings, including, for example,
Jay's noticings of theoretical approaches such as DeCertau and Bakhtin and
his student, to empirical study of this phenomenon (these phenomena?) that
would link it to actual people, the studies of whom could begin to answer
the questions Iraj was asking. Is this an activity? What is its motive?
How is the community that engages in it organized? What is the division of
labor among people in that community?
It seems that ethnographic fieldwork would be an important next step to
take in order to constrain hypotheses and be able to falsify them, at
least in principle. At a general level of description, there appear too
few constraints on theorizing. Or am I missing the point?
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