Facilitation and orchestration of talk – University of Copenhagen

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Facilitation and orchestration of talk

Mie Femø Nielsen, Sofie Emmertsen

This project investigates the facilitation and orchestration of activities and participant contributions in social interaction such as business meetings, video conferences, workshops, news interviews and TV debates.

Facilitation and orchestration of activities and participant contributions are central to a wide variety of professional tasks carried out through social interaction. In comparison to mundane everyday talk, professional interaction consists of specialised forms of talk and social actions distinct to the overall tasks of the particular type of professional institution. One distinct characteristic of professional interaction across various settings is that one participant normatively facilitates others’ talk and actions. This project investigates and compares facilitation in recorded and transcribed talk during business meetings, video conferences, workshops, news interviews and TV debates. The aim is twofold. Firstly, the study attempts to identify what minimally defines facilitation as a social action, by studying the details of its production, i.e. its form and sequential position, as well as the epistemic and moral norms that are invoked when one participant controls the talk of others. Secondly, the analysis compares facilitation across settings to establish how different contexts of talk shape the participants’ demonstrated expectations as to how, when and by whom facilitation should be undertaken.