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Embodiment in Dissent: The eye-roll as an interactional practice

Clift, Rebecca (2021) 'Embodiment in Dissent: The eye-roll as an interactional practice.' Research on Language and Social Interaction, 54 (3). pp. 261-276. ISSN 0835-1813

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This paper investigates a recognisable embodied practice for displaying dissent: the ‘eye-roll’, whereby the eyes are rolled up or sideways in their sockets as a response to something said or done. On a corpus of videoed interaction, it shows that: 1. the eye-roll may be only the most salient – visible – element of a constellation of practices embodying dissent; and 2. it can be quite specific in its selection of recipients, and can be used to pursue affiliation with another party. Investigation suggests that the eye-roll is in fact a protest in response to someone going too far. As an expression of stance that may not be visible to the party whose action it targets, the eye-roll is collusive for those who witness it: in its ambivalent status lies its value as an interactional object. Data are in British and American English.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2021 10:04
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 12:22

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