Within the study of language and social interaction, the concept of 'accountability'-including related concepts, such as 'account' or 'motive,' 'accounting,' and 'being accountable'-has been of longstanding interest in terms of how interactants in both ordinary and organizational contexts manage their image or reputation, as well as how they achieve mutual understanding. However, these concepts are polysemous, with different senses being rather dramatic, such as accountability as 'moral responsibility' and accountability as 'intelligibility.' Even today this fact is not always remembered or fully recognized or appreciated by scholars, which has arguably slowed the development of these concepts. This volume brings together a collection of novel, conversation-analytic studies addressing accountability, with the goal of re-exposing its multiple senses, reiterating their interrelationships and, in doing so, breaking new conceptual ground and exposing new pathways for future research.
The collection considers central theoretical issues, including turn taking, sequence and preference organization, repair, membership categorization, action formation and ascription, social solidarity and affiliation, and the relevance of context. Chapters range contextually, canvasing interactions between friends and family members, and during talk shows, broadcast news interviews, airline reservations, and medical visits. Chapters also range culturally, including English, Japanese, and Korean data.