CfP: Accepted Panel – IPrA (International Pragmatics Association) 2017 (16-21 July, Belfast) -Discourse, interaction, new families and contemporary kinship processes


Discourse, interaction, new families and contemporary kinship processes


David Poveda, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid –
Lyn Wright Fogle, The University of Memphis –

This panel explores the contributions that sociocultural linguistic approaches can make to current socio-anthropological research on emergent family forms and contemporary kinship processes. Various social disciplines (Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Family Studies, Human Development, etc.) have witnessed a resurging interest in definitional issues around kinship and the social construction of family life (e.g. Golombok, 2015; Rivas, 2009). New family forms facilitated by changes in legislation, new reproductive technologies or transnational flows in industrialized contexts entail new linguistic practices in the family sphere. Additionally, family members (i.e. participants) and researchers, in describing key issues in relation to emergent family forms, recurrently appeal to problems such as «naming» new families, «communicating» or «narrating» family origins, «communicating» and «sharing» with other families, «interacting» with children; thus foregrounding processes in which discursive and/or linguistic dynamics play a central role (Fogle, 2012; Poveda, Jociles & Rivas, 2014).

With the scenario of changing kinships in post-industrialized society as a backdrop, this panel addresses two main gaps in the research literature. On one hand, discursive/linguistic/interactional research — defined very broadly and including traditions such as interactional sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, linguistic ethnography, linguistic anthropology, etc. — does not seem to have incorporated into its current research agenda new and emergent family dynamics (Fogle & King, forthcoming; Frekko, Leinaweaver & Marre, 2015). On the other hand, social research focused on these emergent family dynamics, often conducted using research procedures such as participant observation, interviews, document analysis, etc; does not seem to have incorporated the potentialities found in the analytical apparatus of the above discursive approaches to answer key research problems (cf. Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2015). Consequently, this panel will explore and realize the interconnections between discourse-oriented research and the study of new families and kinship processes. Papers in the panel will showcase either/both: (a) linguistic/discursive research focused on new family dynamics (i.e. language socialization studies conducted in new family settings, the analysis of «naturally occurring interaction» -oral and digital- within new families or institutional/professional/peer settings central to new families, among other possibilities) or (b) the affordances in the linguistic/discursive analytical apparatus to unpack data drawn from interviews, documentary sources, digital media, etc. In short, the goal of the panel is to open an important and relevant dialogue in the study of contemporary kinship processes and underscore the particular and necessary contribution linguistic/discursive research can make to these debates.


If you would like to submit a paper to this panel please send to David Poveda ( or Lyn Wright Fogle ( a 250-500 word abstract of your presentation before September 10th 2016. This will allow us to plan early the organization of the panel. All invited authors will have to later submit their abstracts individually via the IPrA Conference website, follow the submission instructions before the 15th October 2016 deadline: IPrA Conference

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