New PhD student: Tobias Boelt Larsen

A new PhD student started in InterDisc in September. His name is Tobias Boelt Larsen.

Last modified: 01.09.2016

A new PhD student started in InterDisc in September. His name is Tobias Boelt Larsen. He is Danish and has an Obel scholarship.


”Gør det dig ikke ked af det eller vred?”: Presuppositions in Talkshow Case-Interviews

Project description

My PhD project focuses on the moral order of asymmetries of knowledge at a micro-interactional level. I am concerned with two major issues:

1) How epistemic access, primacy and responsibility is presupposed in Danish talk show interviews so as to position the interviewee as a reliable source of knowledge. I am interested in how the participants in Danish talk shows ‘do talk show talk’. I wrote my Master's thesis on the Danish hard talk news interview host Martin Krasnik and his adversarial question design. In my PhD project I refocus on the congeniality and personal engagement displayed by Danish talk show interviewers (Loeb 2015). I strive to uncover the sequentiality of how the interviewer presupposes epistemic access so as to position ‘ordinary people’ as having epistemic primacy - and thereby presenting them as ‘experts in ordinary experiences’ and thus their single experiences as general knowledge. With my research I aim to provide insight into how journalists’ question designs, in a ethnomethodological sense, potentially contribute to shaping the world of daily affairs known in common with others and with others taken for granted (Garfinkel in Heritage 1984).

2) How epistemics can be accessed as phenomena in conversation analysis without departing from the core principles and understandings of EMCA. The study of Epistemics is an analytic discipline widely discussed among conversation analysts. John Heritage has presented an analytic approach to epistemics and proposed to index the asymmetry of relative knowledge by a gradient relation between an unknowing (K-) questioner and a knowing (K+) recipient (Sidnell and Stivers 2013). Yet recently, a critical review of the data has cast doubt as to whether Heritage’s analytic take on epistemics qualifies as true EMCA. Lynch and Wong (2016) note how Heritage’s ‘Epistemic Program’ (as they call it) can be seen as cognitivist in the way it emphasizes information exchange as an underlying extrasituational ‘driver’ in social interaction. Though, as Schegloff (1997) puts it, social actions should be demonstrably relevant to the actions of parties in the singular occasions of interaction under analysis. Hence, I aim to refine the analytic scope and find a fruitful way to observe and describe epistemics in conversation without violating EMCA’s empirical approach.