Hearing Talk: Accomplishing answers and generating facts
Perspectives on Social Problems, JAI Press
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Congressional hearing interaction is routinely treated (by members of the culture as well as social scientists) as either a reflection of the personal characteristics of the participants, or a stage on which social forces do battle over the heads of actors. Likewise, answers are treated as the solitary production of witnesses, via an 'interview orthodoxy,' (Button 1978). Yet answers in a hearing are interactionally generated. This analysis reveals two 'questioners' methods' which shape witnesses' answers and also sustain the interview orthodoxy. These methods are explicated, and argued to be partially constitutive of the Congressional hearing as a social setting.
congressional hearings, interviews, questions, answers, interrogation