The Use of If/ Then Constructions in the Achievement of Information Provision and Client Empowerment
Social sciences (General)
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AbstractThis paper outlines an interactional device utilised by call takers to achieve the organisational goals of information provision and client empowerment on a mental health information line. Following problem presentations or requests for advice by callers, call takers were found at times to utilise a conditional ‘if / then’ format for proffering a course of action to callers (e.g. “If you wanted those treatments, then I guess it’s going to your G.P.”). Callers can then align (or not) with the course of action, and as such are seen to make a decision on their own future actions. Using this ‘if / then’ construction thus allows the call takers to achieve their organisational remits of information provision and empowerment, while also managing an organisational restriction on giving advice. As such, these ‘if / then’ constructions may be seen as an interactional device through which this particular organisation is constructed in discourse.