Dynamics of Intersubjectivity in British Audience Participation Political Debates

  • Ying Liu

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis explores the BBC programme, Question Time, treating it as an instantiation of Audience Participation Political Debate (APPD). It examines the nature of political conversation with a focus on the relationship between the practices of overlap and intersubjectivity. This study also addresses the question of why overlap occurs frequently during the course of the conversation in Question Time and how it contributes to the construction, restoration and maintenance of intersubjectivity.

    The data consists of 16-hours of recordings of Question Time that were aired between January and June 2016. This study uses Conversation Analysis to uncover and examine the sequence organization of overlapping talk in terms of overlapping questions, overlapping statements and overlapping applause. The findings demonstrate that in this APPD context overlapping questions function to solicit the breakdown of intersubjectivity and project the next turns to do repairs. In contrast, overlapping statements and applause serve as an indication of agreement and disagreement among participants, which are found to be the sites on which intersubjectivity rests.

    The findings of this study contribute to a better understanding of APPD and how in this genre of hybrid media formats the practice of overlap functions. This media format provides an arena that allows the participants greater opportunities to defend and repair their political stances, as well as to display agreements and negotiate disagreements. In addition, the findings add new knowledge to our understanding of the architecture of intersubjectivity in APPD that intersubjectivity can be constructed via the mechanism of negotiation and restored and maintained via repair mechanism.
    Date of AwardNov 2020
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Brighton
    SupervisorKen Turner (Supervisor), Angela Pickering (Supervisor) & Chrystie Myketiak (Supervisor)

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