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"Speaking as a heterosexual": (How) does sexuality matter for talk-in-interaction?

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JournalResearch on Language and Social Interaction
DatePublished - 2005
Issue number3
Number of pages45
Pages (from-to)221-265
Original languageEnglish


This article focuses on the ways in which heterosexuality is routinely deployed as a taken-for-granted resource in ordinary interactions. Using the foundational data sets of conversation analysis (CA), this article analyzes the conversational practices through which cointeractants, in the course of accomplishing other activities, routinely produce themselves and each other as heterosexual. These practices include heterosexual topic talk and person reference terms: husband and wife; in-law terminology; identification of the other with reference to their spouse; the production of heterosexual "couples"; and the use of locally initial proterms. Finally, this article discusses the implications both for CA and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies of the ways in which a normative taken-for-granted heterosexual world is produced and reproduced in everyday talk-in-interaction and suggests that the research reported here further opens up the analytic possibilities of CA for studying culture, understood as constructed through and by particular practices for managing interaction.

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