The ‘Other’ side of recruitment: Methods of assistance in social interaction

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The recruitment of assistance is ubiquitous in everyday life and is central to the management of social cohesion and solidarity in social interaction. Although the concept of recruitment embraces not only the solicitation and elicitation of assistance but also its provision, because it emerged out of research on requesting, studies of recruitment have thus far focused on methods employed by Self that recruit the assistance of Other. The methods employed by Other – the diverse ways in which one person comes to help another – have yet to be fully examined. This article extends the analysis of recruitment to include methods of assistance employed by Other. Such methods attend and respond to Self's trouble, enact Other's participation in its remediation, and embody Other's recruitment into Self's course of action. The methods span from visible displays of attention and availability and methods that index or formulate Self's trouble, to those that articulate possible solutions or intervene directly into Self's course of action. It is argued that the methods of recruitment and assistance form a coherent social organization of alternative methods employed by Self and Other for the management of troubles, difficulties, and needs in the realization of practical courses of action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-82
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Early online date30 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

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© 2021 Elsevier B.V. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.


  • Conversation analysis
  • Multimodality
  • Helping behavior
  • Recruitment
  • Offering assistance
  • Giving advice

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