Relational work and identity negotiation in critical post observation teacher feedback
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Donaghue, H. (2018) 'Relational work and identity negotiation in critical post observation teacher feedback', Journal of Pragmatics, 135, pp. 101-116.
This article responds to the call for more empirical research to further our understanding of how identities are produced and performed in discourse. Data extracts from dyadic post observation feedback meetings between an experienced teacher and two supervisors are analysed. Analysis focuses on the relational work participants do to achieve identities in interaction. Analysis reveals delicate and complex negotiation processes as participants claim, ascribe, challenge, and relinquish local identities. Analysis shows that identities are emergent, relational and co-constructed, and that (im)politeness is an interactional resource used to construct identities. This article extends previous research by comparing interactants' relational work. Analysis of data extracts from two different meetings in which a supervisor points out the same teaching problem (poor instructions) with the same teacher enables a comparison of how identities are achieved. One supervisor uses politeness strategies while the other adopts aggressive and critical behaviour to claim and ascribe the same identities. In both instances the teacher resists but then co-constructs his negative ascribed identity. Within a linguistic ethnographic framework, micro analysis of feedback talk is supplemented with ethnographic interview data to enable a contextualised examination. Ethnographic data reveal the influence of institutional goals on local identity construction and relational work.