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Independent Research Project

Independent Research Project

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SCO250
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Everyday InteractionIndependent Research ProjectAyla Black Student Number: 3823830 Pg. 1
Independent Research Project
Linguistic occurrences form the basis of interaction every day and form a strand of researchwithin microsociology. Analysis of these occurrences, through the lenses of severalmicrosociological theories, can provide insight into the production of meaning on a dailybasis, specifically with relation to naturally occurring interaction. This naturally occurringdata can be subjected to scrupulous analysis, proving to be valuable to sociologists andlinguists (Schegloff, 1987, p.111-112). This research project will critically analyse a selectedpiece of naturally occurring data and subject it to an interpretative examination of themicrosociological theories at work in the interactional exchange.
 
SCO250
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Everyday InteractionIndependent Research ProjectAyla Black Student Number: 3823830 Pg. 2
The data selected for analysis is a short comedic sketch carried out by Australian comedicduo Hamish Blake and Andy Lee
, known professionally as ‘Hamish and Andy’
. The sketchoriginally featured as a part of their 2012 television program
Hamish and Andy’s Euro Gap
Year 
. Specifically, this piece of naturally occurring data is pre-planned situational comedy.
Identifying this piece of data as ‘pre
-
planned’ appears to
oppose the claim that the data isnaturally occurring; the assumption being that naturally occurring data cannot be pre-planned, and that the two are thus mutually exclusive. There are however significantgrounds to argue that this assumption is incorrect and that naturally occurring data can bepre-planned. In fact, there is significant evidence to suggest that pre-planned interactioncontinually saturates all human interaction; it has been argued that the human braincontinually anticipates the turns of all interaction, effectively impl
ying “that our subjectivefeeling of present is actually an integration that also includes past and future information”,
which suggests pre-planning is unconsciously carried out in all interaction (Bar, 2007, p.288).At first glance, the nature of the sketch may lead to it being interpreted as unnaturallyoccurring data, due to its constructed and scripted appearance; this is accurate, to an extent.The situation itself 
is
constructed, as is the environment. As the sketch is used as a segmenton a television program the concept for it has obviously been developed in advance. Thesketch
features Hamish and Andy carrying out an “interrogation of *Australia’s+ best athletes”
prior to the 2012 London Olympic Games. The stated objective of the mock interrogation is
“official questioning … designed to ensure Australia that they *the athlete’s+ are ready forthe *Olympic+ Games” (
Blake and Lee, 2012, 0:06). The actual situation has been designed,the interrogation has been prearranged, all participants are aware of their impending
 
SCO250
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Everyday InteractionIndependent Research ProjectAyla Black Student Number: 3823830 Pg. 3
involvement in the interrogation, as well as being aware of the presupposed comedic natureand mock value of the interrogation. The environment is also quite clearly constructed;careful preparation has gone into the construction of the setting, fulfilling the image of thestereotypical interrogation room (most viewers will be familiar with this image courtesy of the multitude of crime dramas available on television - more on this later) (Leo, 1996, p.269). The interrogation has been designed, from the nature of the questioning right down tothe
aesthetic construction of the environment and the participants’ apparel.
 However, while the situation and environment is constructed, the dialogue, despite beingloosely scripted, is improvised and flows freely. Similar to that of an interview or an actualinterrogation, the predetermined line of questioning is designed to anticipate certainresponses, though actual responses cannot be completely predetermined and are left opento chance, the interrogators then adjust their questioning accordingly as differentpossibilities come to light and the script becomes merely a guideline (See Leo, 1996 and Bar,2007, p.280). Hence, this data
is
naturally occurring.The nature of the program dictates the primary purpose of the sketch, which is to provideamusement for the intended audience. This is done so through the deployment of humour.
Humorous statements, which form the basic structure of this interactional exchange, “must
be decoded and comprehended in the context of rules of language, rules of conversation,
the speaker's intentions, and other dimensions of the social situation” (Long and Graesser,
1988, p.36). It is in the consideration of the content and context of this clip that it becomesapparent that the sketch is designed to entertain and amuse an Australian audience.Through a chronological consideration of the conversation, this project will explore the

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