Toward a theory of interactive conversational planning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


Conversation is, among other things, the process by which our plans for the future and our memories of the past are grounded in the reality of the present. Our goals for where we want our selves and our relationships to be in some near or distant future, no matter how fuzzy or contingent, get played out in the messages we create during our interactions. Conversation is one means, arguably the primary social means, of getting from here to there. Our past comes to bear too, as we retrieve memories of previous encounters and replay the social routines that guide us in many of our interactions with others. Understanding this blending of the pasts and fu­ tures of two people, through an interactive process that looks sometimes complex and open-ended, and other times ritualized and predictable, is what I see as the central task of message-production theories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMessage Production
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Communication Theory
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781136685873
ISBN (Print)0805823239, 9780805823233
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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