Conversational Repair in Italian Families. A Cultural Practice of Socialization

Barbara Maroni, Francesco Arcidiacono


This work deals with conversational repair in the natural context of family dinnertime. Assuming that conversational repair is an instrument of socialization and a vehicle of new learning in the discursive exchanges between parents and children, the goal of this study is to analyze from whom and towards whom several modalities of repair are used at dinnertime interactions. Further, we explore if there are preferences for specific repair sequences among participants. We think that studying the conversational repair will allow us to also understand how participants involve themselves (and their interactans) in the processes of socialization that are constantly developed in the family frameworks. The methodology is based on videotaped recordings of 18 ltalian family dinners. We used specific categories of analysis in order to detect the phenomenon of self-repair and other-repair and we analyzed the data quantitatively and by using Conversational Analysis. The results reveal different modalities of repair, and specific patterns between parents and children. Thus, we support the idea of the conversational repair as a cultural practice of socialization. 


family dinnertime; discursive exchanges; self-repair; other-repair; parents-children relationship; conversational analysis

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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896