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WINTER 2010, 40:1, pages 1-22

On “Getting It”: Resistance, Temporality, and the “Ethical Shifting” of Discursive Interaction 

Abstract: An interactionist theory of discourse offers an explanation of why sometimes—not because they do not understand the language, not because they are unintelligent, and not because they are morally deficient—our interlocutors simply do not “get it,” and no amount of argument will help. Discourse succeeds only when interlocutors allow the resistance to their cognitive expectations they encounter to guide their revisions of signs' meanings by shifting their apperception between and within fields of ethical relationships. These shifts enable interlocutors to account for the temporal orders of events structured by the ethical fields within which their discursive partners act, enabling them to adjust their own discursive actions accordingly.

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