Accounts as a reconstruction of an event’s context

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Persons offer accounts of their actions in problematic situations to change the meaning of an event. This linguistic practice of accounting has been studied primarily for its functions—how accounts manage meanings. This line of research is extended by examining the procedures persons use to accomplish accounts. The reconfiguring of the event’s context is the key to understanding how accounts change meanings. The view of context as hierarchically organized is drawn upon to construct a model of accounts. Accounts are accomplished by the procedures of: (1) specifying contextual objects, (2) organized by the actor’s rules to warrant, (3) the reconfiguration of the hierarchical levels of context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-77
Number of pages21
JournalCommunication Monographs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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