Sequence and Practical Reasoning in Accounts Episodes

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30 Scopus citations


When problematic events arise persons often account for their actions (i.e., offer an excuse or justification) in order to repair or modify potentially negative meanings. The main research question here is, How are accounts episodes organized as a communicative practice? Accounts episodes involve minimally a three-part sequence: problematic event—accounts—evaluation. To go beyond a sequential model, accounts may be seen as a local solution to the problematic based on persons' practical reasoning to prevent the loss of face. Naturally occurring accounts episodes collected by field notes are used in the analysis and construction of this account model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-83
Number of pages17
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Accounts
  • discourse analysis
  • episodes
  • evaluation
  • excuses
  • field notes
  • justifications
  • practical reasoning
  • problematic event
  • sequential models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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