Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

L’expertise médicale comme discours public: le débat sur la procréation médicalement assistée

Bovet, Alain

In: Bulletin VALS-ASLA, 2001, vol. 74, p. 129-148

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    This paper proposes an ethnomethodological analysis of medical experts’ interventions in a radio debate. As talk-in-interaction, these data could be accounted for by sequential analysis. But this kind of analysis might miss the fact that the debate is organised about a controversial public issue (medically assisted procreation), and in the prospect of a political event (a national referendum). The purpose of this paper is to show that these dimensions are practically oriented to by the participants in the conduct of the debate. The notion of «action device» will be used to describe the categorisation practices through which the issue and the political context of the debate, as well as the radio interaction itself, are accounted for. The analyst’s task is to empirically describe how the sequential ordering of talk is oriented to these «action devices». This approach suggests a possible contribution of interaction analysis to a sociological understanding of public debates.