The sensitive nature of feedback as an interactional phenomenon
The starting point for this project is the observation that activities involving feedback or and similar social actions are delicate matters, often trigger emotional and defensive reactions. How to understand and describe particular instances of such actions – for instance, as constructive advice, complaints, or insults – is a potential point of contention for participants in interaction. Based on a unique corpus of video data of feedback from 12 different settings in higher education (approximately 500h), the project aims to develop a conceptual and empirically grounded understanding of the social organization of feedback activities. The focus of the project is how participants in interaction orient to the sensitive nature of feedback and how they deal with situations characterized by emotional reactions, resistance and defensiveness.