“Service Encounters” project is modeled on Bailey’s research presented in his paper, “Communication of Respect in Interethnic Service Encounters,” (Chapter 46, Blum

reader). Re-read the Bailey’s paper before starting the project.

The paper is due on October 31st, in class. Maximum credit available is 60 points toward your final grade. In order to be graded, the paper needs to be edited for

clarity and grammatical and typographic errors. Plan on consulting the Writing Center to get five bonus points !!! Even best writing can be improved. Set up an

appointment to work individually with a tutor at the North or South Student Learning Center

The project involves following steps:
(1)    Conducting careful observation of “service encounter” type of interactions in a real world setting

Select a setting such as convenience store, cafeteria or Starbucks, open to the public. Select time when there is not much traffic there so that people are not too

Observe and describe in your notes four interactions between the attendant and customer. At least three of the conversations should involve either the customer or the

service person introducing a topic not directly related to the business transaction at hand, such as in these hypothetical exchanges:

1.    Attendant: Will that be it?
2.    Customer:  Yeah. I haven’t seen you for a while?
3.    Attendant: Would you like any cash back?
4.    Customer: Nope.
5.    Attendant: Thanks for shopping at Walgreens

1.    Attendant: Will that be it?
2.    Customer:  Yeah. I haven’t seen you for a while?
3.    Attendant: I know, I went to see my boyfriend in Hawaii
4.    Customer: That’s great. Good to have you back, though
5.    Attendant: I’m glad to be back, too. Would you like any cash back?
6.    Customer: Nope.
7.    Attendant: Thanks for shopping at Walgreens

(2)    Take detailed notes of your observation.
Like in Bailey’s research, your most important data will be your conversation data. Write down in as much detail as you can the exact words that people use in talking

to each other. Also, describe people participating in the conversation (age, gender, anything else you notice)

(3)    Conduct Conversation Analysis
Your analysis will address conversational uptakes on topics not directly related to the business transaction and introduced in the service encounter interactions data

from your research.

Uptake: a follow up on the topic introduced by another person. An uptake is a conversational tool that helps to create conversation as a collaborative project. In

doing so, it mainly serves a phatic communicative function; that is, the maintenance of social relationship between people who participate in communicative event.

To illustrate: in the EXAMPLE I above, the attendant did not offer an uptake on the customer’s inquiry, “I haven’t seen you for a while?” in line 2. In contrast, in

the EXAMPLE II, the attendant did offer an uptake in line 3, by saying “I know, I went to see my boyfriend in Hawaii,” followed by the customer’s uptake, “That’s

great. Good to have you back, though” (line 4) and further, by the attendant’s next uptake, “I’m glad to be back, too.”

In the analysis of your conversational data, identify statements that invite an uptake and assess whether an uptake has taken place.

(4)    write a paper about 3 pages long (12-­point font, double-­spaced) in which you will:
a)    describe where and when you conducted your observation
b)    describe three or four service encounters, following the format of the examples above. Include your notes on the conversations and describe persons who

participated in the interaction (age, gender, appearance, etc.)
c)    present your analysis of your conversational data in which you will identify:
(i) utterances (statements, questions, etc.) that invite an uptake and
(ii) either the presence or an absence of uptake.
d)    based on Bailey’s work, suggest some of the possible reasons for a person not to offer an uptake.


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