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Framing Problems in Crisis Negotiation: Reframing in the Case of Waco
Unformatted Document Text:  Reframing in the Waco Negotiations 9 “seeming like the negotiators were at their wit’s end.” In moments that were particularly tension-filled, logs indicated that it was uncomfortable for me as a quasi-participant/observer to listen to them. Exchanges were chosen without consideration of which negotiator was speaking. The set of exchanges involved several different negotiators, and, on the Davidians’ side, involved either Koresh or Schneider. 2 The method analysis used in this paper is best described as discourse analysis that is ethnographically-informed and rhetorical in thrust. In Tracy's words, the analysis is "action- implicative" (Tracy, 1995), conducted within a meta-theoretical frame that seeks to develop grounded practical theories (Craig, 1989, 1992, 1995; Craig & Tracy, 1995). Practical theorizing involves studying important institutional scenes and events with the goal of developing ideas useful in communication practices. In adopting a rhetorical stance – assuming interaction is designed to accomplish some ends and avoid others – my discourse approach is similar to discursive psychology (Antaki & Wetherell, 1999; Edwards and Potter, 1992; Macmillan and Edwards, 1998, 1999). Yet rather than working to develop a discursive understanding of psychological processes, my goal is to understand the internal logic of this situated communicative practice (i.e., negotiations involving law enforcement agents). Similar to critical discourse analytic approaches (Fairclough & Wodak, 1997, van Dijk, 1993, 1997), action implicative discourse analysis aims to develop ideas that could help improve society. However, rather than focusing on sites in which marginalized categories of persons are oppressed or exposing how routine institutional practices enact hegemony, practical theory desires to understand interactional problems from the point of view of key institutional actors. Toward this end, a practical communication theory approach pursues three questions: (1) What are the interactional dilemmas experienced by participants? (2) What are the conversational practices

Authors: Agne, Robert.
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Reframing in the Waco Negotiations 9
“seeming like the negotiators were at their wit’s end.” In moments that were particularly
tension-filled, logs indicated that it was uncomfortable for me as a quasi-participant/observer to
listen to them. Exchanges were chosen without consideration of which negotiator was speaking.
The set of exchanges involved several different negotiators, and, on the Davidians’ side,
involved either Koresh or Schneider.
2
The method analysis used in this paper is best described as discourse analysis that is
ethnographically-informed and rhetorical in thrust. In Tracy's words, the analysis is "action-
implicative" (Tracy, 1995), conducted within a meta-theoretical frame that seeks to develop
grounded practical theories (Craig, 1989, 1992, 1995; Craig & Tracy, 1995). Practical theorizing
involves studying important institutional scenes and events with the goal of developing ideas
useful in communication practices. In adopting a rhetorical stance – assuming interaction is
designed to accomplish some ends and avoid others – my discourse approach is similar to
discursive psychology (Antaki & Wetherell, 1999; Edwards and Potter, 1992; Macmillan and
Edwards, 1998, 1999). Yet rather than working to develop a discursive understanding of
psychological processes, my goal is to understand the internal logic of this situated
communicative practice (i.e., negotiations involving law enforcement agents). Similar to critical
discourse analytic approaches (Fairclough & Wodak, 1997, van Dijk, 1993, 1997), action
implicative discourse analysis aims to develop ideas that could help improve society. However,
rather than focusing on sites in which marginalized categories of persons are oppressed or
exposing how routine institutional practices enact hegemony, practical theory desires to
understand interactional problems from the point of view of key institutional actors. Toward this
end, a practical communication theory approach pursues three questions: (1) What are the
interactional dilemmas experienced by participants? (2) What are the conversational practices


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