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Framing Problems in Crisis Negotiation: Reframing in the Case of Waco
Unformatted Document Text:  Reframing in the Waco Negotiations 33 Endnotes 1 It should be noted that Goffman (1974) is careful to explain that frames are not cognitively generated. “Organizational premises are involved, and these are something cognition somehow arrives at, not something cognition creates or generates. Given their understanding of what it is that is going on, individuals fit their actions to this understanding and ordinarily find that the ongoing world supports this fitting” (p. 247). Along with Goffman’s notion of the concept, Tannen (1993) discusses frames, as well as the related concepts of scripts and schemata, from linguistic, anthropological, social psychological, cognitive psychological, and artificial intelligence perspectives. 2 Transcripts accompanied tapes of the Waco negotiations from the FBI’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Section. Very little vocal detail was included in the transcripts. After excerpts were chosen for this study, they were re-transcribed to include significantly more detail. I used a modified version of conversation analysis’s Jeffersonian system (Atkinson & Heritage, 1984; Psathas, 1995). Utterances between intervals are not timed. However, microintervals are designated by a period within parentheses. Voice intonation is attended to only in terms of periods indicating a stopping fall in tone and question marks indicating a rising intonation. Underscoring indicates emphasis, and capital letters indicates a noticeably higher volume. Overlapping speech is also transcribed using left-hand brackets. For purposes of readability, the transcription will show that the first line of every uttereance is capitalized. “God,” “Bible,” and “Christian,” when treated as proper nouns, are also capitalized. 3 An inter-discursive approach would also be appropriate for this analysis, but it goes beyond the scope of this study. Theoretical and methodological frameworks would require shifting to include attention to a literature set involving discourse types and genres, and the Davidians and FBI negotiations would need to be described as members of different discourse communities. 4 It says in Genesis 1 that God created the world in six days. After Adam and Eve ate the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, God began the re-creation the world. The Davidians believed that in this time of recreation, a day to God was equal to a thousand years. Re-creation would also take six days, but from our point of view, six thousand years. 5 In some cases, as when assessment is a self-deprecation, disagreements are preferred and should be likewise stated explicitly and without hesitation. Talking about on’s troubles has also been shown to carry with it some preferred disagreement (Bayrataroglu, 1992). 6 David, who eventually became the famous King David, in the Bible, was the author of the Psalms. 7 “Try” in “I am trying” could be considered what Sacks (1992a) called a “pro-verb.” Pro-verbs work in a similar manner as pronouns. “Pro-terms” such as pronouns and pro-verbs are words that do the same work as the words that they replace. Variations on “do” are examples of pro-verbs. “Mary baked a cake and so did Jane” illustrates “did” as a pro-verb for “baked a cake.” Proposing that “say” is also a pro-verb, Sacks explained that a question needs to be asked about what class of things the pro-verb serves. He points to Austin’s (1962) notion of performatives (e.g., “I offer,” “I bet,” “I assume,” “I promise”) as the class of things that “say” serves. “So it’s when we get the character of ‘say’ and what we could call the ‘generic performative,’ or a ‘pro-term for performatives,’ that we find that the initial pronoun, or initial affiliation, becomes quite relevant” (p. 344). An example Sacks gives is of someone giving permission to someone else. Kids may ask their parents, “can we watch television?” and the parents may respond, “yes.” If the parents come back ten minutes later and say, “turn the television off,” the kids may respond, “but you said!” “You said” does not simply report a quote; it also invokes a commitment of the parents. In the same spirit, “try” could serve as a pro-verb for that class of things that are directive speech acts (Searle, 1969) (“Open the door,” “tell me what you are trying to do,” “Will you take me to the library?”). it refers not only to the action at issue, but also commits oneself to an effort that the request/order/command/suggestion/etc. invokes. When Garcia says, “please tell me what you are going to do,” Koresh’s response, “I am trying” commits himself to the directive “tell me …”

Authors: Agne, Robert.
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Reframing in the Waco Negotiations 33
Endnotes
1
It should be noted that Goffman (1974) is careful to explain that frames are not cognitively generated.
“Organizational premises are involved, and these are something cognition somehow arrives at, not something
cognition creates or generates. Given their understanding of what it is that is going on, individuals fit their actions
to this understanding and ordinarily find that the ongoing world supports this fitting” (p. 247). Along with
Goffman’s notion of the concept, Tannen (1993) discusses frames, as well as the related concepts of scripts and
schemata, from linguistic, anthropological, social psychological, cognitive psychological, and artificial intelligence
perspectives.
2
Transcripts accompanied tapes of the Waco negotiations from the FBI’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Act
Section. Very little vocal detail was included in the transcripts. After excerpts were chosen for this study, they were
re-transcribed to include significantly more detail.
I used a modified version of conversation analysis’s Jeffersonian system (Atkinson & Heritage, 1984;
Psathas, 1995). Utterances between intervals are not timed. However, microintervals are designated by a period within
parentheses. Voice intonation is attended to only in terms of periods indicating a stopping fall in tone and question
marks indicating a rising intonation. Underscoring indicates emphasis, and capital letters indicates a noticeably higher
volume. Overlapping speech is also transcribed using left-hand brackets.
For purposes of readability, the transcription will show that the first line of every uttereance is capitalized.
“God,” “Bible,” and “Christian,” when treated as proper nouns, are also capitalized.
3
An inter-discursive approach would also be appropriate for this analysis, but it goes beyond the scope of this study.
Theoretical and methodological frameworks would require shifting to include attention to a literature set involving
discourse types and genres, and the Davidians and FBI negotiations would need to be described as members of
different discourse communities.
4
It says in Genesis 1 that God created the world in six days. After Adam and Eve ate the fruit of knowledge of good
and evil, God began the re-creation the world. The Davidians believed that in this time of recreation, a day to God
was equal to a thousand years. Re-creation would also take six days, but from our point of view, six thousand years.
5
In some cases, as when assessment is a self-deprecation, disagreements are preferred and should be likewise stated
explicitly and without hesitation. Talking about on’s troubles has also been shown to carry with it some preferred
disagreement (Bayrataroglu, 1992).
6
David, who eventually became the famous King David, in the Bible, was the author of the Psalms.
7
“Try” in “I am trying” could be considered what Sacks (1992a) called a “pro-verb.” Pro-verbs work in a similar
manner as pronouns. “Pro-terms” such as pronouns and pro-verbs are words that do the same work as the words that
they replace. Variations on “do” are examples of pro-verbs. “Mary baked a cake and so did Jane” illustrates “did”
as a pro-verb for “baked a cake.” Proposing that “say” is also a pro-verb, Sacks explained that a question needs to
be asked about what class of things the pro-verb serves. He points to Austin’s (1962) notion of performatives (e.g.,
“I offer,” “I bet,” “I assume,” “I promise”) as the class of things that “say” serves. “So it’s when we get the
character of ‘say’ and what we could call the ‘generic performative,’ or a ‘pro-term for performatives,’ that we find
that the initial pronoun, or initial affiliation, becomes quite relevant” (p. 344). An example Sacks gives is of
someone giving permission to someone else. Kids may ask their parents, “can we watch television?” and the parents
may respond, “yes.” If the parents come back ten minutes later and say, “turn the television off,” the kids may
respond, “but you said!” “You said” does not simply report a quote; it also invokes a commitment of the parents.
In the same spirit, “try” could serve as a pro-verb for that class of things that are directive speech acts
(Searle, 1969) (“Open the door,” “tell me what you are trying to do,” “Will you take me to the library?”). it refers
not only to the action at issue, but also commits oneself to an effort that the request/order/command/suggestion/etc.
invokes. When Garcia says, “please tell me what you are going to do,” Koresh’s response, “I am trying” commits
himself to the directive “tell me …”


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