Anita Pomerantz

Professor Emerita
Ph.D., University of California

Anita PomerantazE-mail:
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Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Research Interests

Using audio and videotapes of interaction, I analyze the principles relied upon and the methods used for agreeing and disagreeing, seeking information, and negotiating responsibility for blameworthy and praiseworthy deeds. I study provider-patient roles, patients' methods for actualizing their agendas, and the work of supervising physicians in ambulatory clinics. (pdf)

Current Projects

Taking Issue (Anita Pomerantz and Robert E. Sanders)
We are engaged in a collaborative research on the processes of deliberation. While we initially thought the framework of disagreement would be suitable for our study, we found that discussants engaged in a more complex activity than simply expressing disagreements. Our data consist of a jury deliberation in the death penalty phase of a murder trial that was recorded and transcribed by ABC news for a documentary series aired in 2004.  Our paper will be presented at The 2nd Meeting of the Language and Social Interaction Working Group (LANSI) at the Teachers College, Columbia University, in September 2012.

Native/non-native interaction (Istvan Kesckes, Robert E. Sanders, and Anita Pomerantz).
It is a commonplace in studies of interactions between non-native and native speakers to regard the non-native as the main source of understanding troubles, and as dependent on the native speaker for help in remedying them.  However, we are finding, to the contrary, that in interactions where the parties simply exchange ideas on a topic, NNSs are proactive about heading off possible understanding troubles, and, when they do occur, detect and undertake to remedy them. Indeed, it seems that it is NSs that sometimes produce understanding troubles in those interactions by interfering with the NNS’s turns at speaking, possibly because they have the stereotype of NNSs as disadvanged and in need of the NS’s help.  In this study, we examine naturally occurring interactions between moderately fluent NNS and NS. 
‘Not wanting to know’ as an account (Annis Golden and Anita Pomerantz).
This project is based on a larger project funded by the NIH whose purpose is to identify effective community-based strategies for encouraging low income, African American women in a smaller urban setting to seek regular reproductive/sexual healthcare services. Drawing on interview data, we identified one prevalent account for their not seeking health screenings: “They/I don’t want to know.” We are analyzing the discourse used in articulating the account as well as the surrounding discourse as revealing interpretative repertoires of the women in the community.