Rapport-building in extreme environments: the case of astronauts in space and support crew on the ground

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Abstract

This paper explores the ways in which conversation partners demonstrate and develop familiarity and rapport with each other from a distance when one partner, an astronaut, works in the isolated, confined, and extreme environment of a spacecraft. Employing methodologies of pragmatics and pragmatic act theory, I explore radio communication between astronauts on missions in space and support crews on the ground. The audio-recorded conversations took place between mission control centers on earth and astronauts on board the International Space Station. Findings reveal that rapport-building in space-to-ground communication occurs through a range of strategies, including stylistic playfulness, recognition of familiarity between speakers, reassurance, and self-deprecating humor. What distinguishes this exploration from existing research is its focus on the coexistence and intertwining of rapport-building with task-oriented communication in the extreme environment of human space flight.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftText and Talk - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies
ISSN1860-7330
StatusAfsendt - 24 okt. 2023

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