chapter  5
Staging Public Discussion: Mobilizing Political Community in Closing Discussion Programmes
Pages 22

Socio-political television discussions represent a long-established programme format on the Finnish media. These familiar broadcasting formats may be considered intriguing or drop-dead boring, a valuable perspective opener or biased charade but, despite individual predilections, any competent member of the culture has some sense of them. In this chapter, I explore the details of the interaction through which the cultural recognizability of the programme format is accomplished in situ. I will focus on the closings of the discussions, asking how the relevant participant identities and the oriented-to task at hand are achieved in action. The analysis of interactional practices around closings opens up a perspective on broader democratic and nationalistic processes articulated through various strategies of address and ascriptions which are oriented to the audience, or ‘us’, as a political community. The theoretical framework of the study is ethnomethodological, and analytic tools are provided by conversation analysis and membership categorization analysis. My data consists of three live multi-party discussion programmes on 9/11.