Section Name

Research articles


After reading Spano's (1996) essay several times, I was struck by the title of the work in opposition to its substance. When I read "practical" approach in the title, I first thought that the discussion would progress (or regress) into the work of Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson (1967) and their "pragmatics," or perhaps even further back to the pragmatic philosophy of Peirce (Houser & Kloesel, 1992). However, nowhere in the paper did I find these works mentioned. As I reread the paper, I detected a vocabulary that was more reminiscent of phenomenology than pragmatism: "here-and-now," "situated communication action," "embodied persons," and "situated performance," among others. Obviously, there is nothing inherently "wrong" or "disparate" about phenomenological language, but pragmatic (praxis; practical) constructs are different.