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Abstract

This study employs conversation analysis as a method for examining conversational footing in order to achieve mediator neutrality in a court-sanctioned mediation program. Data for the study are video recordings of actual mediation sessions. Participants include volunteer mediators and disputants who filed small claims cases at a county justice court. As first described by Goffman, conversational footing describes the various degrees of participation that interactants can have in relation to their own remarks.