- ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
This article examines several conversational practices by which people show empathy with others' experiences of extremely distressing, life-changing events. We recorded and analyzed volunteers' handling of evacuees' experiences of the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami and the related Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. The article demonstrates three different practices in how the volunteers reacted: formulating the troubles-teller's experience as uniquely owned, differentiating the troubles-teller's experiences from others', and invoking the volunteer's similar experiences as a basis for empathy. By orienting themselves toward the issue of who owns an experience, and which categories they can identify with, recipients do more than simply agreethey also affiliate with the speaker's stance and show their understanding of the nature of the speaker's experiences. Data are in Japanese with English translation.
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