open access publication

Article, 2023

Would you like a bag for that?

Pragmatics and Society, ISSN 1878-9714, 1878-9722, Volume 14, 1, Pages 143-169, 10.1075/ps.20008.kri


Kristiansen, Elisabeth Dalby 0000-0001-5078-5430 (Corresponding author) [1] Rasmussen, Gitte 0000-0002-2940-0839 [1]


  1. [1] University of Southern Denmark
  2. [NORA names: SDU University of Southern Denmark; University; Denmark; Europe, EU; Nordic; OECD]


Abstract This article presents a study of participants’ practices for closing buying-selling encounters in retail shops. The study shows how the handing over of a shopping bag with the items purchased serves as a resource for organizing the closing of the encounter. Further, taking its point of departure in the growing societal awareness of the environmental impact of plastic waste, the study investigates how customers’ increasing avoidance of single-use shopping bags contributes to changing their practices for closing a buying-selling encounter, as the bags no longer provide a resource around which the closing can be organized. The article uses ethnomethodological conversation analytic (EMCA) methods to describe how customers and sales assistants create and maintain the local order of the shop and how they, through their multimodal and embodied contributions, bring societal discourses into the buying-selling encounter. The data consists of 22 shopping sequences, recorded in Danish shops in 2018.


analytes, assistance, awareness, bags, closing, contribution, conversation analytic, customers, data, discourse, encounters, environmental impact, impact, increased avoidance, items, local order, order, participating practices, plastic waste, practice, resources, retail shops, sales, sales assistants, sequence, shopping, shopping bags, societal awareness, societal discourses, study, waste


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Data Provider: Digital Science