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The Handbook of Conversation Analysis

Jack Sidnell (Editor), Tanya Stivers (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-3208-7
844 pages
November 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
The Handbook of Conversation Analysis (1444332082) cover image


Presenting a comprehensive, state-of-the-art overview of theoretical and descriptive research in the field, The Handbook of Conversation Analysis brings together contributions by leading international experts to provide an invaluable information resource and reference for scholars of social interaction across the areas of conversation analysis, discourse analysis, linguistic anthropology, interpersonal communication, discursive psychology and sociolinguistics.
  • Ideal as an introduction to the field for upper level undergraduates and as an in-depth review of the latest developments for graduate level students and established scholars
  • Five sections outline the history and theory, methods, fundamental concepts, and core contexts in the study of conversation, as well as topics central to conversation analysis
  • Written by international conversation analysis experts, the book covers a wide range of topics and disciplines, from reviewing underlying structures of conversation, to describing conversation analysis' relationship to anthropology, communication, linguistics, psychology, and sociology
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors viii

Acknowledgments xvi

1 Introduction 1

Tanya Stivers and Jack Sidnell

Part I Studying Social Interaction from a CA Perspective 9

2 Everyone and No One to Turn to: Intellectual Roots and Contexts for Conversation Analysis 11

Douglas W. Maynard

3 The Conversation Analytic Approach to Data Collection 32

Lorenza Mondada

4 The Conversation Analytic Approach to Transcription 57

Alexa Hepburn and Galina B. Bolden

5 Basic Conversation Analytic Methods 77

Jack Sidnell

Part II Fundamental Structures of Conversation 101

6 Action Formation and Ascription 103

Stephen C. Levinson

7 Turn Design 131

Paul Drew

8 Turn-Constructional Units and the Transition-Relevance Place 150

Steven E. Clayman

9 Turn Allocation and Turn Sharing 167

Makoto Hayashi

10 Sequence Organization 191

Tanya Stivers

11 Preference 210

Anita Pomerantz and John Heritage

12 Repair 229

Celia Kitzinger

13 Overall Structural Organization 257

Jeffrey D. Robinson

Part III Key Topics in CA 281

14 Embodied Action and Organizational Activity 283

Christian Heath and Paul Luff

15 Gaze in Conversation 308

Federico Rossano

16 Emotion, Affect and Conversation 330

Johanna Ruusuvuori

17 Affiliation in Conversation 350

Anna Lindström and Marja-Leena Sorjonen

18 Epistemics in Conversation 370

John Heritage

19 Question Design in Conversation 395

Kaoru Hayano

20 Response Design in Conversation 415

Seung-Hee Lee

21 Reference in Conversation 433

N. J. Enfield

22 Phonetics and Prosody in Conversation 455

Gareth Walker

23 Grammar in Conversation 475

Harrie Mazeland

24 Storytelling in Conversation 492

Jenny Mandelbaum

Part IV Key Contexts of Study in CA: Populations and Settings 509

25 Interaction among Children 511

Mardi Kidwell

26 Conversation Analysis and the Study of Atypical Populations 533

Charles Antaki and Ray Wilkinson

27 Conversation Analysis in Psychotherapy 551

Anssi Peräkylä

28 Conversation Analysis in Medicine 575

Virginia Teas Gill and Felicia Roberts

29 Conversation Analysis in the Classroom 593

Rod Gardner

30 Conversation Analysis in the Courtroom 612

Martha Komter

31 Conversation Analysis in the News Interview 630

Steven E. Clayman

Part V CA across the Disciplines 657

32 Conversation Analysis and Sociology 659

John Heritage and Tanya Stivers

33 Conversation Analysis and Communication 674

Wayne A. Beach

34 Conversation Analysis and Anthropology 688

Ignasi Clemente

35 Conversation Analysis and Psychology 701

Jonathan Potter and Derek Edwards

36 Conversation Analysis and Linguistics 726

Barbara A. Fox, Sandra A. Thompson, Cecilia E. Ford and Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen

References 741

Names Index 812

Topic Index 815

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Author Information

Jack Sidnell is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is the author of Talk and Practical Epistemology: The Social Life of Knowledge in a Caribbean Community (2005), the editor of Conversation Analysis: Comparative Perspectives (2009) and the author of Conversation Analysis: An Introduction (2010).

Tanya Stivers is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is the author of Prescribing Under Pressure: Parent-Physician Conversations and Antibiotics (2007), and co-editor of Person Reference in Interaction: Linguistic, Cultural and Social Perspectives (with N. Enfield, 2007), and of The Morality of Knowledge in Conversation (with L. Mondada and J. Steensig, 2011).

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“Taken as a whole, these 36 chapters are extremely useful as a resource for all students and researchers interested in CA. They offer an excellent inventory of what CA has achieved in the 45 years of its existence. In that sense the Handbookis a clear landmark for CA as a field, reconsidering the past as well as looking into the future.”  (Discourse Studies, 1 June 2014)

“This magnificent volume is essential reading for specialists and interested non-specialists alike. Above all, it will provide a brilliant teaching resource. With this Handbook, CA has come of age.”  (The Sociological Review, 21 October 2013)

“However, these minor criticisms aside, the book is a must-have resource for  learning, teaching and conducting research in CA, and as such essential  reading for both students and academics.”  (LINGUIST List, 15 July 2013)


“Finally, the state of the art in Conversation Analysis is presented in a concise handbook.  Over five decades, CA has been used to study talk-in-interaction, profoundly influencing research disciplines concerned with human interaction.  A comprehensive account of CA in this detail and quality has never been published before. The community is indebted to Jack Sidnell and Tanya Stivers.” ‒Johannes Wagner, University of Southern Denmark

 “A must-read for every student of human interaction. It captures the outstanding interdisciplinary reach of CA and offers fresh perspectives on foundational issues: its voices are authoritative and inspirational.” ‒Rebecca Clift, University of Essex

"An authoritative, wide-ranging overview of conversation analysis, an ideal tool for advanced students finding their way in doing CA, but useful for all CA practitioners." ‒ Paul ten Have, author of “Doing Conversation Analysis: A Practical Guide”

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