Conversation Analysis


Conversation analysis (CA) is an approach to social research that investigates the sequential organisation of talk as a way of accessing participants’ understandings of, and collaborative means of organising, natural forms of social interaction. As a method, it has been widely applied not just to the analysis of conversation but to numerous other forms of interaction. A distinctive methodological feature is that CA gathers its data of naturally occurring interactions as they unfold in real time using video- or audio-recording technology. This entry introduces the intellectual foundations and basic principles of CA, discusses its approach to understanding turn-taking systems, outlines its approach to data collection and transcription, illustrates its analytical procedures, and discusses the application of CA to institutional interaction and other sociological topics.

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