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Instructor-led course

Provided by: Social Sciences Research Methods Programme

This course is not scheduled to run.

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Conversation and Discourse Analysis


The module will introduce students to the study of language use as a distinctive type of social practice. Attention will be focused primarily on the methodological and analytic principles of conversation analysis. (CA). However, it will explore the debates between CA and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), as a means of addressing the relationship between the study of language use and the study of other aspects of social life. It will also consider the roots of conversation analysis in the research initiatives of ethnomethodology, and the analysis of ordinary and institutional talk. It will finally consider the interface between CA and CDA.


  • Session 1: The Roots of Conversation Analysis
  • Session 2: Ordinary Talk
  • Session 3: Institutional Talk
  • Session 4: Conversation Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis
Target audience
  • University Students from Tier 1 Departments
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here

Session 1

  • Garfinkel, H. (1967). Studies in Ethnomethodology. Cambridge: Polity.
  • Garfinkel, H. & Sacks, H. 1970. On formal structures of practical actions. In J.C. McKinney & E. Tiryakian.(eds). Theoretical Sociology: Perspectives and Development. (pp. 338-66). New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
  • Heritage, J. (1984). Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology. Cambridge: Polity
  • Levinson, S. C. (1992). Activity types and language. In D.Weinberg Qualitative Research Methods. (pp.193-220). Oxford:Blackwell.

Session 2

  • Heritage, J. (1984). Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology. Cambridge: Polity.
  • Schegloff, E. (1991). Reflections on talk and social structure. In D. Boden & D. H. Zimmerman. (eds). Talk and Social Structure: Studies in Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis. Berkeley: University of California Press

Session 3

  • Drew, P. & Heritage, J., (eds). (1992). Talk at Work: Interaction in Institutional Settings [especially Chapter One, pp. 3-65]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Session 4

  • Schegloff, E. (1997). Whose text? Whose context? Discourse & Society, 8,(2):165-187
  • Billig, M. (1999). Whose terms? Whose ordinariness? Rhetoric and ideology in conversation analysis. Discourse & Society, 10(4): 543-558
  • Schegloff, E. (1999). Schegloff's texts as Billig's Data: a critical reply. Discourse & Society, 10(4): 558-572
  • Billig, M. (1999). Conversation analysis and the claims of naivety. Discourse & Society, 10(4): 572-576.
  • Schegloff, E (1999). Naivete vs sophistication or discipline vs self-indulgence: a rejoinder to Billig. Discourse & Society, 10(4): 577-582

This module is not assessed.

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Qualitative Methods

Events available