Grad Students

L. Manuel Olguin

Contact Information

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My research intersects the domains of language, social interaction, and what social psychologists have traditionally referred to as "moral disengagement," which I study as configurations of social behavior in ordinary and institutional life.  Through close analysis of audio and video recordings of actual conversational episodes (most usually leaks and other forms of maximally non-intrusive and usually secretive audiovisual documentation) and their surrounding sociocultural context, I describe the many ways in which talk and other conduct gets organized to legitimate and carry out controversial, disreputable, and many times illegal acts. 

For my master's research in Sociology (UCLA, 2018), I used the Montesinos video recordings aka vladivideos - a collection of surreptitious tapes of government meetings from the last years of the Alberto Fujimori administration in Peru - to explore the interactional procedures deployed in disbursing bribes to media executives as part of a broader press-state scheme to keep Fujimori in power. 

In mid 2018, a series of leaks of wiretapped telephone calls exposed a major corruption organization in Peru's judiciary. The ensuing scandal led to the resignation of several judges, Peru's minister of Justice, and the restructuration of Peru's justice system via a national referendum.  In a current project, I use these calls to explore corruption-in-the-making and the discursive methods used to conceal it. 

My primary lens to research talk and other conduct in interaction is conversation analysis (CA), a subdiscipline within sociology put forward by the work of Harvey Sacks, Emanuel Schegloff, and Gail Jefferson in the early 1960s.  With Chase Raymond, I am currently writing the first introductory textbook to CA in Spanish to be published by Routledge. Más información sobre esto en mi website en español. 

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Fields of Study

Conversation Analysis, Economic Sociology, Linguistic Anthropology. 


Language, social interaction, and secrecy. News leaks, and press/state transparency. Economic exchange, informal organizations, and reciprocity. Spanish conversation, indirect speech, rhetoric.

Grants and Awards

  • Field Research Grant (LAI - Tinker Foundation, 2019)
  • Graduate Summer Research Mentorship (UCLA, 2017)
  • 2016/17 Graduate Division Academic Year Fellowship (UCLA, 2016)
  • PAIP Programa de Apoyo a la Investigación en Posgrado - Grant (PUCP, 2012)
  • BEA Beca a la Excelencia Académica - Scholarship (PUCP, 2010)

Conference Presentations

  • 2018. "Signs of corruption. Transparency and the politics of revelation in contemporary Peru" 117 American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San José, CA, USA.
  • 2018. "Counting bribes: payment accountability in the Montesinos video collection". 5th International Conference on Conversation Analysis, Loughborough, UK. 


  • With Chase Raymond, (in preparation) Análisis de la Conversación, Routledge - Taylor and Francis)


  • M.A. in Sociology, University of California - Los Angeles (2018)
  • M.A. in Linguistics, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (2013)
  • B.A. in Humanities - Linguistics Major, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (2011)