Conversation Analysis


Conversation Analysis (CA) is an approach to the study of social interaction and language. Despite its name, the scope of CA is not limited to conversation as a genre of discourse (small talk, gossip) but encompasses any human activity that involves an exchange of turns at talk and other meaningful conduct. CA is committed to the close examination of social interaction in its sequential, forward-feeding development. Interaction unfolds as a chain of initiating and responding actions. This chain is a source of internal evidence for the meaning of social behavior as it exposes the understandings that participants themselves give of what one another is doing. CA’s sequential frame of analysis also shapes the basic questions that guide CA research: what is a participant doing by speaking or moving in a certain way at a given moment? What evidence is there for this in the conduct that precedes, co-occurs with, and follows that stretch of behavior? Such an analysis requires the close and repeated inspection of audio and video recordings of naturally occurring interaction, supported by transcripts and other forms of annotation. Distributional regularities are complemented by a demonstration of participants’ orientation to deviant behavior, which brings to the surface the underlying norms of social interaction.

The CA Working Group continues to foster the growing community of conversation analytic scholars through a facilitation of scholarly exchange between faculty and graduate students within the Department. We are proud of our relations with other Sociology Working Groups and with the broader UCLA community. Our working group continues to attract language and social interaction scholars from a range of allied departments and centers at the University.

Our primary goal is to establish and strengthen ties between graduate students and faculty working in our field within the Department of Sociology.  At present the CA faculty have a range of courses and data analysis seminars detailing the substance and methodology of conversation analysis. The working group is distinctive in providing a forum in which students can try out ideas for potential publications, showcase their own data sets, and test run relatively developed papers for conferences and symposia.  Correspondingly, the working group provides students and faculty with an opportunity to witness and provide critical feedback on works in progress by faculty and other scholars.

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Future Events

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Past Events

October 20 – Elisabet Skov Nielsen at 5pm

Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School

“Collaborative Leadership at Work: Negotiating Responsibility and Action in Everyday Leadership Interactions”

Haines 279


October 27 – Kreeta Niemi at 5pm

Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Jyväskylä

“Learning Materials in Interaction: Bee-Bot Robots as Moral Artifacts in Classroom Activities”

Rolfe 3129


November 3 – Andrew Chalfoun at 5pm

PhD Candidate, UCLA Sociology 

“Scriptural Authority in Interaction: The Case of an Evangelical Radio Program”

Rolfe 3129


November 10 – Alexa Hepburn & Jonathan Potter at 5pm

School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University

“Breaking Down Breaking Down: Thoughts on the Occasioning of Crying”

Rolfe 3129


January 26 – Workshop A with Giovanni Rossi at 5pm

Assistant Professor, UCLA Sociology

ELAN as a Tool and Repository for Your Research”

Haines A37


February 2 – Workshop B with Giovanni Rossi at 5pm

Assistant Professor, UCLA Sociology

“Practicing Annotation and Transcription in ELAN”

Haines A37


February 23 – Luis Manuel Olguín at 5pm

PhD Candidate, UCLA Sociology

“Phone call openings, relational work, and corrupt transactions:

The case of Peru’s C.N.M. Audios scandal.”

Haines 279


March 2 – Lillian Cheeks at 5pm

PhD Student, UCLA Sociology

“Racial Incompetence as a Comedic Device, and a Tacit Method of Anti-Racist Education”

Haines 279

April  13 – Paddy Lehleiter at 5pm

B.A. Student, English and Sociolinguistics, Free University of Berlin

“ ‘We’re in the friendzone’ – The (Re)production of Relationship Categories and their Category-tied Predicates in Interaction”


April 20 – Laurenz Kornfeld at at 10:30 AM PST

Doctoral Researcher, Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache

“Agency in Family Breakfasts: Declaratives in Complex Sanctioning Turns”

Zoom Event at 10:30 AM PST 


May 4 – Jianhong Lin at 5pm

PhD Student, Osaka University

“Transitions from playing into bedtime reading in Chinese and Japanese families”

Haines A33


May 25 – Chase Wesley Raymond at 5pm

Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Colorado, Boulder

“The Corpus of Language Discrimination in Interaction (CLDI) and the Public Policing of Talk”

Haines 279


June 1 – Jason Turowetz at 5pm

Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

“I feel like we could have been here earlier”: How parents and clinicians establish developmental problems in children being evaluated for autism”

Haines A33

This page was last updated on August 22, 2023 ________________________________________________________________

2023-24 CAWG Coordinators:

Keith Cox (

Lor Martin (

Amanda Morris (

Professor Steven Clayman (

Professor Giovanni Rossi (