on conversation

As Emanuel Schegloff famously put it, talk-in-interaction is the primordial site of human sociality.  It is through talking to others that children are socialized into a language, culture spreads, and the social institutions that organize life as we know it emerge and reproduce.  I study conversation, then, first and foremost, as the natural hub that propels human sociality and enables quintessential social processes, such as interpersonal communication, self-development, collaborative action, and relationship formation.

To understand the practices and structures that undergird these social processes in and through spontaneous talk-in-interaction, I take on the perspective and methods of conversation analysis (CA).  CA is an inductive, qualitative approach to the study of concerted organization of social action and intersubjectivity in naturally-occurring interaction.

Broadly, my CA research focuses on the moral obligations surrounding different kinds of everyday exchange behavior, such as market transactions or cooking dinner against doing dishes, and how these are oriented to and attended by interactants.  I am particularly curious about exchanges that are, in principle, problematic (either because compensation is not explicitly demanded but expected or monetary payments are culturally forbidden).

One line of my work on conversation aims at advancing conversation-analytical research in Spanish and promoting the field of conversation analysis in Spanish-speaking academia.  You can know more about this at AC en español.