The field of Conversation Analysis (CA) began with just three people, Emanuel Schegloff, Harvey Sacks and Gail Jefferson. It grew, as many new enterprises do, out of a dissatisfaction with the methodologies and theories of the time, as they pertained to everyday social behavior. Forty years later, CA is the dominant approach to the study of human social interaction across the disciplines of Sociology, Linguistics and Communication. The most recent international conference on Conversation Analysis (ICCA-2010) boasted more than 600 attendees. CA publications are estimated to be over 5,000 in number and growing rapidly. In short, CA in the 21st century represents a rich and vibrant community of international scholars working across a wide range of languages, institutional and ordinary contexts, and disciplinary boundaries.
It is precisely because of this vibrancy that the time is right for a handbook of CA. In perusing the volume, the reader will readily see the solidity of the field, indexed not only by the number of scholars working within this paradigm, but also by the range of topics and interests in the field and the ways in which CA scholars are reaching to connect conversation analytic findings to other fields of inquiry, thereby continuing to increase the breadth and intellectual reach of CA.
Our introduction to this volume is necessarily brief. However, in ...