|An introductory tutorial in Conversation Analysis||Charles Antaki|
|next page: what this tutorial is for|
Conversation analysts study conversations - of all kinds. They are happy to put under the microscope anything from diagnosing schizophrenia to answering questions in court, and from talking over family matters at dinner to guiding a pilot through fog. All are done through talk.
So the 'conversations' studied are perhaps not just the ones that you might first think of - casual chat among friends - though the conversation analyst is interested in those too. Social life, business life, healthcare, education, leisure, politics - in all of these, talk makes things happen, and the conversation analyst has something to say about how.
CA is now a settled discipline, developed since the pioneering work in the sixties by the sociologist Harvey Sacks. What it has accumulated as insights and findings can be brought to bear on any set of data where language is used in interaction. Its cross-light shows up subtleties in the terrain which are invisible from a more 'common-sensical', straight-down perspective.
The next part of this introduction will say more about this tutorial, and how to use the pages. Click on "this tutorial" here or in the menu at the left.
If you have any comments or queries, do please contact me on the e-mail link below and I'll do my best to respond.
This page is available in a Hungarian translation by Fijavan Brenk.