The relations between Conversation Analysis (CA), sociology and social theory are complex, often ambiguous, and have sometimes been rather fraught. While there might be some relatively high levels of agreement amongst their practitioners of what CA is and does and is meant to achieve, that is not so much the case for the more open and broad terrains of sociology and social theory. Moreover, each of the domains above has changed in orientation, composition and academic location since the late 1960s when CA first came into existence. While initially a child of sociology, as CA has matured and extended its substantive and methodological reach, it has become a large intellectual domain in its own right, with inputs from, and relevance for, a host of other disciplines, notably linguistics, anthropology and psychology. It is now no longer at all clear how CA relates to sociology and social theory, and what each side currently does, or could in future, bring to the other.
This symposium both reflects upon such matters and seeks to propose some answers to the question of how each domain may in future engage in new kinds of productive dialogue with the others. It does so by explicitly examining the linkages of multiple types of social and sociological theory with empirical interaction research, by investigating themes such as: the bearing of power, gender, institutions, culture, and other interaction-exogeneous features of context to the analysis of social interaction, the relevance of automatic behaviours and basic human needs for the unfolding of interaction, and the consequences of conceiving conversational turn-exchanges as dynamic systems vs. rituals. Leading international researchers in empirical interaction research and social/sociological theory are brought together to advance the frontiers of knowledge on such matters, critiquing and re-evaluating older positions and elaborating new perspectives on core questions about the nature of human interaction.
For a full list of confirmed speakers, see the link above.