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18 - Conversation across cultures

from Part III - Interaction and intersubjectivity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2014

N. J. Enfield
Affiliation:
Max Planck Institute
Paul Kockelman
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
Jack Sidnell
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
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Summary

Tools for the comparative study of social interaction are divided among different disciplines, and so a proposal for undertaking this project means assembling an eclectic toolkit. The cross-cultural comparative study of conversation has commenced only recently, but new advances suggest that we may be poised for a period of new emphasis and discoveries in this area. This chapter assembles a set of tools and best practices from across different disciplines. It aims to aid students of language and culture in pursuing a new paradigm of ethnographic, cross-cultural, field-based studies of social interaction. The chapter highlights some of the challenges raised by the prospect of cross-linguistically comparative interaction studies, as well as the diverse approaches developed across the social sciences to meet these challenges. Studying conversation across cultures means taking a perspective on social interaction that is committed to linguistic as well as anthropological insights.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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