Researchers working in Conversation Analysis study how people use language and body to communicate; they are interested in the organizational principles that participants of a conversation use to give meaning to what each says and does (Mazeland 2008). Communication and talk of course consist of more than just more than language, and thus there are numerous approaches even within CA. But all these approaches share the underlying idea going back to sociologists like Harold Garfinkel and Erving Goffman that social interaction is (a) of itself an interesting subject of research and (b) structured in a way that makes scientific investigation possible.
Origins of Conversation Analysis
In the 1960s Harvey Sacks realized that conversation is highly structured and organized, which makes it suitable for scientific investigation. In cooperation with others he developed the method that came to be known as Conversation Analysis
Current topics in Conversation Analysis
From humble beginnings, Conversation Analysis has grown into a substantive discipline in the Humanities and Social Sciences. While it is used to investigate a plethora of questions, a few areas of inquiry have received particular attention .
Applied Conversation Analysis
Conversation Analysis has been applied in various fields to achieve societal benefits. Especially in medical interaction – talk between physicians and patients – CA has proved to be a very useful tool to improve conversational outcomes.