Institutional Interaction: Studies of Talk at Work, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Institutional Interaction

Studies of Talk at Work, 1st Edition

By Ilkka Arminen


296 pages

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Institutional Interaction focuses on talk and interaction in institutional contexts. The first systematic book-length study on this expanding area, it discusses the theory and methodology of conversation analysis, focusing on studies of institutional interaction, before examining the basics of institutional interaction in selected fields. Cutting-edge new applications are assessed, such as human-computer interaction, the role of ethnography, statistics and the relationship of institutional talk to ordinary talk. Accessibly written and carefully structured to provide a sophisticated introduction to conversation analysis applied in institutional settings, the book offers a wealth of examples ranging from the classroom, to the courtroom, to the doctor's surgery. The book also features helpful suggestions for further reading, designed to appeal to students and academics in socio-linguistics, social psychology, organizational studies, management and information systems and applied linguistics.


’Conversation Analysis is making an enormously important contribution to the study of interaction and communication in such institutional settings as medical consultations, news interviews, counselling and courtroom examination. In doing so it is beginning to re-specify the sociolinguistic programme, and has re-engaged with more traditional sociological ethnographic inquiry. Arminen provides a lively and engaging introduction to this expanding and in some respects, controversial field of inquiry. He offers the student reader a clear picture of the scope of this field, including significant areas which have only recently emerged, such as interactional aspects of information systems.’ Paul Drew, University of York, UK

Table of Contents

Contents: Conversation analysis and its applications; Institutional interaction; Analytic procedures; Encountering a client; Classrooms and the transmission of knowledge and expertise; Strategic interaction; Negotiation; Information systems and organizational interaction; Toward applied conversation analysis; References; Appendices; Author index; Subject index.

About the Author

Ilkka Arminen is Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Tampere in Finland.

About the Series

Directions in Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis

Directions in Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis

Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis are cognate approaches to the study of social action that together comprise a major perspective within the contemporary human sciences. Ethnomethodology focuses upon the production of situated and ordered social action of all kinds, whilst Conversation Analysis has a more specific focus on the production and organisation of talk-in-interaction. Of course, given that so much social action is conducted in and through talk, there are substantive as well theoretical continuities between the two approaches. Focusing on social activities as situated human productions, these approaches seek to analyse the intelligibility and accountability of social activities ‘from within’ those activities themselves, using methods that can be analysed and described. Such methods amount to aptitudes, skills, knowledge and competencies that members of society use, rely upon and take for granted in conducting their affairs across the whole range of social life.

As a result of the methodological rewards consequent upon their unique analytic approach and attention to the detailed orderliness of social life, Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis have ramified across a wide range of human science disciplines throughout the world, including anthropology, social psychology, linguistics, communication studies and social studies of science and technology.

This series is dedicated to publishing the latest work in these two fields, including research monographs, edited collections and theoretical treatises. As such, its volumes are essential reading for those concerned with the study of human conduct and aptitudes, the (re)production of social orderliness and the methods and aspirations of the social sciences.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General