EOC defined

Theoretical overview

S.P.E.A.K.I.N.G.: A research tool

Applying S.P.E.A.K.I.N.G.

Sample study

Conducting your own study

Check your understanding

Sources for this Web site

Additional readings



Additional Readings

Briggs, C. L. (1986). Learning how to ask: A sociolinguistic appraisal of the role of the interview in social science research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

From an examination of a Mexicano community in the United States, Briggs demonstrates the pitfalls of interviewing techniques and show how to begin by understanding the role of questioning and learning for particular cultures. He provides the reader with thought-provoking examples of misinterpretations based on methodological assumptions. An essential reading for intermediate level students of interviewing techniques.

Carbaugh, C. (1996).  Situating selves: The communication of social identities in American scenes.  Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Situating Selves demonstrates how an array of "identities" are constructed in the presence of others through various interpersonal communicative practices. This volume uniquely integrates social, professional, and political scenes through the common thread of cultural pragmatics. Carbaugh illustrates how our communicative practices shape the way we work and play together as we seek to understand and position ourselves in relation to others. This book is useful for beginners because it weaving together a variety of distinct ethnographies of communication.

Carbaugh, D. (Ed.). (1990). Cultural communication and intercultural contact. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

This volume is a compilation of many excellent and foundational pieces in ethnography of communication. The combination of authors provides students with several distinct cultural examples from which to clearly understand different communicative practices.

Carbaugh, D. (1989). Talking American: Cultural discourses on DONAHUE. Norwood: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

This book is an accessible examination of speaking practices of participants in the television program, the Donahue Show. Through the many examples, Carbaugh is able to capture unique cultural practices that he calls "talking American." The text itself also provides guidelines for conducting, analyzing and reporting about cultural practices. Beginning level.

Clifford, J., & Marcus, G. E. (1986). Writing culture: The poetics and politics of ethnography. Berkeley: University of California Press.

For the student interested in the political implications in the practice of writing ethnographies, this is a good text. While not focusing exclusively on ethnography of communication, the authors do provide guidelines and reflections for taking fieldnotes. Intermediate level.

Fitch, K. L. (1998). Speaking relationally: Culture, communication and interpersonal connection. New York: The Guildford Press.

Recent addition to the corpus of ethnography of communication guides. Fitch focuses specifically on interpersonal relationships and the ways that culture and conversation shape such relationships. Intermediate/Beginner reading.

Geertz, G. (1973). The interpretation of cultures. Washington, D.C.: BasicBooks.

Foundational treatment of three cultures. From anthropological perspective, Geertz provides a way to observe and examine cultural practices, particularly rituals. Beginning reading.

Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor Books.

Goffman offers a sociological perspective for examining mainly non-verbal actions. This book was a landmark treatment for examining how persons present themselves to others. It offers specific terminology for characterizing specific actions. Beginning level.

Goodwin, M. H. (1990). He-said-she-said: Talk as social organization among Black children. Bloomington : Indiana University Press.

Thorough analysis of talk in interaction. Especially recommended for those interested in how children organize through their play as well as for those interested in cultural differences. Intermediate level.

Hall, E. T. (1976). Beyond culture. New York: Doubleday.

Hall describes features of various cultures. Without making value judgments, he offers some terminology to discuss differences between communicative practices. Beginning level.

Hymes, D. (1974). Foundations in sociolinguistics: An ethnographic approach. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Foundational treatise of the field. Absolutely recommended as programmatic treatment of the areas covered by this website. Intermediate level.

Morris, M. (1981). Saying and meaning in Puerto Rico: Some problems in the ethnography of discourse. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

In this book, Morris describes one way of examining Puerto Rican communication practices. While there are excellent examples of conversations, the interpretations of those practices is made from one particular cultural standpoint. Through this reading, Morris provides a negative assessment of these particular cultural practices. This bias should be noted.

Philipsen, G. (1992). Speaking culturally: Explorations in social communication. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

This text integrates many examples that were previously published as articles. However, it also adds a description of common threads running throughout each case. This should be considered a primer for any student of ethnography of communication. It is especially useful as a description of many "American" scenes as well as of the theory and methodology of ethnography of communication itself.

Saville-Troike, M. (1982). The ethnography of communication: An introduction. New York: Basil Blackwell, Inc.

This book presents all of the basic components in the area of ethnography of communication with clear, relevant examples. A basic for beginners.

Schatzman, L. & Strauss, A. L. (1973). Fieldwork research: Strategies for a natural sociology. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

In order to gain a very thorough categorization scheme, this book is very handy. It helps novice researchers especially, learn about various levels of observation in order to create detailed fieldnotes for future analysis.

Shotter, J. (1993). Conversational realities: Constructing life through language. London: Sage Publications.

While this book does not extensive data as the basis for his argument, it is an excellent treatise for the commitments shared by ethnographers of communication. Written more as a philosophy, this book may be appreciated best by the advanced/intermediate reader.

Shweder, R. A. (1991). Thinking through cultures: Expeditions in cultural psychology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Shweder presents the notion of culture as something created in and through communication. Using examples from India, he is able to present the reader with compelling evidence for the construction of various cultures. Written for the advanced reader.

Tannen, D. (1990). You just don't understand: Women and men in conversation. New York: Ballantine Books.

This book is entertaining and useful for the beginning reader. The instances of conversation demonstrate patterned speech differences between men and women in a convincing way. While Tannen does not describe her methodology much in coming to her conclusions, it is based on extensive intercultural fieldwork as the various examples demonstrate.

Turner, V. (1974). Dramas, fields and metaphors. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

This book is essential for those interested in describing rituals. It will be appreciated by the intermediate level reader.


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