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Handbook of Language and Social Interaction (LEA's Communication Series)

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Language and Social Interaction is an interdisciplinary approach to studying the everyday
practices and details that make up the complexities and multifunctionality of human
communication. This area has reached a level of maturity that calls for a handbook specific
to its concerns. That maturity is noticeable in a distinctive body of research and theory
and a well-developed cadre of influential and productive scholars, a journal dedicated to
its pursuits, and active divisions in both the National Communication Association and
the International Communication Association. This collection features 18 chapters that
describe five areas of research and theory in Language and Social Interaction (LSI)—
pragmatics, conversation analysis, language and social psychology, discourse analysis,
and ethnography—and a sixth section on extensions of technology in traditional LSI
work.

We expect that this book will serve as a resource to graduate students and faculty in
various areas within the field of communication. A distinctively LSI approach, described
in detail in the introduction, has become increasingly visible and incorporated into traditional
perspectives within a number of the contexts and central issues of the field. The
subfields of ethnography, discourse analysis, and conversation analysis, for example, have
made important contributions to health, organizational, interpersonal, and intercultural
communication research and theory and have informed work in instructional communication.
The subfield of language and social psychology has been for some time an
influential part of research into intercultural communication, race and ethnicity, and intergroup
communication, as well as in the interpersonal domain. Work in pragmatics on
politeness and speech act theory has been similarly important to communication theory
and studies of argument. The discipline of communication as a whole has found many
productive avenues to explore in the direction of technology and how technological advances
have shaped human social life. The electronic extensions of LSI work contribute
to those endeavors, as well as to studies of broadcast media.
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