Linguistic ethnography and the social sciences


15th September, 2005

Place BAAL Annual Meeting, University of Bristol
Focus Linguistic ethnography is driven by the conviction that if you want to understand how communication intersects with social and cultural processes, you have to look for a combination of ethnography and linguistically sensitive discourse analysis. Of itself, this view is rather unexceptional, but over the last 4 or 5 years, a number of BAAL-associated researchers have started to articulate a version of linguistic ethnography which sounds relatively distinctive in being both tuned to post-structuralism and grounded in applied linguistics. This (arguably neo-Hymesian) position is outlined in a 2005 discussion paper drafted by the LEF Coordinating Committee. This paper has now been quite widely circulated (on the LEF email list, on baalmail, and to 80-90 researchers world-wide), and in this Colloquium, leading researchers from sociology, psychology, linguistic anthropology and applied linguistics have been invited to engage with the paper and the issues it raises from their own disciplinary perspectives.

UKLEF Coordinating Committee, Positioning linguistic ethnography in the UK.


Martyn Hammersley, A sociological perspective.


Alison Sealey, An applied linguistic perspective.


Lukas D. Tsitsipis, Linguistic ethnography and linguistic anthropology: A tense intellectual relationship and  socio-political trajectory.


Margaret Wetherell, A view from (discursive) psychology.