The analytical approach to language and communication that I identify most with is linguistic ethnography (LE). As the name suggests, LE is a blend of linguistics and ethnography. This means that LE advocates a particular epistemological perspective; namely, a social constructionist view on language in society. Most broadly, LE holds that:
language and the social world are mutually shaping, and that close analysis of situated language use can provide both fundamental and distinctive insights into the mechanisms and dynamics of social and cultural production in everyday activity.
If you would like to learn more about this developing, primarily UK-based brand of social science, I recommend:
Second Annual Conference:
Explorations in Ethnography, Language and Communication: Focus on Data
Friday 11th September 2009, Aston University
Following the success of the first annual conference in Ethnography, Language and Communication, we are now inviting abstracts for papers and posters for 2009. We welcome abstracts that explore the possibilities and problems of employing ethnographically sensitive approaches to language and communication research across a wide range of disciplines and topics (including health, education, social and political processes, culture and identity). The second annual event has a focus on data and methodology. The selection process will therefore give particular consideration to those abstracts (a) oriented towards the concepts and methods of ethnography and (b) providing a clear focus on how these methods can be applied to the collection and analysis of language data.
The conference is run as a one-day event. Oral presentations will be 30 minutes in length, followed by 15 minutes for discussion. Dedicated time and space will also be allocated for poster presentations. Plenary speakers are Professor Jan Blommaert (Department of Languages, University of Jyvaskyla) and Professor Martyn Hammersley (The Open University).
Abstracts (up to 300 words) should be submitted by e-mail attachment (Word files) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit two files, one containing the abstract and details of the author(s) (name(s), affiliation, email address) and one containing an anonymous abstract. Under the title for the abstract, please give four keywords which summarise the paper/poster. In the body of your email please specify whether the abstract is for a poster or paper presentation.
An optional data-focused workshop will be available to conference registrants on the afternoon of Thursday 10th September. Participants are invited to submit data from their own research projects. Those wishing to submit data for analysis should send a brief (no more than one page) description of the data (background, participants, method of collection etc), the aims of the research project and the questions they would like to explore. Submissions should be made by e-mail attachment to email@example.com. Please specify in the title and body of your email that this proposal is for the data-focused workshop. Workshop facilitators include Professor Ben Rampton (King’s College London), Dr Adam Lefstein and Dr Jeff Bezemer (Institute of Education University of London).
The deadline for submission of papers, posters and data analysis proposals is Friday 1st May 2009. Registration for the conference will open in June 2009. The one-day conference fee is £35, including a buffet lunch, tea and coffee, with a reduced rate of £15 for students. There will be a charge of £10 for the optional data-focused workshop. Places for the data workshop will be limited so early registration is advised.
The conference is organised by Dr. Fiona Copland (School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston University), Dr. Julia Snell (Institute of Education University of London) and Dr. Sara Shaw (Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University College London / The Nuffield Trust).