Monday, June 20, 2011


I have been reading the
early lectures of Harvey Sacks and thought I would share my synthesis of his ideas. Sacks, who died in a car accident in 1975, is best known today as being the founder of conversation analysis (CA). Conversation analysis is a method of analysing recording of naturally occurring conversations, that is conversations which are not the product of social science experiments. To its critics, CA is a method that is obsessed with triviality at the expense of considering the wider themes of sociology. I think what Harvey Sack’s early lectures show is how ill judged that criticism is. Anyway, the lectures in book form are prohibitively expensive so I hope that by giving a platform to some of his ideas on the internet that may be able to bring them to a wider audience.