2015 Outstanding Scholarship

Donal Carbaugh, “Cultures in Conversation”

About the book: Donal Carbaugh’s Cultures in Conversation represents the fundamental role of ethnography in understanding social interaction, and the central place of “culture” within our division. It is a foundational work in the area of culture and communication. The combination of ethnography and discourse analysis and its successful attempt to bridge the micro-macro distinction, especially with respect to intercultural communication, is strong. It successfully introduced a new approach to discourse, Cultural Discourse Analysis. It highlights for LSI scholars how “a cultural view” illuminates microanalyses of talk. The book builds bridges – between CA-identified phenomena and ethnographically-uncovered cultural patterns; between communication studies, anthropology, and linguistics; and between the various (and quite diverse) discourse practices the book investigates, including Finnish-US American greetings, Blackfeet “listening,” and talk show discourse in the US and Russia. Cultures in Conversation displays the range and ongoing influence of Carbaugh’s research,
showing the diversity of issues and questions worthy of study in the area of discourse and culture, and introducing productive methods and concepts. This work exceeds all three criteria: scholarly merit, contribution to knowledge in LSI, and current impact.