Welcome to Language, Interaction, and Social Organization

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphasis and Research Focus Group

The Language, Interaction, and Social Organization (LISO) unit at UC Santa Barbara has two components: an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphasis that graduate students can undertake as part of their doctoral degree, and an Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Research Focus Group that sponsors talks by invited speakers. The Ph.D. Emphasis has formal participation from the Departments of CommunicationEducationLinguistics, and Sociology. However, faculty and graduate students from all disciplines are welcome to participate.

LISO faculty and graduate students conduct research on language use and other communicative action in their naturally occurring interactional contexts with a special appreciation for the importance of those immediate contexts for understanding human conduct and the need for recordings made within those contexts for studying it. Members of LISO study informal conversational interaction as well as such institutional contexts as classrooms, and 911-Emergency calls. Some members study child language acquisition and socialization—again with a special emphasis on the importance of the local natural contexts of those processes—while others investigate the connection between grammar and interaction and still others examine the connection between language and culture.

Throughout the school year, LISO hosts talks by visiting scholars and UCSB faculty members. Other activities include the presentation of work-in-progress by graduate students, data analysis sessions and discussion of scholarly papers. A full schedule of LISO-related graduate courses is offered each year. In addition, LISO (along with its UCLA counterpart) organizes an annual Conference on Language, Interaction, and Culture at the University of California. The conference alternates between the Santa Barbara and Los Angeles campuses, and features internationally known invited speakers, paper sessions, and workshops.

Read what alumni have written about their LISO Experience.