The Conversational Rollercoaster

Read the Discourse Studies paper here:

Albert, S., Albury, C., Alexander, M., Harris, M. T., Hofstetter, E., B., E. J., & Stokoe, E. (2018). The conversational rollercoaster: Conversation analysis and the public science of talk. Discourse Studies20(3), 397–424.

bannerThe Conversational Rollercoaster is a new public ‘demo’ format for ethnomethodology and conversation analysis. I developed the format for New Scientist Live in collaboration with Loughborough and the CARM group in order to make it easier to explain EM/CA research in a public exhibition context. The idea is that you can take a live conversation – in this case provided by The People Speak‘s pop-up talk-show Talkaoke, and subject it to instant EM/CA analysis. What’s more, you can involve the public as analysts in a variety of activities – ‘being the data’ on the Talkaoke table, spotting interactional phenomena, gathering data, transcribing, analyzing and reporting findings on the ‘results wall’.

Ann Doehring
‘s very nice drawing of the process (in the tweet above) provides a useful outline of how it works – and how it can be adapted for other contexts. All the software, data, photos and other materials are available for re-use and re-development.

A full how-to blog post for those wishing to try running the format themselves will soon be available on my blog. Until then, check the blog post at for a description of the event.

Thanks to: