Faculty and students in this area consider ways that practices and processes of interaction in natural contexts create, sustain, and change sociocultural scenes, particularly communities. For theses and dissertations, students select a theoretical issue about social interaction and/or community that crosses contexts, and/or study social interaction within a specific social site.
Sample foci include the communal functions of social interaction; use and circulation of communication ideas in society; communication activism for social justice; cultural communication; local practices of democracy and environmental governance, training programs for mediation or parenthood; and enactments of ethnic, racial, and gender identities in various contexts.
A distinguished faculty that is recognized via numerous awards, including two distinguished scholars of the National Communication Association
A focus on how microlevel communicative practices affect and are affected by macrolevel societal structures and processes
Monthly research lunches exploring ongoing projects conducted by faculty and/or graduate students
Monthly informal meetings to analyze discourse materials from faculty and/or graduate student research projects
Connection to an interdisciplinary group of faculty and a graduate certificate program in Culture, Language, and Social Practice (CLASP) to study language and society from an interdisciplinary perspective, acquiring a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to the sociocultural analysis of language