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682424S The sociological origins of the analysis of face-to-face interactions, 5 ECTS cr 
Code 682424S  Validity 01.08.2017 -
Name The sociological origins of the analysis of face-to-face interactions  Abbreviation The sociologica 
Scope5 ECTS cr   
TypeAdvanced Studies Discipline1101 English 
  Grading1 - 5, pass, fail 
Unit Faculty of Humanities 

ECTS Credits 

5 ECTS = 135 hours

Language of instruction 



The course is held in the Autumn 2017, during periods I and II.

Learning outcomes 

After the course, the students will be able to (1) describe the main elements of the philosophical and sociological currents that led to Garfinkel’s ethnomethodology and Goffman’s microsociology; (2) describe how these two currents resulted in the theoretical framework of Conversation Analysis; and (3) describe the theoretical underpinnings, objects and aims of contemporary studies on face-to-face interactions as social sciences; (3)


The course is concerned with how people in a given society rely on the social organization and the visible availability of various social meanings in the environments and in their interactions with each other to conduct their everyday activities. It first describes the main sociological and philosophical currents in 20th century that enabled face-to-face interactions to become an object worthy of scientific research, to study the formation of human sociality. The course complements several courses provided in the English Philology unit and the Faculty of Humanities. After a selected presentation of some currents in 20th century philosophy and sociology, the course introduces the main ideas and concepts of Harold Garfinkel’s ethnomethodology and how it emerged as a response to the former currents. After this, the course will introduce Erving Goffman’s microsociology based on observations of face-to-face encounters. It will outline its main concepts and ideas, to eventually show how Garfinkel’s and Goffman’s very distinctive approaches, despite some major incompatibilities, have fostered in ordinary action and practical reasoning and can form a consistent toolbox to approach face-to-face interactions.

Mode of delivery 

Interactive lectures: 26 h; Group work: 30; Independent work: 79 h.

Learning activities and teaching methods 

Interactive lectures, reading, group work and independent work

Target group 

Masters’ level students from Faculty of Humanities

Prerequisites and co-requisites 


Recommended optional programme components 

The course is an independent entity and does not require additional studies carried out at the same time.

Recommended or required reading 

7 articles

Assessment methods and criteria 

The assessment is based on 2 written assignments, a group project and an individual course paper. The assessment is based on the learning outcomes of the course.


The course utilises a numerical grading scale (0–5). In the numerical scale zero stands for a fail.

Person responsible 

Sylvaine Tuncer

Working life cooperation 



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