9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN20 Qualitative Methods

2009-09-03 15:30:00 2009-09-03 17:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 15:30 - 17:00 Conversational Analysis and Grounded Theory Building II, C2.01

Conversation Analysis as a Tool for Developing Professional Practices

Conversation Analysis as a Tool for Developing Professional Practices

MSocSc Mika Simonen
University of Helsinki


This presentation studies a possibility of using ethnomethodological CA as a tool for providing a detailed analysis of interaction for practical use. The objective is to describe experiences of using CA for developing professional practices and to show examples from two projects related to the development of functional capacity assessment in Finland. The benefits of videotaped and analysed interview interaction are not well known among the practical developers.

Methods and materials

As part of a PhD study, videotaped interview data were gathered in collaboration with two projects during 2007-2008. Total number of data was fifty-two cases consisting of videotaped research interviews. The project teams transcribed parts of the videotaped data using conventional CA standards. The PhD-student analysed the transcribed data and offered the results for the projects.


The project schedules did not support a thorough CA analysis. A rough CA analysis was presented and discussed in the project meetings. A 'CA as a Tool' approach provided a coarse description of the interaction process in a functional capacity interview. A brief analysis showed how the assessment data were produced in interview interaction.


The project teams developing professional practices considered the efforts of qualitative analysis remarkable. The results of the CA analysis were applied in quality control and training. At best, the collaboration between the project teams and the PhD-student offered new and alternative ideas for policy makers.