Retrospective Oral Presentation Session - Cosponsored Status Awarded
Sponsored by: Society for Linguistic Anthropology
Cosponsored by: Council on Anthropology and Education
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students
Primary Theme: Identity and Equity
Secondary Theme: Ethics
This session examines and celebrates the scholarly legacy of Elinor Ochs, a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at UCLA. Elinor Ochs’ work reaches multiple audiences within and beyond academia and it has been influential in linguistic anthropology, anthropology of education, psychological anthropology, and childhood studies. She is a paradigm-shifting scholar who has bridged different areas of scholarship and whose work engages the anthropological imagination across contexts and situations. She has introduced new fields of inquiry, including developmental pragmatics and language socialization, which underscore children’s learning and agency within and beyond the home. Her work in Madagascar, Samoa and the U.S. has offered new theoretical paradigms to examine narrative and morality in family settings and the communicative dimension of medical and mental health disorders. Her research contributions span a range of interests and topics of concern including communicative intentions and practices, oratory, resistance in gendered speech, how children and their caregivers adapt to socializing interactions, the communicative bases of agoraphobia and autism, and the ways in which family daily life is situationally organized through social interactions.
The session begins with an overview of Elinor Ochs’ contributions to anthropology by Judith Irvine and William Hanks. It then delves into close examination of five areas inspired by Elinor Ochs’ work: Ethnography of language acquisition across cultures (Amy Paugh), language socialization in educational contexts (Leslie Moore and Kathryn Howard), language in ethnic and racial social contexts (Patricia Baquedano-López), autism and communication studies (Laura Sterponi and Wendy Klein), and family and ethics (Tamar Kremer-Sadlik). The session concludes with closing remarks by Elinor Ochs followed by open discussion. Much more than just a celebration, the papers in this session demonstrate how germane Elinor Ochs’ contributions are to the work of this session’s scholars. We are certain that their papers will stimulate discussion of the relevancy of Elinor Ochs’ work to contemporary and future inquiries at the heart of anthropology.