Human Studies

, 30:131 | Cite as

Kitzinger’s Feminist Conversation Analysis: Critical Observations

  • Maria T. Wowk
Research paper


This paper contributes to ongoing discussions on feminism and the analysis of discourse. In particular, I examine Celia Kitzinger’s [(2000), Doing feminist conversation analysis. Feminism and Psychology, 10, 163–193 and (2002) Doing feminist conversation analysis. In P. McIlvenny (Ed.), Talking gender and sexuality. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.] claims to be engaged in “feminist conversation analysis.” This paper identifies susceptibilities in her arguments at both the theoretical level and the level of data analysis. My argument is that Kitzinger fails to appreciate the fact that her enterprise is basically a formal analytic one and that as such it is both radically different from, and incommensurate with, ethnomethodology (EM) and conversation analysis (CA). Indeed her attempts to supplement feminism with EM/CA are unnecessary and counterproductive from an EM/CA position insofar as they crucially undermine its integrity.


Conversation analysis Ethnomethodology Feminism Incommensurability Supplementation 



I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rod Watson, Andrew Carlin, Roger Slack and Christian Greiffenhagen for their comments on an earlier version of this paper. Their support is not necessarily to be taken as evidence of their agreement with me. Of course the errors which remain are all my own. (I am also grateful to the journal’s anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments.)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterEngland

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