Social Research Glossary


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home


Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises



core definition

An informal exchange of ideas, information, news, feelings and humour between two or more people.

explanatory context

A conversation can take place face-to-face, using telecommunications or via the Internet. A conversation has some substance to it and is more then, for example, the fleeting exchange of greetings. Similarly, commands and orders do not constitute a conversation. Conversations follow rules of etiquette because conversations are social interactions, and therefore depend on social convention.

analytical review

Hugh Dubberly and Paul Pangaro (2009):

Conversation is a progression of exchanges among participants. Each participant is a “learning system,” that is, a system that changes internally as a consequence of experience. This highly complex type of interaction is also quite powerful, for conversation is the means by which existing knowledge is conveyed and new knowledge is generated.

associated issues


related areas

See also

conversation analysis

Researching the Real World Section 6.2


Dubberly, H. and Pangaro, P. , 2009, ,What is conversation? How can we design for effective conversation? available at , accessed 27 May 2017, still available 1 June 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home