Steven Clayman

Steven Clayman

Steven Clayman


Office: 264 Haines Hall


Phone: 310-825-2090

Personal Website

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My primary research concerns news interviews, presidential news conferences, and other forms of broadcast talk involving direct encounters between journalists and public figures.  I am interested in what the study of such talk can reveal about journalistic norms, press-state relations, and the sociopolitical landscape.  This is part of a broader interest in the interface between interaction and social institutions, and I have also worked on a variety of institutional domains including political speeches, law courts, and emergency service encounters.  Still more broadly, I am interested in the study of interaction as an institution its own right, what Goffman termed the interaction order, focusing on problems in turn taking and action formation.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara
M.A., Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara
B.A., Sociology, Arizona State University


Conversation analysis; interaction in journalism and politics; interaction and social institutions

Selected Publications

Steven  Clayman and John Heritage  2002  The News Interview: Journalists and Public Figures on the Air.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

John Heritage and Steven Clayman  2010  Talk in Action: Interactions, Identities, and Institutions.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Clayman, Steven E.  1993  “Booing: The Anatomy of a Disaffiliative Response.” American Sociological Review 58: 110-130.

Clayman, Steven E. and Ann Reisner  1998  “Gatekeeping in Action: Editorial Conferences and Assessments of Newsworthiness,” American Sociological Review 63: 178-199.

Clayman, Steven E.  2001  “Answers and Evasions.”  Language in Society  30(3): 403-442.

Clayman, Steven E., Marc N. Elliott, John Heritage, and Laurie McDonald  2006  “Historical Trends in Questioning Presidents 1953-2000.”  Presidential Studies Quarterly 36: 561-583.

Clayman, Steven E., John Heritage, Marc N. Elliott, and Laurie McDonald  2007  “When Does the Watchdog Bark?: Conditions of Aggressive Questioning in Presidential News Conferences.”  American Sociological Review 72: 23-41.

Clayman, Steven E.  2012  “Turn Constructional Units and the Transition Relevance Place in Conversation.”  In Tanya Stivers and Jack Sidnell (eds.) Handbook of Conversation Analysis, pp. 150-166.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.