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Faculty

Elinor Ochs


Distinguished Professor


Contact Information

Email    eochs@anthro.ucla.edu
Office  318A Haines
Phone  310-825-0984
Primary among Professor Ochs' many research interests is the role of language and culture in life span human development and learning across social groups.

Her work with children and their caregivers in Samoa, as well as her collaborative work with anthropologist B. Schieffelin, helped to develop the field of inquiry known as language socialization.

Most recently, Professor Ochs has taken on the direction of the UCLA Center on Everyday Lives of Families, a Sloan Center on Working Families that examines how members of middle class working families create a home life through culturally and situationally organized social interactions. 

 

Current Research Projects

Center on the Everyday Lives of Families: A Sloan Center on Working Families
Housed in the UCLA Department of Anthropology, the Center on Everyday Lives of Families integrates scholars across the four sub-fields of anthropology – cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology – along with scholars from the fields of applied linguistics, education, and psychology in pursuit of four goals: 1) detailed, ethnographic research on how members of middle class working families create a home life through culturally and situationally organized social interactions; 2) creation of a digital video archive of family and household activities of working families; 3) apprenticeship of postgraduate, graduate, and undergraduate scholars in fine-grained documentation and analysis of social interactions that impact the well-being of working families; 4) public dialogue on how working families accomplish routine family and household activities and the centrality of these activities for building family and community relationships and world views.

The Ethnography of Autism
The project provides an ethnographic account of the everyday lives of high-functioning children with autistic spectrum disorders (Autistic Disorder and Asperger Syndrome). Analytic foci include autistic children’s narrative interactions with family members and peers, inclusion in public school classrooms as a social practice, autistic children in multi-lingual families, and autism and the social world. Our current project examines socialization of children with autism spectrum disorders into the social rules of school and family, focusing on social rule violations. The study documents autistic children’s sense of rule awareness, which is foundational to belonging to a social group. UCLA's Ethnography of Autism Project is supported by the Spencer Foundation for Educational and Related Research. The Principal Investigator is Professor Elinor Ochs.

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Degrees

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (1974)

Grants

The Ethnography of Autism Project Housed in the UCLA department of Anthropology and directed the Primary Investigator, Dr. Elinor Ochs, The UCLA’s Ethnography of Autism Project is supported by the Spencer Foundation for Educational and Related Research. The project provides an ethnographic account of the everyday lives of high-functioning children with autistic spectrum disorders (Autistic Disorder and Asperger Syndrome). Analytic foci include autistic children’s narrative interactions with family members and peers, inclusion in public school classrooms as a social practice, autistic children in multi-lingual families, and autism and the social world. Our current project examines socialization of children with autism spectrum disorders into the social rules of school and family, focusing on social rule violations. The study documents autistic children’s sense of rule awareness, which is foundational to belonging to a social group.

Selected Publications

1988 Culture And Language Development: Language Acquisition And Language Socialization In A Samoan Village. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

1992 Indexing gender. In Rethinking Context: Language As an Interactive Phenomenon. A. Duranti and M. Goodwin (Eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 335-358. 

1995 with L. Capps. Constructing panic: the discourse of agoraphobia. Cambridge: 
Harvard University Press. 

1997 with S. Jacoby. Down to the wire: The cultural Clock of Physicists and the Discourse of Consensus. Language in Society. 26(4):479-506. 

2000 with L. Capps. Living narrative. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Research

Discourse structures, grammar in context, language and affect, spoken and written language. Language acquisition and language socialization (development/transmission of sociocultural knowledge through language, socialization of cognitive skills through language). Cross-cultural communication. Madagascar, Samoa, U.S., Italy

Current Courses by Term

2014 Fall Quarter

Narrative and Times of Trouble

Previous Courses by Term

2014 Winter Quarter

Ethnographic Methods in Language, Interaction, and Culture I

2013 Winter Quarter

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2012 Fall Quarter

Gender and Language across Communities

2011 Fall Quarter

Narrative and Times of Trouble

2011 Spring Quarter

Anthropology of Chinese Medicine

2011 Winter Quarter

Gender and Language across Communities

2010 Fall Quarter

Language Socialization

2010 Winter Quarter

Ethnographic Methods in Language, Interaction, and Culture I

2008 Winter Quarter

Language Socialization

2007 Winter Quarter

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2005 Winter Quarter

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2001 Winter Quarter

Ethnographic Methods in Discourse Analysis II

Previous Courses by Course

ANTHRO 266N
Narrative and Times of Trouble

2014 Fall Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

ANTHRO M249A
Ethnographic Methods in Language, Interaction, and Culture I

2014 Winter Quarter

2010 Winter Quarter

ANTHRO 297
Selected Topics in Anthropology

2013 Winter Quarter

2007 Winter Quarter

2005 Winter Quarter

ANTHRO 149SL
Gender and Language across Communities

2012 Fall Quarter

2011 Winter Quarter

ANTHRO M248
Language Socialization

2010 Fall Quarter

2008 Winter Quarter

ANTHRO M249B
Ethnographic Methods in Discourse Analysis II

2001 Winter Quarter