C ONVERSATION analysis developed primarily within the disciplineof sociology. Not surprisingly, most of its practitioners considertheir work to be essentially sociological in character. Schegloff (1987b), for example, has suggested that the organization of conversational interaction is a primordial form of social organization. Sacks, who set the initial course for this line of work, did not turn to the analysis of recorded conversational materials out of an interest in language per se, but rather to develop a rigorous approach to sociological inquiry. He was in search of materials that could be readily captured, examined in detail, and be available for repeated inspection (Heritage, 1984a; Sacks, 1963, 1984). An understanding of the sociological foundations of conversation analysis is therefore helpful in gaining an appreciation of the aims and methods of this approach and the issues it engages.