Scholarship on social interaction focuses on the language and nonverbal processes through which people connect with one another. Courses in this area concentration examine the development of personal relationships, the role of communication in social influence, the processes of group deliberation, and other communication activities as they occur in face-to-face and on-line settings. Courses explore how communication shapes and reflects initial encounters, informal conversations, interpersonal conflicts, close relationships, and decision making. They also reflect on the nature of social interaction as a theoretical, ethical, and cultural practice.


The faculty listed below emphasize this area of study in their teaching and research, though most have additional areas of expertise. This list is not exhaustive, as many University of Washington faculty outside the Department of Communication also teach courses and conduct research in this area.

Coutu Gonzalez
Manusov Pearce


Graduate students who wish to learn more about social interaction can enroll in the Department of Communication courses listed below. Students also typically enroll in other courses within and outside the Department, and students are welcome to develop programs of study that combine different area emphases.

COM 514 Critical Discourse Analysis
COM 517 Survey Research
COM 520 Statistical Methods in Communication
COM 521 Advanced Statistical Methods in Communication
COM 534 Observational Rating and Coding
COM 537 Comm and Community
COM 555 Political Deliberation
COM 566 Discourse and Sex/uality
COM 567 Ethnicity, Gender, and Comm
COM 569 Relational Comm
COM 570 Organizational Comm
COM 576 Interpersonal Comm
COM 577 Comm in Small Groups
COM 578 Intercultural Comm
COM 580 Nonverbal Comm
COM 582 Comm Education Research