Standard Article

Ochs, Elinor

  1. Inmaculada M. García-Sánchez

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0876

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

García-Sánchez, I. M. 2012. Ochs, Elinor. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


Elinor Ruth Ochs (1944– ) is a linguistic anthropologist who has devoted her career to the study of discourse structures and grammar in their larger cultural contexts. Always an avid researcher, theoretically innovative, and committed to cross-cultural ethnography, Ochs has conducted extensive fieldwork on interaction and communicative practices in Madagascar, Italy, Samoa, and the USA. In the USA alone, Ochs has carried out research on topics as diverse as the social construction of scientific knowledge in a physics laboratory, language and social identity, the sociality of autism, language and affect, and the construction of morality as a family discourse practice, among many others. Having accumulated a substantial number of research findings throughout her career, Ochs has made significant contributions to the field of applied linguistics, being perhaps better known for her work on language socialization, narrative, and the analysis of family discourse. A driving impetus in Ochs's work has been her emphasis on the importance of quotidian practices and everyday language use as a rightful locus of inquiry to ground larger concerns about the role of linguistic and cultural practices central to human learning and development throughout the life span.


  • culture;
  • discourse analysis;
  • language and social interaction;
  • linguistic anthropology;
  • child language;
  • sociocultural language studies