Biography Barry Saferstein

Barry Saferstein is a cognitive sociologist, who applies discourse analysis and ethnography to study the interrelationship of interaction, authority, and understanding in organizational settings. He is a Professor in the Communication Department at California State University San Marcos. His current research examines clinical consultations, explaining the effects of communication patterns, information resources, and professional culture on patients’ understandings of their medical conditions and treatment options. Prof. Saferstein emphasizes analysis of recorded data, particularly video analysis, which presents the environmental components of cognition and communication. In his recent work, this has resulted in an analytical framework that considers the relationship between interpretation activities and information resources in terms of process narratives, grey boxes, and discourse frameworks. His forthcoming book, Understanding and Interaction in Clinical and Educational Settings (Equinox Publishers, 2014) explains this approach.Prof. Saferstein’sresearch has included study of patient-practitioner communication in clinical consultations, genetics education in high school classrooms, and collaborative processes in television production organizations. He has authored publications on research methods and cognitive science.


Selected Publications

  • Understanding and Interaction in Medical and Educational Settings, Equinox Publishing, Sheffield, U.K. 2014.
  • “Reasoning with and without Reasons: The Effects of Professional Culture and Information Access in Educational and Clinical Settings.” Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics. In press.
  • “Mediating forms of knowing and understanding in public communication of genetics,” (Srikant Sarangi, 2nd author), in Exploring Semiotic Remediation as Discourse Practice (Paul Prior and Julie Hengst, eds.), Palgrave Macmillan. 2010.
  • “Cognitive Sociology: Studying Social Processes of Meaning, Action, and Order through Ethnography and Discourse Analysis,” In Society and Language Use (Jürgen Jaspers, ed.), Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 2010.