Starting from the premise that interpersonal communication is inseparable from culture, this collection moves beyond traditional approaches to the subject by foregrounding the ways in which interpersonal relationships emerge through culturally mediated language practices. Proposes a new approach to interpersonal communication, based in ethnography and performance. Features ethnographic articles that are inviting and accessible to beginning students. Explores interpersonal interactions in a range of settings: from high school slang in California to sign language use in a deaf church, from Tuareg greetings in the Sahara to the language of aggression among Mississippi girls. Includes articles with detailed transcripts of conversation that students can analyze. Provides students with conceptual and practical tools to develop their own ethnographic research on language practices.