Howard Giles

Howie Giles
Distinguished Research Professor
Intergroup Communication

Contact Phone

(805) 967-9626

Office Location

SSMS 4123


Intergenerational Communication, Aging and Communication Cross-Culturally, Successful Aging, Police-Civilian Interactions, Community-Oriented Policing, Intergroup Communication, Communication Accommodation, Ethnolinguistics, Language Attitudes


I first visited the then-called Communication Studies Program in 1984 from England for eight months when it had just bifurcated from Speech and Hearing. I returned home and then became Chair of Social Psychology and also Head of Psychology at Bristol University until I was hired as a full-time faculty member here in 1989. That was quite a cultural shift both in terms of national identity - I am now an American citizen - as well as disciplinarily. That said, given my longstanding research interests were in the social psychology of language and communication, the move to the more interdisciplinary base of Communication was very gratifying. Since 1989, I have seen the department grow in terms of numbers at all levels including a PhD program as well as gain in stature internationally. Hence, I am proud to have been Chair for nearly eight years - and this allowed me the pleasure of working with our excellent Staff - as well as Graduate Student Adviser for two terms. I have had the privilege of mentoring an array of first-rate graduate students from whom I have learned a great deal and it has been an enormous pleasure to see their careers really prosper. A very rewarding time was also had recently as Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies in the College of Letters and Science. Given my background of “missing” American high school and college, this allowed me to get a lot closer to students and their personal, social, and academic challenges and have greater insights from where they were coming from a lot better. This UCSB Department - as well as the campus as a whole - is devoted to building a sense of community (if not family) and I feel very fortunate to call this now my real home. See short vita below for other information, a full version could be available if requested. For continuing links with the social psychology of language and communication, link to My main research interests revolve around the study of intergroup communication in different domains (interethnic, gay-straight, between-gender, physically challenged-ablebodied people, etc.). My current interests revolve around intergenerational communication and lifespan aging -and from a cross-cultural perspective - as well as law enforcement-civilian interactions and community policing issues more widely.


Intergroup communication across many settings including intergenerational relations and ageing and law enforcement-community relations.