`Identity' attracts some of social science's liveliest and most passionate debates. Theory abounds on matters as disparate as nationhood, ethnicity, gender politics and culture. However, there is considerably less investigation into how such identity issues appear in the fine grain of everyday life. This book gathers together, in a collection of chapters drawing on ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, arguments which show that identities are constructed `live' in the actual exchange of talk. By closely examining tapes and transcripts of real social interactions from a wide range of situations, the volume explores just how it is that a person can be ascribed to a category and what features about that category are cons
Chapter 1: Identity as an Achievement and as a Tool
Identity as an Achievement and as a Tool
This book is about identity, of course, but browsing readers who flip through its pages might wonder at the presence of so many lines of transcribed talk, often laced around with a filigree of curious symbols. What has talk got to offer us, they will ask, in trying to understand identity? Are the contributors recommending that we ask people to tell us who they are, and treat them as informants about what identities they have, and about what those identities lead them to think and do? No, it is not that. The contributors to this book do not want to treat people as informants, nor do they want ...