`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 10: Being Ascribed, and Resisting, Membership of an Ethnic Group
Being Ascribed, and Resisting, Membership of an Ethnic Group
It has often been suggested that much of what it means to be social resides both in our language and in our linguistic communicative practices. Likewise, it has also often been suggested that those studying language need to bear in mind that the language people use in interaction can join them together – or, indeed, keep them apart – in particular social ways. Group categorizations, I will suggest, are both orientations to our sociality and social actions themselves. The identity categories you use in talking to the people around you are tools by which you organize your activities with them, and, at the same time, they are ways ...