`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 11: Handling ‘Incoherence’ According to the Speaker's On-Sight Categorization
Handling ‘Incoherence’ According to the Speaker's On-Sight Categorization
Membership of gender and age categories is – generally – immediately determinable on sight (Jayyusi, 1984: 68). Nevertheless, just because a category is immediately available for use does not guarantee that it will be used by the people involved. Other chapters in this book have shown how participants' orientation to particular identities can be evidenced by their use of category labels or by their mobilization of the category-bound features that go along with them. What I want to show here is that on-sight categories can also be made live through the way that people deal with some emergent property of the talk that develops between them, a feature which can ...