`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

Mobilizing Discourse and Social Identities in Knowledge Talk

Mobilizing discourse and social identities in knowledge talk
RobinWooffitt and ColinClark

There has been, in recent years, a number of studies which adopt an approach to the study of language and social identity which draw from conversation analysis, particularly Harvey Sacks's (1992) early work on membership categorization devices. These studies have shown how categorizations of self and others can be accomplished with respect to interactional and inferential concerns generated by the trajectory of verbal exchanges. Antaki and Widdicombe in Chapter 1 have already characterized some important aspects of those studies which mark them off from more conventional social science accounts. The key point is that those studies regard social identity in terms of lay or vernacular social categories, the ...

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