By Lena Jayyusi

First released in 1984, this can be a research of categorization practices: how humans categorize one another and their activities; how they describe, infer, and decide. The ebook offers a sociological research and outline of sensible actions and makes a cogent contribution to the learn of the way the ethical order really works in functional communicative contexts. one of the concerns handled are: collectivity categorizations, the association of lists and outlines, ethical attribution and inferences, and the connection among criteria of morality and criteria of rationality.

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Sample text

There is not much point looking for beds at one or two o'clock in the morning if the trouble escalated, as I felt it might, from the night before's reaction. e. that he would not have become a director had he not been able to anticipate problems), or about the character of a director's work and duties. Either way, it reveals something of how that category gets constituted and used. Together with other categories such as 'doctor', 'nurse', 'painter', etc. , 'director' carries with its understanding a corpus of expectable skills and abilities - such skills and abilities often function as the category incumbent's credentials of incumbency.

51 A: Oh . . you sound very pessimistic. 52 R: Well (coughs) knowing these types and dealing with them er . . one can't look at it any other way. the windows talked of as about to be put up at the Planet playground could be broken or even taken out by some of these 'Hell's Angels types' sleeping out there. For A such a prediction is an expression of pessimism on R's part, which is justified by R on the grounds of his kn()b)Zedge of and dealings with those types. But notice that in characterizing the Hell's Angels Type through a listing of items that are 'typical' of the incumbents of such a category, R had not included violence or window breaking or vandalism in that list.

That this 'type' is constructed with reference to a self-organized group ('the Hell's Angels type') , however, makes its use also imp Zicative for projections to, inferences about and judgments of that group itself. What R is doing here, then, is depriving the individual biographies of each of the persons sleeping at the Planet playground of any status or relevance for assessing and projecting their possible future actions. Instead , we have the encapsulation of a particular set of activities and a particular set of practices attributable to various different persons at various and different times into a 'type'.

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