Categories in Text and Talk: A Practical Introduction to by Georgia Lepper

By Georgia Lepper

This can be the 1st useful publication on the way to follow Harvey Sacks' club categorization research procedure, an more and more influential approach for dialog research. Categorization research is a technique for the research of located social motion and gives a complementary solution to the normal sequential research utilized in the examine of obviously taking place speak and textual content.

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There are ’good’ families and ’bad’ families, and in the work of conversation, making those distinctions, and establishing the identity of members and the propriety of actions is of paramount importance. Cuff argued that it was necessary to extend the concept of the ’machinery’ of categorization which Sacks developed through ’the baby cried’ story, to the wider domain of naturally occurring social interaction, where issues of ’lightness’ and ’wrongness’, and ’goodness’ and ’badness’ become important components of the inferences to be made by speakers and hearers.

Rod Watson initiated an important study of one important group of categorizations with his study ’Categorization, authorization and blame negotiation in conversation’ (1978). He draws attention to the links between categorization work and sequential structure of talk which was being studied in great detail in the USA, arguing that the two aspects of conversational structuration are mutually constructed. The data he employs are again taken from a tele› phone helpline. He compares his findings with those of Paul Drew (1978) and Dorothy Smith (1978).

Schegloff's introduction to the Lectures provides an analytic overview of Sacks' work and its wide-ranging applicability. 5 Story-telling and narrative analysis 32 33 33 35 36 38 39 40 41 41 42 43 44 44 Summary Recommended reading 45 45 In Chapter 2,1 introduced some of the early work in the analysis of categorization. After Sacks' death, the analysis of conversational sequencing became the primary focus of interest in the USA, and categorization analysis was left behind. However, in the UK, a group of researchers at the University of Manchester continued to work with categorization analysis, and to develop the basic framework developed by Sacks in his lectures.

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