Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


26 February 2021

Revealing Culture as Constitutive Practice: EM/CA as an unmasking of Tacit and Taken-for-Granted in Interaction Orders of Tacit Racism and other Inequalities

Presented By Professor Anne Rawls as part of the CRCC Seminar Series

About this event

My talk will elaborate on what an EM approach to Interaction Orders of Tacit Racism and other inequalities could look like. EM began with Garfinkel’s research on Race in the 1940’s, and continued through the 1960’s, looking at the importance of the experience of exclusion in informing research (with particular emphasis on transgender, mental-illness, and blindness). EM is essentially an approach that looks to reveal the hidden tacit processes that the excluded know well – because they are revealed by troubles – but that social science typically overlooks. When looking at Race and exclusion this is of particular importance, as the mainstream view tends to reify and reproduce the perspective of the majority, who do not experience these troubles routinely, and consequently have little awareness of the taken-for-granted practices through which we actually cooperatively create the order and meaning of social life every day. The talk will consider my own research, the research of Garfinkel and Sacks, and the relationship of that research to Goffman, who was a fellow traveler.

Anne Rawls' teaching and research interests focus on social theory Ethnomethodology, communication, information and explore issues related to the organization of modern democratic publics and their relationship to situated practices of communication and work. These issues include the social character of information, the presentation of self, the development of a modern situated character, and studies of the situated character of reason, order and intelligibility. Courses explore the impetus toward justice in a modern division of labor context and the forms of character and interactional commitment that emerge. Courses also focus on race relations, inequality, and justice and why they are so problematic in modern democratic contexts. Research interests include focused studies of situated practice and exploration of the increasing importance of Interaction Orders of Race in modern society. A major research focus has been the delineation of an emergent interactional "social contract" and its resistance to inequalities that result from institutional arrangements and individual interests. Areas of interest include Ethics, Ethnomethodology, Epistemology, Philosophy of Language, Conversation Analysis and Social Theory. Author of Epistemology and Practice: Durkheim's Elementary Forms of the Religious life, Cambridge University Press, "Getting Information Systems to Interact", The Information Society, "Durkheim's Epistemology: the Neglected Argument," The American Journal of Sociology, "Interaction Orders of Race: W.E.B DuBois's Double Consciousness Thesis Revisited," Sociological Theory, “’Fractured Reflections’ of High Status Black Male Presentations of Self: Non-Recognition of Identity as a Tacit form of Institutional Racism”, (with Waverly Duck), Sociological Focus, "Emergent Sociality: Dialectic of Commitment and Order," Symbolic Interaction, "Harold Garfinkel," in Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists, Editor of Ethnomethodology's Program: Working Out Durkheim's Aphorism, Rowman and Littlefield (Author Harold Garfinkel) and Editor of Toward a Sociological Theory of Information (Author Harold Garfinkel).

Contact details

  • Questions about this event? Contact the CRCC Seminar Series organisers