analysis, social organization, classroom talk

Monday, April 30, 2007



Here is a pic of the view from our hotel in Chicago. The room was on the 33rd floor.
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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ethnomethodological analyses of texts

I spent part of this weekend reading some articles about ethnomethodology. These were given to me by Gillian who is an academic staff member at cqu and PhD student (supervised by Susan Danby at QUT).

I particularly enjoyed reading "The equivocal text and the objective world: An ethnomethodological analysis of a news report" by Lena Jayyusi. I haven't done this kind of analysis myself, nor read many accounts of how to do it. Here is a long section that i thought interesting. It comes from the introduction (p. 168):

"One will also be engaged, clearly, in asking how 'reality' is constructed within the text. Specifically, for a news or documentary text, one would investigate how it is that the text provides for its 'objective' character by which it is encountered as an 'objective account of actual reality' rather than as just some subjective version of reality. How is that reality constructed within this text and with what practical import.

The constitution of an objective reality lies at the heart of mundane social praxis - both as premise and outcome. From within the natural attitude, news reports (and various other documentary texts) are taken to stand in a particular relation of correspondence to an external reality that is independent of them: they either reflect it, report on it, relay it correctly, or they misrepresent it. In that respect, and from within the natural attitude, the 'objective world' as premise is marked and attended to routinely, and can provide an array of possible empirical and moral problematics for the ordinary person: the mundane actor/reasoner. It is the objective world as 'outcome' of these and other practices that is the focus of the social constructionist turn in contemporary inquiry, and of the analytic scrutiny that arises from it. For the ethnomethodological analyst, the news report is interesting for the ways that the premise (and premised properties) of an objective world is reflexively tied to its intersubjective constitution. In other words, the ethnomethodologist, seeking the explication of mundane social order, preserves within view the properties of the objective world as they are and in the way that they are encountered by the mundane actor/reasoner. The ethnomethodologist locates these as features of practices through which the 'objective world' is constituted so that the news report, or media text, is the nexus of both objectivity-as-premise and objectivity-as-outcome of social praxis."

Now I'm going to have a long hard think about all of that!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

what next?

2007 is flying. I've had some good news recently - a journal article accepted for publication here and a book review to be published in the september issue of this.

A couple of weeks ago I attended AERA in Chicago. My papers were:

Righting writing: What the social accomplishment of error correction tells about school literacy

Scaffolding and the provision of balance: The application of scaffolding within a state-wide literacy program

From package to practice: Examining the ad hoc in a state-wide early literacy program

So, one answer to "What next?" is to produce and submit papers to journals. I'll start with "Righting writing". I spoke about this paper at the CQU Faculty seminar on Thursday. Presenting a seminar post-conference is a requirement for funding to attend an overseas conference. Ditto, for getting the paper published. All up, it makes the conference process a year-long one, and it's almost time to start thinking about a proposal for AERA 2008 (to be held in New York).

AT AERA I caught up with Kathy Roulston (University of Georgia, Athens, USA). I met Kathy when we were both Phd students being supervised by Carolyn Baker. Kathy has asked me to collaborate with her on a journal article in the area of Ethnomethodology. I'm absolutely thrilled about the opporunity to work and write with Kathy and have made a start this week.

After the Faculty seminar on Thursday, a colleague commented that I could write out of my PhD forever. I've said that myself on previous occasions and it is great to have this research to mine. At the same time, I have another research project that i have to get to - a seed grant that will examine young children's on-line activity in the home. The focus on young children is consistent with all my previous research but the home context introduces something new. This work will be the first research for me, post PhD.