Categorization and the Moral Order by Lena Jayyusi

By Lena Jayyusi

First released in 1984, it is a learn of categorization practices: how humans categorize one another and their activities; how they describe, infer, and choose. The publication provides a sociological research and outline of functional actions and makes a cogent contribution to the learn of the way the ethical order really works in sensible 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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What is employed as a resource and displayed here is the cluster of category-tied and category-embedded attributes and actions carried by the type categorization as situatedly constructed. Not everyone may assent to every item taken to be applicable and included within such a cluster by others. There is a latitude for disagreement - the cluster structure is, in other words, openended, just as the logic of a concept can be open-ended. But A does assent here. However, what is being produced at this point is talk about, and with respect to, a certain type categorization - and a type categorization constructed from features not produced in the conversation as being specific to a particular community (the Roman Catholic community).

The problem from R (a policeman). In the process of giving information and the ensuing discussion of the 'problem', R provides some detailed characterization of the persons concerned. This characterization involves projected actions that these people may perform, assessments of their characters, talk about their habits , codes, etc. , and throughout the talk R refers to 'they', 'these types', 'Hell's Angels', 'dropouts', etc. , sometimes apparently interchangeably. It is to this that we shall direct our attention.

There is a further difference that we can note here: 'dropout' delivers the aharaater or property (criteria! feature) of the category in the category name, 'Hell's Angel' does not. We may note further that the character of the utterance part 'all these er dropouts and er Hell's Angels' is that of a (short) list of categories. One answer to the above questions may then be obtained by examining the nature and work of categorial lists and the tie between individual designators and group designators in such lists.

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