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Role as an Interactional Device and Resource in Multidisciplinary Team Meetings

William Housley
Sociological Research Online 4 (3) housley

Abstract: During the course of this paper the approaches of Conversation Analysis and Membership Categorisation Analysis are used to investigate and explore team members talk within multidisciplinary social/care team meetings. The paper explores the situated character of role within team meetings and considers the various methods through which team member roles are accomplished, negotiated, contested and used as a resource in the everyday business of making decisions, exchanging information and allocating work within multidisciplinary social/care team meetings. Consequently, traditional conceptualisations of role are respecified in terms of situated action.

Categorisation, Narrative and Devolution in Wales

William Housley and Richard Fitzgerald
Sociological Research Online 6 (2) housley

Abstract: Within this paper we examine the use of extended story turns, within the accomplished context of a radio news debate, that display various accounts of national identity in relation to a proposal for devolved democratic institutions within the United Kingdom. In this sense, they display a 'world view'. These various positions are displayed through the use of various categories, inferences and connections in order to lend support to and promote positions of For and Against the proposal of the establishment of a devolved democratic assembly for Wales. In this sense the topics of national identity and political re-organisation are omni-relevant topics (Sacks 1992). However, our particular focus and interest is upon the various detailed ways such positions routinely rely on methods of categorisation and moral assessment in their construction, configuration and promotion of arguments. Furthermore, the analysis of such category work contributes to our understanding of the moral organisation of Welsh identity in relation to devolved forms of political organisation and representation.

Moral Discrepancy and Political Discourse: Accountability and the Allocation of Blame in a Political News Interview

William Housley and Richard Fitzgerald
Sociological Research Online 8 (2) housley

Abstract: During the course of this article we intend to explore some issues surrounding government policy and actions and the moral organisation of political discourse surrounding the recent enquiry into the BSE crisis and the publication of the Phillips Report in the UK. More specifically, we wish to develop the concept of moral discrepancy and it's use in politically accountable settings, in this case the political interview. The paper, through the use of membership categorisation analysis, explores issues surrounding the social organisation of interview settings, the discursive management of policy decisions and 'bureaucratic mistakes' and the allocation of blame in situated media/political formats. The paper then relates these issues to notions of democracy-in-action, public ethics and the respecification of structure and agency as a members phenomenon.

Innovation and Reduction in Contemporary Qualitative Methods: The Case of Conceptual Coupling, Activity-Type Pairs and Auto-Ethnography

William Housley and Robin James Smith
Sociological Research Online 15 (4) 9

Abstract: During the course of this paper we mobilise an ideal typical framework that identifies three waves of reduction within contemporary qualitative inquiry as they relate to key aspects of the sociological tradition. The paper begins with a consideration of one of sociology's key questions; namely how is social organisation possible? The paper aims to demonstrate how this question moves from view as increased specialisation and differentiation in qualitative methodology within sociology and related disciplines results in a fragmentation and decontextualisation of social practices from social orders. Indeed, the extent to which qualitative methods have been detached from sociological principles is considered in relation to the emergence of a reductionist tendency. The paper argues that the first wave is typified by conceptual couplings such as 'discourse and the subject', 'narrative and experience', 'space and place' and the second by 'activity type couplings' such as 'walking and talking' and 'making and telling' and then, finally, the third wave exemplified through auto-ethnography and digital lifelogging. We argue each of these three waves represent a series of steps in qualitative reduction that, whilst representing innovation, need to reconnect with questions of action, order and social organisation as a complex whole as opposed to disparate parts.