Roger Slack (2000) 'Reflexivity or Sociological Practice: A Reply to May'
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Received: 17/1/2000 Accepted: 7/4/2000 Published: 31/5/2000
'A reflexive concern with the mediation between professional and lay concepts is sidelined in favour of meticulous descriptions of mundane activities within everyday life' (¶2.5)
'In exactly the ways that a setting is organised, it consists of members' methods for making evident that settings' ways as clear, coherent, planful, consistent, chosen, knowable, uniform, reproducible connections, - i.e., rational connections. In exactly the way that persons are members to organised affairs, they are engaged in serious and practical work of detecting, demonstrating, persuading through displays in the ordinary occasions of their interactions the appearances of consistent, clear, chosen, planful arrangements. In exactly the ways in which a setting is organised, it consists of methods whereby its members are provided with accounts of the setting as countable, storyable, proverbial, comparable, picturable, representable - i.e. accountable events' (Garfinkel, 1967, p. 34. Italics in original)
2It is a continual source of fascination to me that sociological accounts of reflexivity move us further away from the natural attitude and ever closer to the text, the profession and, consequently, the ironic. A first class account of various modes of irony is to be found in Anderson and Sharrock (1983).
3This coinage has the direct opposite meaning to Garfinkel's notion of 'anthropological strangeness' (Garfinkel, 1967, p. 9).
4Obviously if one is wedded to the legislative model of sociology then this makes little sense, but one might ask how much impact sociology has had and how much a reflexive sociology of the type described by May would have.
5I am grateful to one anonymous reviewer for pointing out the implications of this to me. I would hope that other sociologists recognise that this move has been made, and above all take it into account in discussing reflexivity.
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