Anthro33Lecture3.ppt (1)

Anthro33Lecture3.ppt (1) - Ways of Making Sense I(Week 2...

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Unformatted text preview: Ways of Making Sense I (Week 2, Monday, October 3) M. Morgan and African American English cont’d. Indexicality Capps and Ochs - Narrative structure as theory Schegloff - Achieving the “routine” and constructing the “normal” Transcripts as theories African American Speech community members’ diverse beliefs about African American English (AAE): • it has an “expressive” African character • symbol of resistance to slavery and oppression, or • is an indicator of a slave “mentality” or consciousness • Dynamic and always changing • Verbal Dexterity is critical Morgan: AAE is a “Counterlanguage” • Complex sign of both resistance and oppression • Expressive of African character • AAE functions to signal community membership and solidarity across class lines. Ideologies about AE in the African American Community: • It is the language of education, and therefore status • It can signal the rejection of membership in the African American community • Symbolic of historical oppression Morgan has found that… Middle class African Americans do not associate being middle class with an absence of African American culture. Morgan argues that … AAE suggests the multi-situated nature of African-American life. “AAE reflects language as a symbol of ‘actual social life…a multitude of concrete worlds…of bounded verbal-ideological and social belief systems’ (Bakhtin 1981: 288).” “Sociolinguists have constituted speech community membership and style in ways that reinscribe the dominant society’s interpretation of AAE as a sign of poverty and oppression” (Morgan, p. 83). Mikhail Bakhtin heteroglossia “At any given moment of its evolution, language is stratified not only into linguistic dialects in the strict sense of the word… but also - and for us this is the essential point - into languages that are socio-ideological: languages of social groups, “professional” and “generic” languages, languages of generations and so forth.” Linguistic homogeneity is an ideological construction. Indexicality Words and ways of speaking “point to” various aspects of context. Speakers are embedded in various social contexts which give meaning to their words and ways of interacting. Sarah: This can mean a lot of different things. Bakhtin: Centripetal and Centrifugal forces on language Panic (L. Capps and E. Ochs), Chapters 1 - 4, “The Agony of Agoraphobia,” “In Her Own Words,” “Telling Panic,” and “A Grammar of Panic” Genetic and psychological approaches to understanding agoraphobia are only partial. The study is prompted by Meg, the subject of this book, because she says she needs to explain her answers to a questionnaire after a psychological analysis of her problem. Toni Morrison - “Narrative is radical, creating us at the very moment it is being created.” The plot of a story is similar to a theory of events, so it is a window into how Meg understands and makes sense of her problem. The plots of stories have an architecture We should look at how these stories are built in order to penetrate the sensemaking process. In the architecture of Meg’s stories… events are made frightening (or problematic) by both recasting and precasting. In Meg’s stories… Panic spirals - panic responses to events are further grounds for panic which entail responses which have further consequences which inspire attempts to communicate which fail and cause further panic and so on… Grammar of abnormality Reason adverbs + adverbials: “unaccountably,” “all of a sudden,” “out of the blue” Mental verbs (that suggest a dialogue with herself): “think,” “realize,” “become aware” Place adverbs: “here” Grammar of helplessness Nonagentive roles: experiencer, feeler, Diminished agentive roles: verbs of necessity, hypothetical past constructions, “try” constructions, negation, intensifiers + deintensifiers * The authors find that there is both a master narrative and a subjugated narrative (or a master theory and a subjugated theory). Capps and Ochs don’t talk about speech community. But they do talk about a world view (Weltanschauung), held by an individual. “Conceptualizations of mental health and illness rely on notions of Weltanschauung (world view) in that they presuppose a normal world view” (p. 22) But a “common sense” world view has been shown to be cultural in character, fashioned historically and interactionally. “Common sense” is a set of local expectations, understandings, and practices that members of a community agree is practical and reasonable. Clifford Geertz: Common sense is “a relatively organized body of considered thought, rather than just what anyone clothed and in his right mind knows.” Meg’s master narrative • connected to place • comes on suddenly, unaccountably • unlike other normal people • she cannot go certain places • everyone else has a common sense view of the world • no explanation for her problem * But the key here is the setting, which contains an alternate theory. Methodological and theoretical similarity between Morgan and Capps & Ochs… • Seeking out and highlighting speakers’ own perspectives on their experience in contrast to the expert narrative. Speakers have theories about their lives and their use of language. • Language use is indexical - words and ways of speaking “point to” various aspects of context. Speakers are embedded in various social contexts which give meaning to their ways of interacting. E. Schegloff. 1986. “The Routine as Achievement.” Human Studies 9:111-151 “Canonical” sequences of phone conversation openings: Summons/answer sequence Identification sequence Greeting sequence Exchange of howareyou sequences Roles for telephone conversation openings • Gatekeeping • Constitution or reconstitution of the relationship between participants • Organizing the WAY in which something will be talked about • They are not just something people “go through.” They are achieved. 'Routine' (telephone) openings in which 'nothing happens’ need, therefore, to be understood as achievements arrived at out of a welter of possibilities for preemptive moves or claims, rather than a mechanical or automatic playings out of prescripted routines. Even the rings of the telephone are not a random or mechanical matter. They are socially produced. Talk-in-interaction is “the primordial site of sociality.” “Wherever else we might locate '(the) society,' - the economy, the polity, the law, the organized systems for the reproduction of the population and the membership of the society, etc. - the organization of persons dealing with one another in interaction is the vehicle through which those institutions get their work done” (Schegloff, p. 112). Anthony Giddens - The Duality of Structure “[S]ociety provides resources for organizing the social life of its members while members’ use of such resources in turn reproduce them… talk (is) a ubiquitous resource for reproducing social reality, and hence existing relations of power and dependence” (Duranti, 1997:11). Talk as Social Action Schegloff - the beginnings of telephone conversations Capps and Ochs - stories Morgan - using different codes that index particular experiences and histories What is a transcript? And I remembered clutching on to my daughter and saying, “Beth I’m- Mama’s really afraid.” (.3 pause) And- and um (.4 pause) and um (.4 pause) I- er I- I mean instantly regretted that I had (.4 pause) told her that I was afraid. But I- I did. I clutched on to her. And I remember asking her to pray with me because I was so unnerved. [From Constructing Panic, p.72] What is a transcript? What is a transcript? ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/26/2011 for the course ANTHRO 33 taught by Professor Wertheim during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.

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