Rod Watson: Reflexivity, Description and the Analysis of Social Settings



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Watson, Rodney
Reflexivity, description and the analysis of social settings Ciências Sociais Unisinos, vol. 41, núm. 1, enero-abril, 2005, pp. 1-6 Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos
São Leopoldo, Brasil

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Ciências Sociais Unisinos
166(1): 00-00, janeiro/abril 2005
2005 by Unisinos
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Reflexivity, description and the analysis of social settings1
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Rodney Watson2
Abstract
The concept of ‘reflexivity’ has become an often-intoned mantra in contemporary social science, particulary, perhaps, sociology. This article, however, argues that the ‘blanket use’ of ‘reflexivity’ glosses over and confuses many different actual definitions and understandings of the concept - not least because the concept operates differently as a move within each of the divergent analytic ‘games’ that compose the overall discipline. One (among many other) crucial distinctions is that between ‘stipulative’ and ‘essential’ reflexivity - the former originating in part in G.H.Mead’s notions of the ‘I’ and the ‘Me’, and extended within current theories of reflexive modernity. This concept has been wrenched by professional social scientist from its mundane moorings and has been ‘elevated’ into an analytic technique of self interrogation. By contrast, ‘essential’ reflexivity, as adduced by ethnomethodological sociologists, remains resolutely emplaced in the domain of lay society-members’ ordinary sense-making practices: it here refers to the reciprocal, back-and-forth determinations of sense of members’ mundane descriptions of their specific circumstances and of the circumstances they describe - description and circumstance reflect upon each other during the sense-making practices. A brief example of essential reflexivity is given- reflexive formulations in ordinary conversations.
Keywords: reflexivity, description, ethnomethodology Resumo
O conceito de ‘reflexividade’ tornou-se um mantra entoado muito freqüentemente na ciência social contemporânea, particularmente, talvez, na sociologia. Este artigo, entretanto, argumenta que o uso generalizado da noção de ‘reflexividade’ mistura e confunde muitas definições e compreensões diferentes deste conceito - além do que o conceito opera de modo diferente como um movimento dentro de cada um dos ‘jogos’ analíticos divergentes que compõem a disciplina como um todo. Uma (entre várias outras) distinções cruciais é entre reflexividade ‘estipulativa’ e ‘essencial’ - a primeira originada em parte das noções de G. H. Mead de ‘Eu’ e de ‘Mim’ e estendida dentro das teorias correntes da modernidade reflexiva. Este conceito foi arrancado de suas amarras mundanas por cientistas sociais profissionais e foi ‘elevado’ a uma técnica analítica de auto-interrogação. Em contraste, a reflexividade ‘essencial’, conforme tratada pelos sociólogos etnometodólogos, permanece resolutamente colocada no domínio das práticas cotidianas de produção de sentido dos membros comuns da sociedade: aqui, ela se refere às determinações recíprocas do sentido das descrições mundanas dos membros, de suas circunstâncias específicas e das circunstâncias que descrevem - descrição e circunstância refletem uma à outra no processo de produção de sentido. É dado um breve exemplo de reflexividade essencial - formulações reflexivas em conversações ordinárias.
Palavras-Chave: reflexividade, descrição, etnometodologia.
1 Paper delivered to the ‘Symposium on Reflexi- vity and Description in Sociology’, University of Paris VIII, 03/03/1998.
2 Department of Sociology, University of Man- chester, Manchester, England, M13 9PL.
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I. In this paper, I wish to distinguish between two opposed analytic definitions of reflexivity, namely ‘stipulative’ and ‘essential’ reflexivity3. At the same time, I wish to trace the consequences of each definition for the study of so- ciological description. By ‘sociological description’, I in- tend lay or practical descriptions rather than those of professional sociologists. However, since the latter are, necessarily and in various ways, predicated upon the former, I shall also be making some observations on how sociolo- gists describe ‘the world-as-seen-from-within-sociology’.
I shall also be treating sociological description as social ac- tivity, as an array of practices. This will be done with a view to of- fering an abbreviated empirical example of the reflexivities of lay descriptive practice, that of formulations in ordinary conversation and also in school classroom interaction
Reflexivity’ has come to be employed in sociology as a ‘port- manteau term’, one that conflates and confuses several distin- guishable analytic senses: indeed, it seems to have become the ‘El Niño’ of contemporary sociology, employed as the universal ac- count for everything. The different senses of ‘reflexivity’, how- ever, in fact belong to different and incompatible sociological ‘lan- guage games’ and, consequently, are put to very different, and of- ten mutually-exclusive analytic uses.
II. We might define ‘stipulative reflexivity’ as a the- ory-formed and theory-driven concept, one that refers to the implication of the socviological or anthropological observer in the field s/he is observing. Observer and the observational field are treated as reciprocally (often dialogically)-defining. For instance, the observer is seen as constituting the field in terms of his/her cultur- ally-based and/or disciplinary-based pressupositions. This has led to a position - found mainly though not ex- clusively in interpretive and critical anthropologies - that when the analytic observer is saying something about his/her object, s/he is also saying or manifesting some- thing about him/herself. This self-referenciality is held as having its roots in the reflexivities of everyday life, as, for instance, characterized by the philosopher George Herbert Mead in his notion of “taking the role of the other” or “the ‘inner conversation’ of the ‘I’ and the ‘Me’”. In other words, Mead offers us a conception of the reflexive alternation of the self as subject and the self as object4.
As so frequently happens in social science, a method of ordi- nary reasoning quickly ceases to be examined as such. Instead, it comes to be both arrogated and reified by the professional ana- lyst, becoming elevated to the status of a methodological prescrip-
tion. Indeed, in this reading of stipulative reflexivity, the concept ceases to have primary import in its ordinary de- terminations and acquires such import in its profes- sional-methodological ones. Thus we find that the pro- fessional observer is enjoined to ‘switch into reflexive mode’, involving perhaps a confessional self-examination of the observer’s relation to the observed, of his/her de- scriptive devices (including, for instance, linguistic trans- actions and fieldnote writing), the claim to authoritative writing the pervasive use of ethnocentric, historic or dis- ciplinary bias or some other form of perspectivalism, eg. Gender-based or age-based.
In this way, there is (allegedly) a constant self-monitoring of the analytic perceiver’s implication inthe perceptual field: this form of reflexivity is, then akin to what the existential psichoanalyst David Cooper termed ‘dialectical rationality’. This ‘riding shotgun’ on oneself implies, clearly, a claim concerning the realignementof the observer with the observed, if not a professed reformulation of the entire ‘relation’ between the two. It is a way of dispriveleging the accounts of other analysts as well as one’s own. Paradoxical as it may seem, the element of reciprocity or mutual implication of observer and observed can also lead to the selective dispriveleging of one’s subjects descriptions of their world relative to those of others. This may be effected on an ad hominem basis, eg. an authority-holder’s account may be undercut whilst an “underling’s” account may be accorded authority: hence the ‘stipulative’ aspect of this form of reflexivity. Other undercutting techniques may also be used, eg the deconstruction of the organising logic of the account or the attribution of vested interests. Thus, one may end up with a reciprocal discounting of descriptive accounts, a denial of authoritative speaking to various parties, the observed as well as the observer.
This, then, is the version of reflexivity that is (largely tacitly) presupposed in contemporary studies of ‘reflexive modernity’ - the self-aware, self-interrogating society: here, reflexivity is taken out of its natural home of ordinary social action and interaction and reified, in hyperbolic form, into the basis of an entire moment of modernity.
The arrogation by the analyst of this ordinary re- flexivity to an analytic mentality has, oddly, served to re- instate something akin to the introspectionism that all the classic sociologists eschewed - where ‘criticism’ be- comes self-awareness and self-interrrogation of the ana-
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  1. 3  See e.g. Roger S. Slack (1994). I wish to thank Roger Slack for many instructive conversations on issues concerning reflexivity.
  2. 4  For some comments, albeit ill-focused ones, on this issue, see the editors’ ‘Introduction’ in F. Steier, 1991.
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lysts’ own purported own biases, moral commitments, etc., and of her/his self-conscious self-placement vis-a-vis the field of observation in which s/he is implicated. Ethnomethodology, however, has a different and, I should argue, logically prior conception of ‘reflexivity’.
III. The ethnomethodological notion of reflexivity dif- fers almost totally from the above one. The only point of coincidence is that reflexivity is seen as be- ing, au fond, a property of the natural attitude, of ordinary peoples’ commonsense descriptive activi- ties. Certainly, in the attributing of primary import the two approaches differ. Whilst the proponents of ‘stipulative reflexivity’ tend to pay only lip ser- vice to reflexivity as a phenomenon in the natural attitude, the ethnomethodology places the essen- tial reflexivity of natural accounting practices on ‘centre stage’, as a topic for explication in itself. ‘Reflexivity’ is not, for the ethnomethodologist, to be arrogated and reified into the cornerstone of an analytic method. Nor is it even conceived as the same kind of phenomenon as that proposed by the interpretive or critical anthropologists and their fel- low travellers.
‘Reflexivity’ in the ethnomethodological mode is con- ceived in terms of the inextricability of ordinary descriptions (such as typifications of persons, actions or situations) from the circumstances they describe: in natural descriptive ac- counts, the descriptionand the circumstances are recipro- cally-elaborative. It is this back-and-forth elaboration of de- scription and circumstance that is termed ‘(essential) reflex- ivity’. Thus reflexivity is inextricabli bound up with the indexical properties of language, such that with reference to descriptions:
“...a description, for example, in the ways that it may be a cons- tituent part of the circumstances it describes, in endless ways and unavoidably elaborates those circumstances and is elabora- ted by them. That reflexivity assures to natural language cha- racteristic indexical properties such as following: the definite- ness of expressing resides in their consequences...(etc.)” (Gar- finkel e Sacks, 1970, p. 338).
It is in this sense that professional analysts’ descriptions partake, though derivatively, in the reflexivities of ordinary
members’ descriptions. Reflexivity, here is not a methodolog- ical prescription but an essential feature of all description5. The reflexivity is ‘essential’ in that it can not be “wished away”, can not be remedied or eliminated either by members or analysts: attempts to eliminate that property not only serve to proliferate it but also the attempts themselves will them- selves inevitably possess it. Instead of becoming a method- ological prescription, this analytic understanding of reflexivi- ty remains firmly emplaced as a property of ordinary mem- bers’ descriptive accounts of their situations, conduct, etc. It has little to do with the problem of self-reflexion whether conceived as a mundane process or as a methodological injunction.
In his earlier work, Garfinkel locates the property of re- flexivity in what he terms ‘the documentary method of inter- pretation’6 – or, rather, in his recontextualization of Karl Mannheim’s earlier formulation of the documentary method. Garfinkel conceives of the documentary method as an assemblçage of sense-making practices organised around the reciprocal determination of contextual particulars and im- puted underlying pattern. The ongoing alternation between particular and pattern is what Garfinkel terms ‘reflexivity’.
In his latest article7, Garfinkel has explicitly rescinded any reference to the documentary method and instead has come to refer to the ‘haecceities’ of a social setting8. How- ever, the term ‘haecceities’ works, in effect, to preserve what Garfinkel has always referred as the reflexive and indexical properties of descriptive accounts. ‘Haecceity’ is a term that refers to Garfinkel’s proposition that any particular social set- ting consists in the locally-embedded methods for its describ- able, identifiable production in a ‘here and now’ sense. What the term ‘haecceity’ focalises is the ways in which members bring about a given setting as a ‘naturally-accountable’ local object.
I hope it is clear, then, that the two ‘types’ of reflexivity differ in many basic respects: the term ‘reflexivity’ is not the- ory neutral. Stipulative reflexivity can be seen as a property of social actors9 – a mundane, self-reflective property that came to be elevated to the level of methodological precept that ex- panded to include the issue of self-criticism (where ‘self’ could denote, for instance, the representative of a discipline or of a cultural tradition).
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  1. 5  On the ‘essential’ nature of reflexivity, see H. Garfinkel (1967, p. 7-9).
  2. 6  Ibid, Chapter 3.
  3. 7  H. Garfinkel: ‘An Overview of Ethnomethodology’s Program’ in: Social Psychology Quarterly, volume 59, no. 1 (1996) pp 5-21.
  4. 8  Ibid. See also H. Garfinkel and D. L. Wieder: ‘Two Incommensurable Assymetrically Alternate Technologies of Social Analysis’ in G. Watson and R. M. Seiler
    (eds.): Text in Context: Contributions to Ethnomethodology. Newbury Park, California: SAGE Publications, 1992, pp.175-206.
  5. 9  This part of my paper owes much to M. Czyzewski: ‘Reflexivity of Actors versus Reflexivity of Accounts’, in Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 11 (1994), pp. 161-8. Czyzewski usesthe distinction between these conceptions of reflexivity as inter alia, a template for assessing the analytical coherence of some canoni- cal ethnomethodological texts: indeed, he notes that a ‘pre-ethnomethodological’ paper by Garfinkel himself is singular in that, amoingst other things, it con- tains a notion of reflexivity as the reflective capacity of actors. We might add to Czyzewski’s point the observation that such a notion can be found in the work
    of some classic phenomenological philosophers, too. Nor does Czyzewski note the arrogation of reflexivity as a professional research technique.
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Essential reflexivity may, by contrast, be seen as a non-extractable property of ordinary descriptions or descrip- tive accounts considered as social actions. No elevation of this concept to the level of a methodological precept is envis- aged – save, of course, the recommendation that the reflexivities of natural language use be attended to: and, quite evidently, since academic sociology partakes so intimately of the de- scriptive resources of natural language, that discipline may it- self be inspected for its discursive reflexivities.
In a still-unpublished paper by Garfinkel, there is a perspicuous summary of the ethnomethodological view of reflexivity:
The reflexivity of descriptions is a collecting gloss for the innu- merable ways in which descriptions can be parts of what they describe: the ‘reflexivity’ of questions is a collecting gloss for the innumerable ways in which questions can be part of what they question. And so on for stories, quantities, lists, instructi- ons, maps, photographs and the rest.10
One might also characterise the distinction between stipulative and essential reflexivity by pointing to the analytic work done through the two concepts. Stipulative reflexivity, when arrogated by the analyst into a methodological precept, has as its outcome the relativisation of accounts, certainly of analytic ones and often, selectively, of mundane accounts, too. In this ‘ironic’ mode11 it represents but the latest incar- nation of the ad hominem undercutting device so frequently employed in the sociological tradition, Through which a given descriptive account is discounted or demoted as partial, (perspectival), flawed, misconceived, superficial, distorted, etc. Stipulative reflexivity, then, operates in a language game whose outcome is methodological irony, that is, the establish- ing of a competitive relation as between ordinary and analytic accounts with, of course, the dice being loaded in favour of the latter.
By contrast, essential reflexivity operates as part of a language game of methodological explication or explicitation. It serves as part of the task of explicating the ordinary activity of describing or accounting as these occur in context as part of ordinary actors’ lived experience. In particular, the ethnomethodologist is committed to the explication of the practical organising logic of a given, situated descriptive ac- count. There4 is no attempt to undercut the account by ap- plying an external (i.e. not integrated to the situated account
itself) standard to adjudge its efficacy, validity, objectivity, etc., unlike the case of stipulative reflexivity where an exter- nal standard is so applied.
IV. Ahighlyperspicuousexampleofessentialreflexivi- ty is that of formulations in discourse. Garfinkel and Sacks12:
“A member may treat some part of the conversation as an occasion to describe that conversation, to explain it, or characterise it, or furnish the gist of it, or take note of its ac- cordance with rules or remark on its departure from rules. That is to say, a member may use some part of the conversa- tion as an occasion to formulate the conversation”.
In some work I did with John Heritage, we observed that although all conversation may be said to have self-descriptive, self-explicating properties, formulations are utterance types where this property is highlighted by inter- locutors themselves. We noted that formulations are utter- ance types - and ipso facto conversational action types - where, to employ Cicourel’s felicitous term, the conversation descriptively ‘folds back on itself’.
In addition, formulating utterances are characteristi- cally the first part of two-utterance units known as ‘adjacency pairs’, (of which questions and answers are another pair type). Through the adjacency pair format, a proposed descrip- tion or understanding of the conversation on the part of one speaker may be confirmed or disconfirmed on the part of his/her interlocutor. Thus, the sense of the conversation may be ‘negotiated’ as between speakers: or, put another way, speakers can, through using formulations, align themselves to ‘the’ sense of a conversation. In these ways, we can refer to descriptions (or definitions), sense, understandings, etc., non-psychologistically as ‘public’ rather than ‘private’ (men- tal) matters. This transparency is a culturally-based and (in each and every specific circumstance) interactionally- achieved phenomenon. Definitions, understandings, etc., are not just social actions but are interactionally-produced, interactionally-monitored and interactionally-ratified. In that a formulation is a proposed ‘gloss’ of the sense of a conversa- tion or some part of it, that gloss possesses only a ‘candidate status’ as ‘the’ sense, as a proper gloss, until it is confirmed (or discomfirmed) by a co-conversationalist.
An example of a confirming of a formulation is to be found in the following:
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10 11
12
H. Garfinkel, ‘A Manual for the Study of Naturally-Organized Activities’ (unpublished mimeo, 1976, cited in Czyzewski, ibid.).
On methodological irony and its alternatives, see R. Watson: ‘Ethnomethodology, Consciousness and Self’, Journal of Consciousness Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, June, 1998, pp 202-23, and to a considerably lesser extent, R. Watson: ‘Préservations et Transformations em Ethnométhodologie depuis la Publication des Studies in Ethnomethodology d’Harold Garfinkel’. Mimeo of a paper presented at the Centre Culturel de Cerisy-la-Salle, Conference on “Ethnomethodologie: Une Sociologie Improbable”, June, 1997.
H Garfinkel and H. Sacks, (1970), op.cit., p.350.
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(SLR:11:9, DRW)
1. Suspect: 2. Officer1: 3.
4.

F 5. Officer 2: 6.
7.
D+ 8. Suspect:

9. Officer 2: 10.
  1. (0.3)
  2. Suspect:
13.
14. Officer 2:
Police interrogation (conducted by two oficers) of a murder suspect who alleg- edly killed his homosexual victim in the victim’s home.
‘Ee’ ad no chance ah took im bah: surprah:ze Okay
(ul.)) hhhmh (0.9)
‘N other words whin he invited you in ther his idea wz uh, foolin
arou:d right?

Yeh his idea wz, b’t not miine, ( ) En you didnt give im a chance tuh
right?
Aftuh ‘ee did wut ‘ee gotta do You know
Yah
Here, on line 13 the Interviewer’s formulation pro- poses a candidate gloss of Mr Scargill’s utterances that Mr Scargill disconfirms, and disconfirm in an upgraded or inten- sified manner (“I didn’t say that at all...”), and produces a re- formulation, with a differing sense or understanding from that of the Interviewer, as a project basis for the continuation of the talk. In this respect, the disconfirmation + reformula- tion has sequential implicativeness not only at the utter- ance-by-utterance level but at the topic level, too, (see also the instances from Heyman’s study, below).
Thus we may warrant the term ‘decision’ in the formu- lation-decision pair by reference to the observation that a confirmation or disconfirmation is made locally available here as what Garfinkel terms a “commonsense situation of choice” (where, for instance, not all of a conversation can be charac- terised as involving ‘decisions’). In the case of an adjacency pair, ‘deciding’ is strictly an occasioned conversational activity.
We found that the proposed sense of formulations glosses “where we have got to”, “where we are going to”, i.e. retrospective and prospective senses of the talk. These senses could involve the straightforward describing or per- suasive proposing of a gist or upshot of the conversation: they could ‘fix’ interactionally the identification of a topic, or could reformulate or change the topic.
The general ethnomethodological position is that social order is linguistically-constituted and, consequently, that nat- ural language can not be extracted from the natural circum- stances it (inter alia) describes. This means that formulations may be seen as working in what I, with some trepidation, shall term ways that extend beyond the alignment of sense vis-à-vis the orderliness of conversation per se.
In his study of formulations of topic in a school science lesson13, formulations also operate to propose, monitor and ratify participants’ understandings of work-thus-far, of work-to-come, of what element in the body of scientific knowledge held by the class is now being employed, or how a given classroom event is to be taken as evidencing this ele- ment, of what is to be achieved that day. In short, formula- tions also reflexively “gloss that which is to be learned, at- tended to or practiced that day, and for which all subse- quently may be held accountable” (Heyman, 1986, p.37). In this respect, a givem classroom event and participants’ for- mulating work are inextricably interwoven and mutu- ally-elaborative. Since classroom events are, for members, de- scribable and discursive events, they are, through and through, amenable to discursive practice such as formulating.
Heyman (1986, p.43) gives an example of the formula- tion of topic in a school classroom science lesson. (T = teacher, K = Kelly, a pupil).
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Here the formulation-confirmation pair is indicated by letters and arrows, (F=formulation, D=decision, +=con- firming decision). Police Officer 2’s utterance (line 5) formu- lates a circumstance of the alleged killing and this formula- tion is confirmed or ratified by the suspect at the appropriate point, i.e. the immediately subsequent utterance.
An instance of a disconfirmed formulation is as follows:
Excerpt from an ITV news broadcast in Great Britain, 8th December 1977, with the Yorkshire Area Miner’s Union President, Mr Arthur Scargill, about proposals concerning an agreement between the Government and national miners’ union to allow local pay deals and differentials based on local productivity.
1. Scargill: 2.
3.
4.

5.
6. Interviewer: 7.
8. Scargill:
9.
10.
11.
12.

Interviewer: Scargill:
...but you can rest assured that I will not sit idly by, and nor will my area council, and allow any other mineworker in Britain (.) to earn more money than those I represent.
Well will you
We will i (.) ensure
that those we represent (.) get the same amount of payment (.) that others (.) are going to be, (in) fact they are (.) anywhere else in Britain
So i (.) pits in your area will be
allowed to go for productivety schemes.
I didn’t say that at all (.) I said
very clearly that my members would not accept a position (.) where other mineworkers were going
to be paid more money for coal mining activity....

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F 13. 14. D- 15. 16. 17.
18.
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13 R. D. Heyman: ‘Formulating Topic in the Classroom’, Discourse Processes, vol. 9, (1986), pp. 37-55.
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18. T: 19.
20. F 21.

22. 23.
( ) water pump’s over here. The air pump’s
[10.0]
T: At the end of the last class we were discussing some things as to why those, most of those volumes, are different...... I want to start over again and
go through all of these......

References
CZYZEWSKI, M. (1994): ‘Reflexivity of Actors versus Reflexivity of Accounts’, in Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 11, pp. 161-8.
GARFINKEL, H. (1967): Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 288p.
_______. (1996): ‘An Overview of Ethnomethodology’s Program’ in: Social Psychology Quarterly, volume 59, no. 1 (1996) pp 5-21.
GARFINKEL, H. and SACKS, H. (1970): ‘On Formal Structures of Practical Actions’ in McKINNEY, J. C. and TIRYAKIAN, E. (eds.) The- oretical Sociology: perspectives and developments. New York: Apple- ton-Century-Crofts, 1970
GARFINKEL, H. and WIEDER, L. (1992): ‘Two Incommensurable Assymetrically Alternate Technologies of Social Analysis’ in WATSON, G. and SEILER, R. M. (eds.): Text in Context: Contributi- ons to Ethnomethodology. Newbury Park, California: SAGE Publica- tions, pp.175-206.
HEYMAN, R.D. (1986): ‘Formulating Topic in the Classroom’, Dis- course Processes, vol. 9, pp. 37-55.
SLACK, R. S.(1994) Varieties of Social Reflexivity. Unpublished PhD in Sociology, Faculty of Economics and Social Studies, University of Manchester.
STEIER, F. (ed.) (1991) Research and Reflexivity, London and New- bury Park: SAGE Publications,
WATSON, R. (1998) ‘Ethnomethodology, Consciousness and Self’, Journal of Consciousness Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, June, pp 202-23
_______. (1997) ‘Préservations et Transformations em Ethnomét- hodologie depuis la Publication des Studies in Ethnomethodology d’Harold Garfinkel’. Mimeo of a paper presented at the Centre Cul- turel de Cerisy-la-Salle, Conference on “Ethnomethodologie: Une Sociologie Improbable”, June.
Here, Heyman makes clear such formulations of topics can set up the upcoming work for the day’s lesson. Such for- mulations set up the proposed activity partly under a retro- spective rubric, i.e. as that which was done in a previous les- son. The utterance therefore does ‘double duty’ as a formula- tion, namely formulating previous lesson material as well as that which will immediately ensue in this lesson. The formu- lation is a particular manifest instance of what A. V. Cicourel termed ‘the retrospective-prospective sense of occurrence”: we might add that this sense pervades the conversational ut- terance types we have here called ‘formulations’. We might note here, in passing, that such examples just how important it is for the analyst to take the ‘linguistic turn’ in analysing in- teraction, not least in these ‘institutional’ contexts.
Thus, I hope we can see that the ethnomethodological notion of essential reflexivity bears scant relation to that of stipulative reflexivity, i.e. of the problem of self-reflection in either its mundane or (especially) its professional incarnations.
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