Analysing Practical and Professional Texts focuses on texts as constituents of human usage, showing how written documents and other 'texts' are integral to social organization. It reveals social organization itself to be not only textually-mediated in nature, but also textually-constituted, showing how texts - professional, technical or otherwise - as well as various social-scientific methodologies employ the resources of ordinary language. Theoretically sophisticated and illustrated with empirical examples, this book will be of interest not only to those with interests in ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, but also to social scientists and anthropologists concerned with text analysis, textual sense and the 'linguistic turn' in the methods of their own disciplines.
Rod Watson is Research Associate at the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Linguistique et Sociolinguistique at the Institut Marcel Mauss, Paris, France
'Rod Watson uses the tools of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis to show us aspects of texts, both the mundane texts of ordinary life and the sociological texts of authors like Erving Goffman, that we had not suspected were there. It’s a brilliant analysis of the language games and rhetorical tropes that suffuse sociology’s theoretical discourse. Anyone who wants to understand sociologists’ work will profit from Watson’s penetrating insights.' Howard S. Becker 'Rod Watson cogently and masterfully draws the reader in as a co-participant in his textural analysis. Of particular importance is his discussion of the value and power of the documentary method as an analytical tool. Watson meticulously builds his case throughout the volume, culminating in his incisive and insightful textual examination of the work of Erving Goffman.' Thomas S. Weinberg, Buffalo State College, USA 'Watson eschews generalization and instead examines the ''production work'' that constitutes a specific text and gives it meaning-in-use... Watson's book is a welcome addition to the still embryonic literature concerned with how texts actually work as social productions...' Contemporary Sociology