‚Membership Categories', Stocks of Knowledge and Social ‘Figuration'
Since then, MCA has been employed primarily in ethnomethodology and applied to conversations as well as written material, e.g. by Silverman, Francis, Hester, and Wolff. It is to these studies that the presentation will be connected. It will do so by expounding, in a first step, the terminology and principles used in ethnomethodology to date (‘membership categorization devices’, ‘category bound activities’, ‘economy rule’, ‘consistency rule’, etc.), and the findings it has drawn from them. In a second step, the presentation will then demonstrate how MCA can be further developed with respect to both theory and method. In doing so, the presentation will purse the following questions: can MCA be incorporated into general sociology of language and its methodical approaches? Which elements of its repertoire of instruments can be, and need to be, refined? What are the stocks of knowledge that ‘membership categories’ draw on? What degree of context sensitivity do they possess? Which figurations (Norbert Elias) – i.e. which networks of interdependence – are generated by membership categories? Which ‘social topic’ is thus created?