A discursive approach to the negotiation of gendered categories
The purpose of this article is to broaden and sharpen the use of positioning in social science inquiry. Historically, positioning has either been aligned with ethogenic and ontological constructionist views of discourse/identity or post-structural projects interested in positioning as means to uncovering how people’s minds work or how an ordered extant exterior world shapes and constitutes human action. Rather than looking through acts of positioning to minds or worlds, the present chapter offers an epistemic discursive psychological view of positioning as sets of local discursive processes whereby speakers elegantly exploit the features of ordinary talk so as to make relevant their own and/or other’s identities as part of some social business that has an interactional logic as well as here-and-now relational consequences. The discursive dexterity of positioning is illustrated through an analysis of the negotiation of gendered identity categories.
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