Abstract for On Complainability
Schegloff, E. A. (2005). On Complainability.
Social Problems, 52(3), 449-476.
Two common components of social problems are their
grounding in the differential categorization of
people and the treatment of some forms of conduct
as “complainable.” This article begins by
introducing some ways in which the categorization
of people and the complainability of conduct are
problematic — both in the conduct of ordinary
interaction and in social scientific analysis of
ordinary interaction. It then addresses this
problematicity by examining how ordinary conduct
in interaction can display participants’ tacit
orientation to the relevance of unspoken
categories and to the complainability of one’s own
or others’ conduct. It concludes by inviting
attention to recent work on well-recognized topics
of inquiry in the social problems literature, and
encourages the advancement of such work by
combining new analytic resources with longstanding
social problems themes and topics.