Abstract for Categories_in_Action:_Person-reference_and_membership_categorization

ABSTRACT The article begins with an effort to
clarify and differentiate a variety of terms used
by analysts in dealing with mentions of persons in
conversation and other forms of 
talk-in-interaction – such terms as person 
reference, identifying, describing, categorizing,
and the like. This effort leads to the observation
that ‘reference to persons’ and ‘membership 
categorization’ are quite distinct sets of 
practices, with most reference to persons not 
being done by membership categories, and most uses
of membership categorization devices being in the
service of actions other than referring. Two 
interactional sequences whose analysis turns on a
connection to talk earlier in the occasion (a 
configuration termed ‘interactional threads’) are
then examined; first, to establish what is going
on interactionally without respect to the
mentioning of persons, and then as exercises in 
examining the various ways person-reference and 
membership categorization can figure in a stretch
of interaction.
KEY WORDS: action, categorization, conversation, 
description, reference, referring

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