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. 

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