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The central concern of Membership Categorisation Analysis (MCA) is the description of the array of categorisation practices observable in members’ “naturally-organised activities”. This workshop is focused on exploring and understanding what Harvey Sacks called the “member’s machinery” and how that foundation was later developed into a concern with the analysis of “culture-in-action”. Sacks’ early analyses considered how relevant categories are ‘used’ not only to categorise individuals as ‘representative’ members of a given category but, in a broader sense, to both produce and recognise the orderly character that scenes and activities observably have. In this sense, MCA is not a formal method of inquiry as such but forms a live ‘resource’ for members in the accomplishment of reasoning, sense-making, and social organisation. 

This introduction to and exploration of this ‘categorial landscape’ will be led by an expert in the field. It will be structured over the course of two-days and will include a plenary talk on the evening of the first day. The workshop will provide a summary of Sacks’ early work by working through some classic examples in order to familiarise participants with the aspects of ‘membership categorisation devices’ that form the cornerstone of MCA. We will also move on to consider further examples which demonstrate the contribution of MCA in addressing the centrality of categorisation practices in a range of activities and settings. Following introductory remarks and orientations, the workshop will be practical in nature and the majority of the second day of the workshop will take the form of data sessions where participants will be encouraged to contribute their own materials. Participants attending the course will leave well prepared to begin or continue their own studies in membership categorisation analysis.

For further information and to register your place for this course, please visit the NCRM website.

Friday, May 26, 2023
09:30 - 14:00
Time Zone:
UK, Ireland, Lisbon Time (change)
External Event
  Researcher KnowHow  


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Judith Carr