Harvey Sacks – On being ordinary
-Aim of his study: Take singular sequences of conversation and tear them apart in such a way as to find rules, techniques , procedures, maxims that can be used to generate the orderly features we find in the conversations we examine. Dealing with the technology of conversation
-In ordinary conversation, people report what we might see, not what happened, but the ordinariness of what happened – the reports do not give attributes of the scene, activity, participants, but announce the event’s ordinariness, its usualness. E.g. do not report on someones set of eyebrows, you make these observations but do not include them in the story – only see and report the usual aspects of any possibly usual scene, what you look for is to see how any scene you are in can be made an ordinary scene – this is effort and lots of work as the scene does not in the first instance present itself, it is a matter of how you are going to attack it e.g. what are you going to see in it.
Sometimes, kids do ‘kissing and telling’ – they do the kissing not because they like it but because they like to do the telling.
People monitor the scenes they are in for their storyable characteristics, however, the awesome fact is they come away with no storyable characteristicsclick here for more information on this paper
Almost everyone tries to be occupationally ordinary, people take on the job of keeping everything utterly mundane – no matter what happens, pretty much everybody is engaged in finding only how it is that what is going on is usual with every effort possible. People make effort to achieve the ‘nothing happened’ sense of catastrophic events
People are specifically committed to a trust of vision, without any conception of what they understand by ‘vision’.
Entitlement to experiences are differentially available – The idea that in encountering an event and encountering it as a witness or someone who in part suffered by it, one is entitled to an experience, however getting the story from another is quite a different thing.
- Question to be asked: What happens to stories like this once they are told? Do stories like this become the property of the recipient as they are the property of the teller? Can the recipient of a story come to own it , i.e. tell it to another or feel for it as the teller.
- However, if the storyteller witnesses someone seeing an automobile accident and they feel sad, does the recipient of this story then have the entitlement to feel as sad? – It would seem peculiar if they did.
- However, we could imagine a society in which those having experienced something, having seen and felt for it could preserve both the knowledge and feeling for it by telling others à so if they can feel for it, anyone they tell could feel for it. Although, we can take the stock of knowledge of something and its yours to keep – stock of experiences is an altogether differently constructed thing e.g. differentiate how we deal with a piece of knowledge and how we deal with someone else’s experience, then the experiences get isolated rather than act as productive pieces of knowledge.
- Limited entitlement is not intrinsic to the organisation of the world, but is a way we come to perceive and feel about experience. It is easy to spread information, but difficult to spread emotions like joy or sadness. There is a differences between the distributional character of experience (i.e. troubles and joy in the world) and the distributional character of knowledge.
- Stories are differentiated in terms of their importance to the teller by reference to where the teller places them in a conversation e.g. if a story is really important, it is usually said at the start of a conversation. Another more important way of telling it is when you figure the recipient is not available to hear it and you call them up in the middle of the night.
- Another way to understand the importance of a story is to locate how much it affects an individuals day, i.e. if the individual was affected for a few hours by an accident and then goes home and watches tv etc à however, if the individual claimed that it ruined their whole day and it was interfering with their life then it shows how much the story matters.