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The Concept of Action - (New Departures in Anthropology) by N J Enfield & Jack Sidnell (Paperback)

The Concept of Action - (New Departures in Anthropology) by  N J Enfield & Jack Sidnell (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
The Concept of Action - (New Departures in Anthropology) by  N J Enfield & Jack Sidnell (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
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About this item

Specifications

Number of Pages: 242

Genre: Social Science

Sub-Genre: Anthropology

Series Title: New Departures in Anthropology

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book theme: Cultural & Social

Author: N J Enfield & Jack Sidnell

Language: English

Street Date: October 12, 2017
TCIN: 78707943
UPC: 9780521719650
Item Number (DPCI): 247-24-6376

Description

When people do things with words, how do we know what they are doing? Many scholars have assumed a category of things called actions: 'requests', 'proposals', 'complaints', 'excuses'. The idea is both convenient and intuitive, but as this book argues, it is a spurious concept of action. In interaction, a person's primary task is to decide how to respond, not to label what someone just did. The labeling of actions is a meta-level process, appropriate only when we wish to draw attention to others' behaviors in order to quiz, sanction, praise, blame, or otherwise hold them to account. This book develops a new account of action grounded in certain fundamental ideas about the nature of human sociality: that social conduct is naturally interpreted as purposeful; that human behavior is shaped under a tyranny of social accountability; and that language is our central resource for social action and reaction.
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