By Rod Watson

Analysing functional Texts specializes in texts as materials of human utilization, exhibiting how written files and different 'texts' are fundamental to social association. It finds social association itself to be not just textually-mediated in nature, but additionally textually-constituted, exhibiting how texts - expert, technical or differently - in addition to a number of social-scientific methodologies hire the assets of normal language. Theoretically subtle and illustrated with empirical examples, this booklet should be of curiosity not just to these with pursuits in ethnomethodology and dialog research, but in addition to social scientists and anthropologists involved in textual content research, textual experience and the 'linguistic flip' within the tools in their personal disciplines.

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Texts have their own active structuring effect. However, this effect has to be activated or animated by the reader(s): when referring to the active text we are always referring to the text-as-read. In an influential book, the ethnomethodologist Eric Livingston has conceived of the inextricable intertwining of the text and its reading on specific occasions in terms of a “text-reading” pair. The text and its reading can be conceived as “two sides of the same coin”. The twinned parts of the pair are i) a given printed text and ii) the “lived work” or experiential practices of reading of just that particular text, in just these circumstances, here and now.

Livingston (1995) presents reading a text as a laic activity, one that evolves or develops as it runs its course and which can be analytically conceived as “paired”. 86): “One part of the pair – conventionally spoken of as the ‘text’ – is an account of how the laic skills need to be organised; the other part of the pair is the ongoing lived work of reading that finds the descriptions of the reading account (‘the text’) for organising that work. e. specifically textually incarnate) way, where such reading practices exhibit a highly detailed organisation.

It is at least possible that it can not, and that we might at least, tentatively, seek options for the rendition of the phenomenal unity in members’ apprehension of texts, an apprehension that, routinely at least, synthesises the text “and” its reading. We might move along by suggesting some placeholder terms and provisional characterisations that will assist us in sidestepping at least some of the possible pitfalls attendant upon the analytic use of the notion “pair”. As ever, Livingston greatly assists us when he refers to issues of “accountability” – the text as a reading account.

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