Gendered Categorizations: Dealing With Institutional Challenges in Practices of Talk-in-Interaction. The Example of German Job Centers

  • Ute Karl Universität Luxemburg
Keywords: gender, gender studies, conversation analysis, membership categorization analysis, institutional talk


With the help of conversation analysis and membership categorization analysis, an examination is presented of how and for what practical purposes gendered categorizations are interactively produced and become relevant in practices of talk-in-interaction in institutional settings. Focusing on the analysis of the practical purposes of deploying gendered categorizations can show that there are institutional and practical challenges or dilemmas that are dealt with by using these categorizations. Methodologically, it is argued, that the analysis of the practical purposes offers insights how and why gender is interactively reproduced in institutional talk. What it means that gender is interactively relevant and which context has to be taken into consideration will be elaborated on. It will be shown that gender inequality can be reproduced as a consequence of talk, although gender is not evidently and unambiguously relevant in an interaction. The data presented are in the form of transcripts of institutional talk between the so- called "personal advisors" and "customers" in German job centers in the division for young people under 25.



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Author Biography

Ute Karl, Universität Luxemburg
Ute KARL, Dr. phil., Professorin für Soziale Arbeit an der Universität Luxemburg/INSIDE (Integrative Research Unit on Individual and Social Development) an der Fakultät für Sprachwissenschaften und Literatur, Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst und Erziehungswissenschaften. Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte liegen im Bereich der Übergänge in Erwerbsarbeit, der Beratungsforschung und der Altersforschung. Sie arbeitet mit den Methoden der Gesprächsforschung, der Biografieforschung, der Diskursanalyse und der Metaphernanalyse.