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Breaching the Theoretical Divide: Reassessing the Ordinary and Everyday in Habermas and Garfinkel

Jeffrey K. Beemer
Sociological Theory
Vol. 24, No. 1 (Mar., 2006), pp. 81-104
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25046710
Page Count: 24
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Breaching the Theoretical Divide: Reassessing the Ordinary and Everyday in Habermas and Garfinkel
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Abstract

This article argues that Habermas and Garfinkel present complementary perspectives on the dynamics of ordinary language and the ways in which communication is configured and prefigured in interactive settings. Together they provide a basis for thinking about action and its environments not simply in terms of the in situ or formal conditions in isolation from one another, but as extensions of an integrated dependency between the local (indexical) contexts in which interactions occur and the rational (pretheoretical) presuppositions that make such interactions possible. The conditions on which actors are identified as rational agents or as being bound by the structured environments in which they move are not differentiated in the course of everyday life. Communication consists of produced events that admit both rational presuppositions and practical accomplishments. Taken concomitantly, these properties constitute the necessary and sufficient conditions for creating the intersubjective links that individuals rely on when interacting.

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