chapter  12
12 Pages

Doing class: A discursive and ethnomethodological approach C.M. Scharff

Walkerdine, Lucey and Melody (2001, p. 14) understand class as a ‘discursively produced category

and therefore a site of struggle and contestation’. Similarly, Skeggs (1997a, p. 5) defines class as a

‘discursive, historically specific construction, a product of middle class political consolidation,

which includes elements of fantasy and projection’. This article draws on feminist work around

social class (Walkderine et al., 2001; Skeggs, 1997a, b, 2004, 2005; Lawler 1999, 2005; Reay,

1997), but also on cultural approaches to class more broadly (Devine & Savage, 2005; Savage,

Bagnall & Longhurst, 2001). By combining the insights of the cultural account with discursive psy-

chology (Edley, 2001; Edley & Wetherell, 2001; Potter & Wetherell, 1987; Wetherell, 2003a, b)

and ethnomethodology (West & Zimmerman, 1987; West & Fenstermaker, 1993, 1995a, b;

2002a, b), I provide a novel perspective on the interplay between class, discourse and talk.

Discursive psychology offers the practical tools to study language and talk in action, while

ethnomethodology provides the theoretical framework to understand class as a routinised

accomplishment.