American Sociological Association

Intersubjectivity, Normativity, and Grammar

Interactants depend on background knowledge and commonsense inferences to establish and maintain intersubjectivity. This study investigates how the resources of language—or more specifically, of grammar—can be mobilized to address moments when such inferences might risk jeopardizing understanding in lieu of promoting it. While such moments may initially seem to undermine the normative commonsensicality of the particular inference(s) in question, the practice examined here is shown to legitimize those inferences through the very act of setting them aside. It is ultimately argued that grammar and other normative systems in social life (e.g., heteronormativity) mutually shape one another, with normative associations being routinely reconstituted as “by-products” in the pursuit of in-the-moment shared understanding.

Authors

Chase Wesley Raymond

Volume

82

Issue

2

Starting Page

182

Ending Page

204