DOI: 10.17072/2078-7898/2017-1-97-105


Kuznetsov Alexander Evgen’evich
Ph.D. in Sociology, Associate Professor
of the Department of Sociology

Perm State University,
15, Bukirev str., Perm, 614990, Russia;
ORCID: 0000-0003-1699-6466

Obtaining objectivity sets a formidable challenge to qualitative data analysis. Objectivity could partially be guaranteed in the case there is an evidence for the existence of a natural organisation of data that has immediately explanatory force, i.e. has it independently of generation of any secondary descriptions and other analytic or concept-dependent accounts. Sequential organisation is one case. It is here proposed to consider another type of organisation that is not dependent on turn-taking. The paper (1) discusses the chiastic organisation of a text segment as a specific cultural object, which (2) was occasionally discovered in an interview transcript while running domain analysis (J. Spradley) and theoretical coding (B. Glaser), (3) is an ethnomethodological case, (4) demonstrating «noticeable absence» (H. Sacks) outside sequential organisation, and (5) connection between the conception of hierarchical and contrast categorisations (L. Jayyusi) and the definition of culture as a classification system of hierarchically ordered oppositions (E. Durkheim, M. Mauss). The case of chiastic structure described here suggests the opportunity of the employment of semantic relations (as developed in ethnographic observation and/or grounded theory in Glaser’s version) within the framework of membership categorizations analysis. Besides some consolidation of methodologies, this proposal offers opportunity of achieving more rigour in qualitative research. The problem of chiastic structure has gained importance outside sociology, e.g. in biblical studies.

Keywords: ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, membership categorizations analysis, chiasm, domain analysis, theoretical coding.


  1. Kuznetsov A.E. Obnaruzhenie khiasticheskoy struktury v spontannom tekste i perspektivy razvitiya etnometodologicheskogo proekta. Statya pervaya [The discovery of a chiastic structure in a natural text and the prospects of the ethnomethodology progress. First article]. Vestnik Permskogo Universiteta. Filosofiya. Psikhologiya. Sociologiya [Perm University Herald. Series «Philosophy. Psychology. Sociology»]. 2017, iss. 1, pp. 97–105. DOI: 10.17072/2078-7898/2017-1-97-105. (In Russian).
  2. Sacks H., Schegloff E.A., Jefferson G. A Simplest Systematics for the Organization of Turn-Taking for Conversation. Language. 1974, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 696–735. DOI: 10.2307/412243. (In English).
  3. Douglas M. Leviticus as Literature. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 270 p.
    (In English).
  4. Blomberg C. The Structure of 2 Corinthians 1–7. Criswell Theological Review. 1989, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 3–20. Available at:
    bi/ted_hildebrandt/ntesources/ntarticles/ctr-nt/blomberg-2cor1-7-ctr.htm (accessed 31.10.2016). (In English).
  5. Slings S.R. Oral Strategies in the Language of Herodotus. Brill’s Companion to Herodotus. Ed. by E.J. Bakker, I.J.F. de Jong, H. van Wees. Leiden: Brill, 2002, pp. 53–77. (In English).
  6. Lund N.W. The Presence of Chiasmus in the New Testament. The Journal of Religion. 1930, Jan., vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 74–93. Available at: (accessed 10.07.2016). DOI: 10.1086/480897. (In English).
  7. Welch J.W. Chiasmus in Antiquity: Structures, Analyses, Exegesis. Hildesheim: Gerstenberg Verlag, 1981. 353 p. (In English).
  8. Levinson S.C. Pragmatics. 19th printing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. 396 p. (In English).
  9. Pomerantz A. Agreeing and disagreeing with assessments: some features of preferred/dispreferred turn shapes Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis. Ed. by J.M. Atkinson, J. Heritage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984, pp. 57–101. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511665868.008. (In English).
  10. Sacks H. On the Preferences for Agreement and Contiguity in Sequences in Conversation. Talk and Social Organisation. Ed. by G. Button, J.R.E. Lee. Clevedone: Multilingual Matters, 1987, pp. 54–69. (In English).
  11. Schegloff E.A., Sacks H. Opening up closings. Ethnomethodology: Selected Readings. Ed. by R. Turner. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1991, pp. 233–264. (In English).
  12. Baker C. Membership categorization and interview accounts. Qualitative research: Theory, method and practice. Ed. by D. Silverman. 2nd ed. 2004, pp.162–176. (In English).
  13. Hester S., Eglin P. Membership Categorization Analysis: An Introduction. Culture in action: studies in membership categorization analysis. Ed. by S. Hester, P. Eglin. Washington, D.C.: International Institute for Ethnometbodology and University Press of America, 1997, pp. 1–24. (In English).
  14. Jayyusi L. Categorization and the moral order. Boston, MA, & London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984. 269 p. (In English).
  15. Lepper G. Categories in text and talk: A practical introduction to categorization analysis. London: Sage, 2000. 208 p. (In English).
  16. Watson R. Analysing Practical and Professional Texts: A Naturalistic Approach. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2009. 137 p. (In English).
  17. Spradley J.P. Participant observation. N.Y., Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980. 195 p. (In English).
  18. Kuznetsov A.E. Uliss v kul’turnykh dzhunglyakh: naskol’ko empirichna model’ Shvartsa? [Ulysses in the Culture Jungle: How is Schwartz’s Model Empirical?]. Vestnik Permskogo Universiteta. Filosofiya. Psikhologiya. Sociologiya [Perm University Herald. Series «Philosophy. Psychology. Sociology»]. 2016, iss. 1(25), pp. 102–117.DOI: 10.17072/2078-7898/2016-1-102-117. (In Russian).
  19. Glaser B.G. Theoretical Sensitivity. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press, 1978. 164 p. (In English).
  20. Jefferson G. List-Construction as a Task and Resource. Interaction competence. Ed. by G. Psathas. Washington, D.C.: International Institute for Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis University Press of America, 1973, pp. 63–92. (In English).
  21. Lerner G.H. Responsive List Construction: A Conversational Resource for Accomplishing Multifaceted Social Action. Journal Of Language And Social Psychology. 1994, March, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 20–33. DOI: 10.1177/0261927x94131002. (In English).
  22. Garfinkel H. Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1967. 288 p.(In English).
    1. Sacks H. Lectures in Conversation. Vol. I, II. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1992. 812 p. (In English).
    2. Schegloff E.A. Notes on a Conversational Practice: Formulating Place. Studies in Social Interaction. Ed. by D. Sudnow. New York, The Free Press, 1972, pp. 75–119. (In English).
  23. Alexander J.C. The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. 291 p. (In English).
  24. Durkheim E., Mauss M. Primitive Culture. 2nd ed. London, Cohen & West, 1969. 91 p. (In English).
  25. Edwards B.F., Edwards W.F. When are Chiasms Admissible Evidence? BYU Studies. 2010, vol. 49, no. 4. Available at: (accessed 09 September 2016). (In English).
    1. Wunderli E.M. Critique of Alma 36 as an Extended Chiasm. Dialogue.2005, winter, vol. 38, pp. 97–112. Available at: (accessed 09.09.2016). (In English).

The date of the manuscript receipt 01.11.2016

Please cite this article in English as:

Kuznetsov A.E. The discovery of a chiastic structure in a natural text and the prospects of the ethnomethodology progress. Second article // Perm University Herald. Series «Philosophy. Psychology. Sociology». 2017. Iss. 2. P. 258–267. DOI: 10.17072/2078-7898/2017-2-258-267

Узнайте как убрать вы здесь в Joomla