Typification is typical social
construction based on standard assumptions. Alfred Schutz
who was a major influence in the development of phenomenological
sociology suggests that in all of our encounters with others, with the exception of
the most intimate of relationships, we experience and understand the other in terms of
ideal types or typification.
In the process of typification
we form a construct of a typical way of acting, assume typical underlying motivations or
personality. For example, we make prior assumptions about the personalities and behavior of a doctor, priest or judge. Ethnomethodology deals with the use of the process of
typification as a tool for understanding how people like coroners, prosecutors, police
officers and others achieve a sense of concreteness and predictability in their work.
Coroners for example, may operate with a sense of a typical suicide.
Typification, Typology, and Sociological
Theories - John C. McKinney, Social Forces, Vol. 48, No. 1 (Sep.,
Abstract: Typification is perceiving the world and structuring it by means of types and typology. Typification is depicted as an essential and intrinsic
aspect of the basic orientation of actors to their situations. Typification is important
for structuring the "self," conceptualizing "roles,"
and as a necessary feature of institutionalization and the development of social structure.
In typification, two basic
orders of types are distinguished: the existential type, developed by participants in
social systems, and the constructed type, formulated by the social scientist for purposes
of explicating those social systems. All typification is viewed as consisting in the
pragmatic reduction and equalization of attributes relevant to the particular purpose at
hand for which the type has been formed, and involves disregarding those individual
differences of the typified objects that are not relevant to such a purpose. An
exploration of selected theoretical and methodological
issues is conducted with respect to the construction and utilization of typologies,
emphasizing problems of nominalism versus realism, ethnomethodology, social morphology,
specification of the operations performed in the construction of types and the relation to
general sociological theories, with particular reference to the social system as a
The Racial and Ethnic
Typification of Crime and the Criminal Typification of Race and
Ethnicity in Local Television News - Ted Chiricos, Sarah Eschholz
Local news programming from three television stations in Orlando, Florida was analyzed for
racial and ethnic content in relation to crime. The data show that Blacks are not
overrepresented among TV news suspects relative to their proportion in the population or
among those arrested in Orlando. Hispanics are slightly overrepresented in relation to
their numbers in the population. Qualitatively, Blacks and especially Hispanics who appear
as crime suspects do so in more threatening contexts than Whites. Blacks are more likely
to appear as criminal suspects than as victims or positive role models, but this pattern
is especially amplified for Hispanics. These results suggest that local TV news may
contribute to the social construction of threat in relation to Blacks and Hispanics.
The return of the Battered husband Syndrome through the typification
of women as violent
Martin D. Schwartz, Ohio University, Walter S. DeKeseredy, Department of Sociology and
Anthropology, Carleton University.
Abstract The process of the social construction of woman abuse includes the essential idea
of typification: that how we typify abused women can be a part of justifying help, or it
can provide the scientific justification for a male discourse which legitimates abuse and
buffers batterers from guilt. Because Straus and Gelles are widely used by the press and
academics as authorities, it is essential to recognize their return to an ideological
position they once seemingly abandoned: that women are as violent as men, are not acting
in self-defense, and may be ultimately responsible for male violence.
Punitive Attitudes and
the Racial Typification of Crime - Kelly Welch, Florida State University
Abstract: The public has often perceived that crime is a problem largely attributable to
blacks. The idea for this research originated from the fact that many have conjectured a
relationship between public punitiveness and the racial typification of crime. No one had
yet produced empirical evidence for this claim.
I explore the possibility that perceptions of crime as a predominantly black phenomenon
are related to more punitive attitudes about criminal justice, while controlling for other
potential influences on punitiveness. Further, I assess whether viewing television crime
news and crime dramas increase the likelihood of typification of blacks as criminals.
Finally, I test for the presence of an indirect relationship between media consumption and
punitive attitudes through the racial typification of crime.
Results indicate that watching more local television news increases the black typification
of crime for minorities, while whites typify crime as a black phenomenon more when they
pay closer attention to television crime news. In addition, the present analyses show that
media consumption is not indirectly associated with punitive attitudes through the racial
typification of crime.
Overall, this research shows how the relationship between the racial typification of crime
and punitiveness both augments and possibly expands aspects of the social threat and social control relationship postulated by Blalock (1967),
Liska (1992), and others.
Racial Typification of
Crime and Support for Punitive Measures
Kelly Welch, Ted Chiricos, Marc Gertz - Criminology, ISSN: 0011-1384 Volume: 42
Abstract: This paper assesses whether support for harsh punitive policies toward crime is
related to the racial typification of crime for a national random sample of households
(N=885), surveyed in 2002. Results from OLS regression
analysis show that the racial typification of crime is a significant predictor of
punitiveness, independent of the influence of racial prejudice, conservatism, crime
salience, southern residence and other factors.
The Portrayal of Gays
and Lesbians on TV, and How Viewers React, Matthew Wood
The visualisation of homosexuals has, to a great extent, led to negative stereotypical
portrayals on television. It is often impractical to portray a character's sexuality
through narrative and, therefore, programmes rely on typification. The importance of gay
typification is that it makes people visible to the viewer and keeps the homosexuality of
a character present throughout the text. There are clearly both advantages and
disadvantages to this form of typification. In typing certain characters we reduce
everything about that character to sexuality. However, despite this, it allows homosexual
perspectives to be ever present and gives gays and lesbians something to identify with
clearly in the text. Typification compacts an abundance of social knowledge into a limited
number of distinct signs, but is likely that many homosexuals never relate to the various
gay types portrayed on television, and most gays and lesbians remain invisible for most,
if not all their lives. Whilst typification leads to negative, stereotypical views of
homosexuality, it is important to note that in many cases such types are used by
Typification: A Study in the Philosophy of Alfred Schutz - NATANSON,
Maurice. - Social Research, v. 37, 1970, pp. 1-22.