Sociology Index


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. For example, we make prior assumptions about the personalities and behavior of a doctor, priest or judge.

In the process of typification we form a construct of a typical way of acting, assume typical underlying motivations or personality. 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., 1969), 
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. All typification is viewed as consisting in the pragmatic reduction and equalization of attributes. 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.

The Racial and Ethnic Typification of Crime and the Criminal Typification of Race and Ethnicity in Local Television News - Ted Chiricos, Sarah Eschholz 
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, Carleton University.
The process of the social construction of woman abuse includes the essential idea of typification.

Punitive Attitudes and the Racial Typification of Crime - Kelly Welch, Florida State University.
Many have conjectured a relationship between public punitiveness and the racial typification of crime. No one had yet produced empirical evidence for this claim. Whether viewing television crime news and crime dramas increase the likelihood of typification of blacks as criminals. The presence of an indirect relationship between media consumption and punitive attitudes through the racial typification of crime. 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. That media consumption is not indirectly associated with punitive attitudes through the racial typification of crime. 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, Liska, and others.

Racial Typification of Crime and Support for Punitive Measures
Kelly Welch, Ted Chiricos, Marc Gertz.
Whether support for harsh punitive policies toward crime is related to the racial typification of crime for a national random sample of households. 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
It is often impractical to portray a character's sexuality through narrative and, therefore, programmes rely on typification. There are clearly both advantages and disadvantages to this form of typification. Typification compacts an abundance of social knowledge into a limited number of distinct signs. Whilst typification leads to negative, stereotypical views of homosexuality, it is important to note that in many cases such types are used by homosexuals themselves.

Phenomenology and Typification: A Study in the Philosophy of Alfred Schutz - NATANSON, Maurice.  - Social Research, v. 37, 1970, pp. 1-22.