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.

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.
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 typology, emphasizing problems of nominalism versus realism, ethnomethodology, social morphology.

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 typification and 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.

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. 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. 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 homosexuals themselves.

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