Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 4, April 29, 2001


Truth, Falsity, and Schemas of Presentation:
A Textual Analysis of Harold Garfinkel's Story of Agnes

Leia Kaitlyn Armitage
Dept of Sociology
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario Canada


Transsexualism, textual analysis, gender, identity




The present paper is an exploration of Harold Garfinkel's classic account of Agnes, the transsexual subject, whose account comprises a major portion of Garfinkel's Studies in Ethnomethodology. The paper underscores not only the importance of author's ideas as they are presented and argued but more importantly underscores the need to recognise the role that the discourse that an argument appeals to, and the organising schemas that such an argument is framed within have in the success author's undertaking.

Rather than begin with the assumption that there is a world 'out there' that can be studied and that this world is contained within the subject's experiences and is available for documentation, this paper illustrates how the objective reality of a text about the world out there becomes a social accomplishment in itself that can, in turn, be deconstructed and undone.

In this paper, the methodologies that result in the production of the text are turned back on the text itself.

Text of Paper

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