New Article on Accounts by Eric Silva
Abstract: Little attention has been paid to how actors account for controversial institutional conduct or contested practices. Relying on a content analysis of letters to the editor, I explore how actors operating in the Habermasian "public sphere" justify the contested practice of linking Native American symbols with sports teams, and suggest that in their rejection of challengers to their definitions of the situation, authors create public accounts. Consisting primarily of justifications rather than excuses, these accounts are of four types: "denial of injury," "assertion of benefit," "claim of authority," and "rejection of challenge." For those who wish to conduct comparative analyses of contested practices, these concepts may prove useful.
Silva, Eric O. 2007. “Public Accounts: Defending Contested Practices”
This article is available at: http://caliber.ucpress.net/doi/pdf/10.1525/si.2007.30.2.245