This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The Case of Telling the Convict Code
D. LAWRENCE WIEDER
Department of Sociology University of California Santa Barbara, CaZ!fornia
THE HAGUE· PARIS
© Copyright 1974 in The Netherlands. Mouton & Co. N.V., Publishers, The Hague.
No part of this book may be translated or reproduced in any form, by print, photoprint, microfilm, or any other means, without written permission from the publishers.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD NUMBER: 73-76892
Printed in Belgium by NICI, Ghent
The materials for this book were collected while I was employed Department of Corrections. The work was made possible by the support and interest of John Conrad, the Chief of the Research Division at that time. I received much counsel, stimulation, and support from Al Himmelson and Don Miller, my immediate supervisors in the Research Division. I am especially indebted to Don Miller, who was also doing research at the East Los Angeles Halfway House where the study was carried out. The patterns of resident behavior reported in Chapter Three were, in many instances, jointly observed and clarified in discussions between the two of us. The survey materials reported in that chapter are based on a schedule that we jointly designed, and both of us carried out the interviewing. as a research analyst by the Research Division of the California
I also owe a particular debt to the staff of the East Los Angeles
Halfway House. This study could not have been done without their freely given and unstinted cooperation. They not only made the various scenes of halfway house and their own meetings and conferences available to me, but they also spent many patient hours explaining the character of their work to me. I wish to acknowledge my considerable intellectual debt to Professor Harold Garfinkel. Those familiar with his work will recognize in the present research the full extent of this indebtedness. At UCLA, he served as the chairman of my doctoral committee which read the original manuscript (my dissertation) which served as the basis of this book. He also made typing funds
available to me through the project "Decision Making in Common Sense Situations of Choice", which was carried out by Drs. Gar finkel, Churchill, and Sacks and sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Office of Aerospace Research, United States Air Force, under grant number AF-AFOSR-757-67. Some readers may be puzzled by the lack of citation of the writings of Erving Goffman in this work. It is clear to me that his writings have had a considerable impact on the character of my ethnographic observations. Goffman gives the ethnographer what amounts to a set of powerful glasses. This kind of influence is so general that particular textual locations which offer the possibility of citing him rarely permit the clear acknowledgment of the the importance of the intellectual debt. Professors Thomas Wilson and Don Zimmerman, University of California, Santa Barbara, read and commented on the work.
I am indebted to them for their encouragement and criticisms.
Zimmerman's influence is nearly impossible to document. We have been close friends for ten years and have shared much in discussions, in mutual orientations to scholarly problems, and in collaborative research and writing. Ms. Phyllis Bennis made many editorial suggestions and typed the early drafts of this work. Karen Wieder gave the pres ent version of the work a line by line and paragraph by paragraph editing. With her unstinting effort and influence, many serious deformations of the English language and other various obscurities of style were avoided. Those deformations, obscurities, and other infelicities that remain are due to my own stubbornness. While many have contributed to this effort, the author alone bears the responsibility for the study.
. . . . . 46 73 113 The Convict Code as an Explanation of Deviant Behavior PART II An Introduction to an Ethnomethodological Analysis of the Convict Code . . . 'Telling the Code' as a Guide to Per ception: the Inner Structure of Social Reality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 132 167 'Telling the Code': Folk Sociology and Social Reality Persuasion and Reflexive Formulation . PART I Rules as Explanations of Action. Patterns of Resident Behavior.TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgments Preface by Don H. 5 9 29 History and Organization of the Halfway House. Zimmerman.
215 225 233 . . .8 TABLE OF CONTENTS 'Telling the Code' as an Exhibition of Order Bibliography Index .
and the alternative analysis he proposes constitutes the major contribution of the book. Thus. This is indeed the case with Professor Wieder's book. Wieder poses a challenge to much of current sociological thought on this matter. Wilson (1970a) has examined the 'paradigmatic' (Kuhn. Morris' (1964) statement of the semiotic process will be employed to characterize the basic framework of sign-referent relationships as they bear upon sociology and the social sciences. 1 That normative constructs such as value. and important facets of the relationship between norms and conduct which are ordinarily overlooked are brought into clear empirical focus.DON H. 2 For the limited purposes of this introduction. However. a study that poses fundamental questions for contemporary sociological treatments of interaction may raise critical issues for semiotics as well.l As a consequence. and role are central resources for sociological accounts of patterned behavior in society is beyond doubt. is subjected to close scrutiny. and in ways pertinent to the kinds of issues raised here. More recently. 1962) character of the normative approach to the explanation of social conduct. norm. the scope and import of the discussion that follows may require reassessment. A central sociological theorem'r> that social behavior is rule-governed. invite a the implications of his investigation of a analysis of human social thoroughgoing reconsideration of the nature semiotic theory appropriate to the interaction.2 and my remarks will be focused on this aspect. ZIMMERMAN PREFACE Because any theory of social interaction presupposes a theory of signs of some sort. An early attempt to formulate a consistent rationale for the use of normative constructs in sociological theory is to be found in Parsons (1937). . to the extent that viewpoints critical of Morris' (1964) position in fact differ significantly from it in their basic logical structure.
g.troublesome behaviors.'Do not snitch'. In Part I. Residents of the halfway house. sometimes formulated in part.but rather these difficulties are the empirical background for framing more basic problems.staff. As Wieder documents. The code was used on those occasions in which participants sought to understand or make clear to others the meaning and .and often invoked as an account or an excuse in the face of particular. Wieder's findings in this regard (discussed in Part I) are similar to those reported in the substantial literature that has emerged from sociological studies of correctional and rehabilitative organizations. The aim of the East Los Angeles Halfway House project was to increase the chances of successful parole among this high risk group of felons. However. a collection of norms (e. The approach that Wieder takes (anticipated in the first chapter and spelled out in unusually clear terms in Part 11) succeeds in transforming an otherwise standard kind of sociological study of a specific arena of social life into an unqrthodox and illuminating inquiry into lay and professional uses of a normative order as a persuasive explanation of conduct. were found to adhere to the 'convict code'. and his presence in the setting as a research sociologist was for the purpose of assessing the reasons for its ineffectiveness. etc. Wieder describes the convict code as a set of maxims or rules which residents. 'Show your loyalty to the residents'.this book is not primarily concerned with the difficulties posed for rehabilitative programs by the operation of a convict code.) which systematically blocked the kind of cooperation and mutual trust between residents and staff required for establishing the 'therapeutic community' essential to the rehabilitative aims of the organizatioQ.the program had met with little success.and Wieder himself alluded to.10 PREFACE I Wieder set out to investigate the operation of a halfway house program designed for parolees previously convicted of narcotics offenses.. This initial phase of his investigation is indispensable for what follows it. like convicts in prison.
He argues that sociologists. i. The elements constituting this paradigm are displayed in Figure 1. the link between semiotics and sociology may clearly be seen in its terms. he analyzes them as actions in accord with a socially enforced system of norms. thus furnishing the resources for accounting for the social activities observed by the researcher.PREFACE 11 implication of acts or verbal expressions occurring in the setting. aspiring to the ideal of deductive explanation (the hypothetico-deductive model). since its implications are central to Wieder's argument.e. Wilson ( 1970a) views the attempt to explain patterned social interaction in terms of compliance with rules as giving rise to what he calls the 'normative paradigm' in sociological theory and research.. Moreover. It will be useful at this point to examine this mode of explanation more closely. it was employed to locate those acts or expressions which were perceived to be subject to the convict code and thought to be generated by it. functioned as a controlling normative order. Wieder's analysis employs the well-established procedure of treating the 'telling of the code' as a kind of layman's description of a set of norms having an existence independent of the teller and the occasion of the telling. In addition. Wieder goes on to formulate the code as an explicit system of rules and to show that it demonstrably influenced resident-staff interactions in the ways one would expect if the code. occasion Action) behavior t t Actor A 'rule' is to be understood as a linkage between a situation (5) and an action (A). 1970a) � Rule (Situation. FIGURE 1 Normative Paradigm (Wilson. Up to this point. employ the construct 'rule' as an empirical term in their theories. where S is a well-defined class of occasions . in fact.
(concrete social settings demarcated by distinctive physical and social features) and A is a well-defined class of behaviors (distin guishable movements, gestures, and verbalizations). This for mulation encompasses a wide range of theoretical constructs in sociology and other social sciences, since the linkage between S and A may take the form of learned dispositions (e.g., socialized motives, needs, habits, etc.) or socially sanctioned expectations (e.g., role expectations).3 For example, Wieder notes that residents of the halfway house, by virtue of their common prison experience, were socialized to the code; moreover, they expressed fear of the consequences of violating these shared norms. That rules such as the dispositions and expectations making up the convict code are shared is crucial since: ...if social interaction is to be stable [i.e., if systematic reinforcement or sanctioning is to occur], the different participants must define situations and actions in essentially the same way, since otherwise rules could not operate to produce coherent interaction over time. Within the normative paradigm, this cognitive agreement is provided by the assumption that actors share a system of culturally-established symbols and meanings. (Wilson, 1970a: 699.)
The relevance of semiotic theory to the central sociological concern with rule-governed conduct can now be made explicit. Morris (1964 : 58), in the context of an examination of the relevance of semiotics to the analysis of social systems developed by Parsons (1953), asserts that, "signs ... turn out to be central features of social systems". Social systems are regarded by Parsons (1953) as organized in terms of institutions, which in turn are built up
Wilson (1970a: 699) argues that, "Specific theories based on the normative
paradigm are, of course, formulated in widely varying terminologies and differ from one another in important ways concerning further psychological and sociological assumptions." His point is that the framework provided by the normative paradigm characterizes theoretical positions that on other grounds are considered quite distinct, if not
from systems of roles. Role relationships are conceived of as founded on complementary expectations, i.e., the anticipations that respective role-incumbents have about the
behavior of their partner(s), such as husband vis-a-vis wife as wife, and conversely. The construct
role is, of course, one type
of linkage between situation and action in the normative paradigm sense, i.e., it functions as a rule. At the same time, Morris (1964: 59) concludes that, "role behavior is a type of sign controlled behavior". Thus ; we should examine more closely the relationship between Morris' (1964) semiotic and Wilson's (1970a) formulation of s ociology's central explanatory scheme. In Morris' scheme, a sign must be understood as signifying a
kind of object (1964: 2); hence, the term signification refers to a
class of objects, rather than some particular object. Similarly, Wilson and (1970a) defines situations and actions as classes of
situations actions are silJ...nifications. Further, Wilson's (1970a: 699) actor - paralleling Morris' (1964) interpreter "treats specific
occasions and behaviors, respectively. In semiotic terms,
occasions as instances of situations and concrete behaviors as instances of actions". Consequently, as
occasion and behavior function signs relative to the normative paradigm notion, i.e., their behavior functions as an interpretant relative
occurrence signifies a situation or action. However, there is another complexity: to the semiotic scheme. From the point of view of semiotics, a social act as defined within the normative paradigm involves what might be called a ·sign sequence'. That is, a particular occasion (sign plus context)4 is recognized by the actor (interpreter) as an instance of some situation (signification). In conformity with a rule, the actor (interpreter) emits some behavior (interpretant) that is seen as an instance of a particular action (another signifi cation). Thus, in a social act, there are two sign-signification relationships: occasion-situation and behavior-actml1. Of course,
It should be noted that Morris (1964) provides a distinction between sign and context which is missing from Wilson's (1970a) scheme, although
such a distinction is clearly called for. Morris' (1964) formulation is, of course, the more general of the two.
the emitted behavior in its context establishes a new occasion that in tum is seen as an instance of a situation which calls forth further responses.5 These relations are displayed in Figure 2.
The Sign Sequence of a Social Act (Wilson, 1970a; Morris, 1964)
Sign Sequence (first part)
Sign Sequence (second part)
SIGNIFICATION - - (Situation, Action) - - SIGNIFICATION SIGN + CONTEXT - - occasion
behavior - - INTERPRETANT; a/so, SIGN + CONTEXT
Actor (Interpreter) Key: t sign-signification relation parallel concepts Capitalized terms semiotic concepts Lower case terms normative paradigm concepts
= - = = =
It is clear that the particular semiotic discussed here can be related in a rather straightforward manner to what Wilson (1970a) claims with good justification to be sociology's basic explanatory model. This compatibility extends beyond the mapping of terms from one system into the other. As indicated earlier, the normative paradigm carries with it the additional assumption of a shared cognitive culture, including language and gestures. If signs exercise control over behavior, then the idea that regular, recurring patterns of behavior enacted by a plurality of actors presupposes that such actors share a common system of signs, at least to some degree. It might be added tbat since the notion of sanctioning (or reinforcement) is crucial to an account of regularity in social behavior, the possibility of evaluation must be built into the concept of action. A behavior (interpretant), triggered by the recognition of a given situation, which itself cannot be rec ognized as signifying the appropriate action linked to that situation (rule) can, thus, be subject to sanction.
Morris' (1955: 36) definition of language provides for most of the essential features of a shared cultural system:
... a language is a set of p!urisituationa! signs with interpersonal signifi cata common to members of an interpreter-family [read: group or culture) and combinable in some ways but not in others to form compound signs. [Emphasis added.]
Or, to paraphrase this definition in a slightly different terminology, a language - or cultural system - consists of a collection of signs that do not substantially alter in their signification across a delimited set of situations. Such signs have the same signification, within a specified population, for both producers and interpreters of signs and are subject to constraints (a grammar) in their combination (i.e., only certain combinations are permitted; others are negatively sanctioned). Keeping in mind that a rule can be understood as a structured relationship of signs and their significata within a sequence, one could speak as ",ell of pI uri situational rules known in the same way by a collectivity of actors. Furthermore, rules, in this sense, specify a 'grammar' of inter action by providing for the sanctioned relationship between a situation and an action within it. One element missing in Morris' (1955) definition relevant to most treatments of the concept of culture is transpersonality (the independence of the system from the actors constrained by it). Culture (like language) presumably remains relatively stable from generation to generation, changing slowly for the most part.
Given the close ties between semiotics and sociology indicated by the preceding discussion, the relevance of Wieder's central thesis in Part II is inescapable. In earlier chapters, he furnishes an analysis of resident behavior in the halfway house. This analysis provides a characterization of the code as a sub-culture, displaying the general properties of a culture: (1) it was thought to be more or less uniformly shared by residents of the halfway house (them-
talk about the code. That is. He goes on to consider the formulations of the code by residents and staff (e. based on these formulations. He observes. Wieder as an observer and analyst. it was independent of the successive cohorts of residents passing through the house. that the code was made available through talk in the setting. were linguistic expressions. and (4) it was en countered as trans personal. i. becomes his problematic phenomenon: How do parties to the setting find the code to be the source of. His analysis of 'the code' as a kind of verbal activity does not imply that 'the code' is merely talk in the sense that some other. etc. in their telling.e. he redefines the field of data to include his initial finding (based and built upon the talk done by the 'natives') that the code governed conduct in the setting.6It is f rom this observation that the notion 6 It is worth noting at this point that Wieder is not employing the familiar distinction between 'idealized' and 'actual' norms. in terms of which particular behaviors were accounted for. (3) these rules were viewed as constraining (i. This. then. His point. constraining. (2) the maxims of the code were treated as plurisituational rules. as well as the residents and staff. the maxims of the code were made observable as rules. as subsequent discussion will ..g. That is. It has already been indicated that Wieder does not rest with these rather commonplace results.e. they functioned as an enforced and enf orceable 'grammar' for interactions between residents and between residents and staff).) and his own ethnographic descriJ}tion. That is. The primary source of the rules. as events within that setting rather than simply as reports on that setting. the distinctive patterns of behavior found in the halfway house? Wieder's answer to this question poses the fundamental issues for both semiotics and sociology alluded to at the beginning of this preface. and hence the ready explanation for. plurisituational.16 PREFACE selves a sub-population of a larger population of convicts). encountered and treated the code as a shared. talk about behavior in terms of the code. more covert set of rules or other factors 'actually' governed behavior in the setting. and transpersonal normative order. but pushes his analysis well beyond the usual stopping point... first of all.
PREFACE 17 of 'telling the code' springs. 1967. the nature and workings of a normative order). thus. 7 Thus. the code and the behavior it organized were seen to be reflexively related and. the term 'natural language' is used more broadly to encompass both linguistic. Garfinkel. . Focus on 'telling the code' leads to identifying rules as a phenomenon emerging from the use of the natural language to organize social settings.g. and independently of the setting in question) or 'schedules of reinforcement'. 1970). that particular behaviors were the consequence of honoring one or another maxim of the code) was found to be actively accomplished on each occasion by the imaginative work of juxtaposing the behavior with the telling of the maxim. etc. but rather it is in the use of language to accomplish that order as a feature of social reality or any occasion within which that topic is addressed. paralinguistic and gestural activities. of conduct that staff and residents described as caused by the code (which was never stated 'in fuW. What is more. the focus being the full exercise of native competence by members to jointly accomplish the features of a setting as an intersubjectively shared and sharable state of affairs (cf. but rather invoked 'in relevant make clear. Garfinkel and Sacks. the operation of cultural or social structural influences (when conceived of as existing prior to. the maxims of the code were observed by Wieder to be employed by staff and residents to collect and render equivalent an array of otherwise unrelated behaviors. The sense of structure (e.. 1970. In their telling on any occasion. Moreove-r. The term 'natural language' is often used in the context of linguistic and philosophical discourse in contrast to the terms 'artificial language' or 'formal language'. e. The contrast implied in Wieder's usage (and in ethnomethodological discourse in general) is between the use of 'natural language' to organize social settings and other. 7 Some terminological problems require attention here.. Wieder's interest in 'talk' is not in the use of language to furnish more or less 'accurate' reports of a specific feature of social reality (namely. The notion that natural language organizes social settings will be examined below. alternative principles that might be advanced to account for orderly social interaction. however. Cicourel. the latter two referring to such things as various logical calculi or computer languages.g. subject Each particular to continuous elaboration and modification. is that the matter of rules or norms and their relationship to conduct is essentially a phenomenon of natural language accounts of behavior.
What this amounts to is the finding that the plurisituationality of the rules of the code is a situated accomplishment. never ending accomplishment of the use of natural language expressions to analyze and organize activities in settings where these selfsame expressions are constituents of those activities. as an experienced feature of normative orders. nor is he proposing that in some ultimate sense the code (and by obvious extension. or outcome. rather than a prior achievement. That is. the equivalence of behaviors classifiable as fulfilling the code is a consequence of the use of the code to analyze behavior. of the skilled use of the code. making the code usable for that purpose. the actors' sense of the 'relative constancy' of the meaning of the code for conduct across situations is accomplished in situations.e. the present use retrospectively and prospectively unites an array . the present behavior is thus joined with past behaviors analyzed by that rule and 'reaches out' to future behaviors anticipatorily subject to that rule. By making the equivalence (via use of the rule as the analysis of the meaning of the behavior in question). What his analysis leads to is a different conception of what could be meant by plurisituationality and an account of how rules (the word 'signs' could be substituted here) come to achieve pluri situationality. Wieder is not denying that the code-in-use appears to users (tellers and hearers) to exhibit plurisituational meanings. made possible an even greater scope for those provisions in collecting further instances of behavior as code-governed. Thus. the plurisituationality.. is an on-going.18 PREFACE part'. Note that in raising this point. rather than a precondition for its use. on any given occasion) enriched and extended the possible meanings of the various provisions of the code which. in tum. i. any normative order) does not exhibit some form of plurisituationality. In Wieder's view. to say that a resident's tardiness in attending a therapy group session scheduled by the halfway house staff is a behavior which 'shows loyalty to' fellow residents' by resisting staff is to render that particular piece of conduct equivalent to past instances of behavior which were analyzed as complying with that rule.
The focus of Wieder's analysis is the accomplishment of pluri situationality by the use of the code as a natural language vehicle for understanding activities in the halfway house. his analysis also alters the meaning of the notion that cultures (or systems of signs) are 'shared'. By altering the meaning of plurisituationality. the features of members' social reality. transpersonality. methodically assures that his natural language accounts of social conduct display the properties of plurisituationaIity. The details of Wieder's . Wieder's findings would appear to snatch that resource away. and of being shared as a condition of competent talk within and about a society.e for analyzing the par ticulars of social behavior. and Chapter Eight of this book. and are 'transpersonal'.g. he argues that the users of the convict code do experience those properties. in what sense can we say that a rule is shared by a collectivity? How can we demonstrate that a normative order constrains (and in some sense generates) definite behaviors. and thus constitutes.. Such a proced '. thus.) In what sense can a normative order which is 'created anew' on each occasion be treated as transpersonal? The paradoxical flavor of these reflections stems. The reflexive use of natural language makes observable. through the use of procedures Wieder describes.PREFACE 19 of known and yet-to-be-encountered behaviors as the same action. If the relationship of a rule to behavior is achieved in its specifics on each and every occasion of the rule's use. e. from the prevailing preference for employing constructs which incorporate these properties in order to furnish a resourl. are normatively controlled. Wilson. 1970a: 702-705. Yet it must be reemphasized that it would be a mistake of the first magnitude to suppose that Wieder is arguing that such properties are not experienced as features of sign systems. He is to be understood as proposing that it is the member of society who. in part. constraint.lre 'demonstrates' (by virtue of having been sucess fully undertaken as one stream of activity on that occasion) that behaviors encountered in the setting are subject to analysis in terms of rules and. if we must await this determination in each and every case? (Cf. are 'constraining'.
One mtionale for this practice is that it provides a way of explicitly delimiting a set of theoretically relevant dimensions vis-a-vis a field of data viewed as the complex result of the interaction of many different variables. reflects this sort of distinction. as ordinarily conceived. The convict code. IV Wieder is led to the treatment which he accords the convict code in light of a growing body of theory and research within sociology that has come to be known as ethnomethodology (cf. make use of the procedure of idealization to organize relevant aspects of the phenomena they address.e. etc. Thus. and semantics and pragmatics. The human sciences. culture and behavior. sociology. Such selective.20 PREFACE argument on this point. on the other. some of which are extraneous to what the theory .. and logically consistent constructions have proved highly successful in advancing the work of natural scientists.. abstract construction which is assumed to represent some constellation of factors which lie behind and generate certain features of observed behavior. must be left for a reading of the book itself. vis-a vis the behavior of residents. semiotics.g. that such properties are a member's accomplishment. e. on the one hand. i. A few comments from an ethnomethodological standpoint should serve to provide a broader context for Wieder's investi gation. economics. Garfinkel.. Attempts to emulate this practice in the human sciences. like the natural sciences. one side of the distinction is an idealization intended to advance the interests of explanation. abstract. and the other side is taken as the objective data to be explained. anthropology. and a theoretically prior. linguistics.. 1967). lin guistic competence and linguistic performance. often emerge in the form of a distinction between the observable particulars of actual behavior of whatever type. This theoretical option is exemplified by current distinctions made between language and speech.
or any class ofideaHzations. it is always appropriate to ask whether or not the conception thus advanced (and the 'purification' of data that is its inevitable consequence) compromises the claims advanced for a particular analysis. to the determination of the empirical conditions under which the idealized outcomes generated by the model most closely approximate actual observation. a system of 'phrase structure' and 'transformational' rules for generating all and only grammatical sentences in a language. not be construed as a general critique of the use of idealizations in· theory and research.. The necessity to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant data must be readily granted.g.g. accounts for some determinable proportion of a view of the code as an idealized system of norms which. and from an etbnomethodologica1 viewpoint by Cicourel (1970).PREFACE 21 proposes to explain. for example. Critiques of Chomsky's position on this matter' are advanced from a behaviorist perspective by Scott (1971: 52-55).a that might bear upon that determination. of course. under resident behavior in the halfway house systematically ignores the question of the empirical connection ofa 'rule' with a 'behavior' and. certain conditions.8 Following this approach. however. a necessary consequence is the suppression of whole classes of data. Chomsky. it turns out that the 'extraneous' factors (and their corresponding data) weeded out by a given idealization play a critical role in accom plishing an analysis of the residue of surviving data (and are smuggled in without acknowledgment. The thrust of these remarks should .. or without empirical control). In the case of the convict code. 1972) and Katz (1966). For any particular idealization. thence. research interests in various disciplines are often directed toward constructing a 'model' or theory that represents the essential relationships between the critical variables thought to characterize the pheno menon of interest and. the proportion of variance explained under specified conditions) or in a system of rules (e. any dat. from a 'structuralist' stance in linguistics by Hockett (1967. 1968). If. Whether couched in quantitative terms (e. then some further stock-taking is in order: 8 An argument for this view in linguistics may be found in Chomsky (1965. cf. 1965). .
rule use. Husserl.. 1 970. 1 970). after all. Garfinkel. Zimmerman Pollner. 1 970. induding Wieder's) that sign use. 1 970). 'idealization' (of either scientific or common-sense fonn) Cicoure). Thus. Zimmerman. and Zimmerman and Wieder. they obscure the possibility that idealization itself is a constituent feature of the activities of human beings in shaping their interpersonal environments.g. By making certain features of naturally occurring talk and behavior prominent. Schutz. members' idealizations . the theorist to treat his subject matter in such a way as to all but foreclose the investigation of rertain fundamental features of human behavior . current idealizations provide no clear way of recognizing the fact (made apparent by ethnomethodological studies. namely. 1 970) via the use of idealizations. 1 967. from the outset. 1 962. not a resource (cf. ethnomethodologists would contend tbat these ideal izations in the human sciences have ignored the fact that ideal ization occurs naturally within the domain of scientific theorizing and scientific discourse (which is. Though ethnomethodologists must themselves idealize their phenomena in some fashion when pursuing an analysis. their approach differs from current constructive theorizing in that their idealizations attempt to incorporate the view that. is a and typifications (and. Garfinkel and Sacks. idealizations They lead misplaced.specifically. 1 964). the analyzability of conduct by use of rules) as one of its integral features.22 PREFACE From an ethnomethodological point of found in many of the human sciences are view. or rule use. and culture use in the sense that it is accomplished through the efforts of the users of the idealizations themselves (Garfinkel and Sacks. societal members accomplish the orderly structures of their world (cf. 1970. done from within the world) and takes place as well within the domain of everyday life . or culture use involves a naturally occurring process of idealization (e. then. The phenomena of interest. are what Schutz (1962) refers recognize and to as second-order phenomena. phenomenon for study. Ideal ization is an integral feature of sign use. of coUrse. For ethnomethodology then.in the form of common-sense (cf. 1 970a. Wilson. by reference to rules or maxims of the sort discussed by Wieder) 1960: 1 1 1 .
psychological research often encounters a lack of 'veridicality' in members' perceptions under a variety of conditions. clarity. A consequence of the use of misplaced idealization in the human sciences is that many theories of social science.PREFACE 23 of their own and others' behavior. 1967. 1972). to radicalize them) in gaining a purchase on the world of pure (and purified) physical phenomena (cf. linguistics. described. is an example of such a phenomenon. Garfinkel. Zimmerman and Wieder. constructive interplay between stimulus input and other levels of cognitive process. (The convict code. 1 970. Wieder. and for judging the consistency between their words and deeds. Neisser. pratical activity of everyday 'idealizations' of the social world and activities within it (cf. For example.) While it is profitable for the physical scientist to refine common-sense procedures (indeed. and otherwise employed by the staff and residents of the halfway bouse that Wieder studied. for judging the rationality of their actions. 1 970). and Handel. as opposed to being transformed in lawful ways relative to the multitudinous perceptual tasks that require attention in the course of coming to terms with an external environment (cf. 1 970. 1970. 1 967. social reality consists of the common-sense. what Garfinkel ( 1967) calls 'reflexive features'. i. the assertion of non-veridicality in perception is founded on an idealization of the perceptual process which allows little room for the active. Often. 1 962. Pollner. Merleau-Ponty. Zimmerman. sociologists have done innumerable studies purporting to show that societal members fail (or deviate) in their attempts to rationally follow rules in terms of rational rule-following as the SOCiologist posits it to be. and coherence of members' thoughts and talk. 1964: 66-70). Schutz. these procedures motivate a concern 9 In a somewhat analogous fashion. for etbnomethodologists.. as it is told.e. for judging the veridicality of their perceptions. traditional per ceptual psychology. 1970. and semantics are often invidiously employed as a standard for judging the consistency. idealizations (or rational constructions) of the social world must be recognized as also having the features of being 'done from within the world' and being 'part and parcel of that world'. .9 As mentioned earlier. What is 'really there' exterior to receptor organs is thus viewed as subject to distortion or error. Zimmerman and Pollner.
Wieder makes a parallel point. inasmuch as it would appear that we also understand each other in a similar way by using what Husser! (1960: 108-120) calIs "analogic apperception". The role of natural language in generating the societal member's sense of social reality is clearly pivotal. Wieder's study intentionally sidesteps this double irony (although specifically examining some empirical aspects of it) in the interest of examining the features of the 'process of idealization' itself (in the form of 'telling the code') as an integral aspect of the continuous generation of social reality. How they do so and with what consequences is one point at issue in Wieder's work.10 This is so because of the curious feature of natural language use. because societal members 'talk' rules and 'tell' rules. the properties of that language (in a semiotic sense). Recall that Wieder proceeds in his investigation by noting that rules. although by talking about rules. and they do so by making rules evident to each other by talking about rules. one could argue that human semiosis is known by humans (including semioticians). semiosis as a naturally occurring human phenomena).24 PREFACE on the part of some scientists and scholars to discover the variables which influence the degree to which members approximate the ideal .the working of the members' (and the scientists' and scholars') common-sense knowledge of the world. In the first instance. because humans were already talking about features of language and about signs prior to the development of any scholarship concerning the matter. . by direct analogy. while. and the uses 10 It would then follow that we can study animal semiotics only by anthro pomorphizing. We can observe rules (as we can observe human semiosis). the ideal (at least prototypically) is generated out of a purification of the members' original work . In an analogous way. as naturally occurring phenomena (and. in the second instance. which is that the factual existence of a natural language. the comparison inevitably yields a finding that members fall short of the ideal. they simultaneously accomplish or actualize those rules as well.a strategy which contains a double irony. are observable to social scientists and other scholars in and through the societrl members' talk. but this is not a fatal flaw.
This reflexivity may be seen in the following Il'etaphorical example (see Figure 3). means that the expressions are unavoidably and simul taneously both descriptions of orderly human affairs and features of those same affairs which. 1936). By saying that natural language use (or more specifically. Wieder. and topic for clarification and explication of Wieder's study (cf. Natural language use 'makes' human affairs orderly (and is. The names are embedded instructions.a property that natural language does not share unrestrictedly with formal languages (Tarski. That humans recognize their own language as language depends upon this reflexive feature of natural language use. Although they are . finding.de.ntation The names appearing on or in each figure instruct the viewer to see each display in a particular. in and by describing. naturally occurring expressions of social rules) is reflexive. following Garfinkel (1967). They tell the viewer how to see the lines for what they are 'this time'.PREFACE 25 of that language can be described in terms of that selfsame natural language . FIGURE 3 projection in. thus. structured way. productive of experienced social reality) by acting as 'embedded instruction' for seeing those affairs as orderly. residents of a halfway house made their 'affairs appear orderly to any outsider who heard their talk and 'employed it as embedded instruction' for seeing those affairs. Their sense is fulfilled by their placement in juxtaposition with the figures. they make orderly. This is the sense of Wieder's assertion that naturall�nguage use organizes social settings. the discussion in section III of this preface). The reflexive features of natural language use (especially natural langua�e expressions of 'social rules') is one basic theme. By 'telling the convict eo4e' (a set of social rules).
1972 . Santa Barbara. I have tried to spell out the significance of Wieder's investigation for a semiotic theory that has relevance to the empirical study of human social interaction. when displays involved are human affairs. but in light of the number of possible alternatives. Moreover. empirically based challenge to much standard doctrine in the theory of signs. they could be seen as merely lines on the page. it has been possible only to suggest the direction of Wieder's argument and the general nature of his conclusions. the possibilities offered by such displays appear to be infinite. The figures could be seen in the fashion 'called forth' by the instructions found in Figure 3 without the instructions literally being there. e.26 PREFACE descriptive of the figures. rather than lines on a page. There can be no doubt.g. in contrast to the other possibilities that the 'lines on the page' offer. this predse outcome is not probable. or as both indenting. or as the left figure indenting and the right figure projecting. etc. It seems evident that his findings have important implications for semiotics and constitute a major. California September. they must 'be there' as aspects of the figures for there to be much likelihood that the figures will be seen in the fashion that they are. however. necessary to tum to the book itself. both flat.. of course. both projecting. it is. that the issues raised in it are important. as well as in sociology. To judge the cogency of the argument and the soundness of the conclusions. v In these brief remarks.
PART I .
anthropology. Thus. the constructs used by the social scientist are.. . and some areas of economics and political science. It is most often the case that the sociologist's substantive conception of a rule is based on the members' under standing of that same rule. It is. according to Schutz (1962: 6). of special interest in anthropology and sociology. so to speak. In using the idea of rule-governed conduct. at the same time. In various ways. however. and the social scientist's formulation of them is intendedly isomorphic with the societal members' under standing of them. Zimmerman and Pollner (1970: 84-85) summarize Schutz's writings on this availability of such . extraordinarily commonplace in common sense thought. constructs of the second degree. for in these disciplines rules are generally conceived of as open to observation. linguistics. the sociologist capitalizes on common-sense thought as a resource for his own observations and theorizing. namely constructs of the constructs made by the actors on the social scene.1 RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION The idea that human action can be explained by showing that the actors follow rules which 'predict' and explain their action is at once an extraordinarily important idea for social science and is. Sociologists' formuJations. the idea is foundational for sociology.. especially for those works based on game theory. whose behavior the scientist observes and tries to explain in accordance with the procedural rules of his science. refer to and are founded upon the thought objects constructed by the common-sense thought of man living his everyday life among his fellow men.
artful ways of that accomplish- . the rules or recipes whereby he and others might gear into or understand some activity. the lesson is taken instead. According to Schutz. the world. Everyday activities and the perceived connected features present them selves with the promise that they may be understood and acted upon in practically sufficient ways by competent employment of appropriate proverbs. In doing sociology. and used as a study policy. is actually or potentially assembled by rule or reCipe... lay and professional. every reference to the 'real world' . or take it that he could determine by inquiry. That is. that the objective reality of social facts as an ongoing accomplishment of the concerted activities of daily life. and the like. What are the consequences of employing the same conceptions about the nature of the social world that lay members of the society employ in dealing with their 'practical circumstances? Zimmerman and Pollner (1970: 82) argue. one of which is phrased in the following terms (1967: vii). How can the fundamental structures of folk activity be treated as phenomena in their own right and no longer be used as resources? Garfinkel has provided several answers. It makes sociology into an eminently folk discipline deprived of any prospect or hope of making fundamental structures of folk activity a phenomenon.. the member assumes that such structures are actually or potentially locatable and determinable in their features by recourse to such. Thereby. as it presents itself to the member operating under the jurisdiction of the attitude of everyday life..makes sociology an integral feature of the very order of affairs it seeks to describe. is a historical. he may know. more specifically. motives. prac tices as asking for or giving instructions concerning a given matter.30 RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION ideas as rules within the social world as experienced by those living within it. Put another way. is a reference to the organized activities of everyday life. organizational charts. paradigms. already organized world . The member takes for granted that the social world and. in contrast to certain versions of Durkheim that teach that the objective reality of social facts is sociology's fundamental principle. Sociology's acceptance of the lay member's formulation of the formal and substantive features of sociology's topical concerns . the aspect of it relevant to his interest at hand.. with the ordinary.
Organized social arrangements consist of various methods for accomplishing the accountability of a setting's organizational ways as a concerted undertaking. any social setting be viewed as self-organizing with respect to the intelligible character of its own appearances as either representations of or as evidences-of-a-social-order.RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION 31 ment being by members known. Any setting organizes its activities to make its properties as an organized environment of practical activities detectable. for members doing sociology. recordable. countable. used. . is.their place and use in traditional social science should first be reviewed. These interests were further specified by Garfinkel in his recommendations for making pratical actions accessible to study as 'pure' topics of inquiry. analyzable . . as constructs of the second degree. a fundamental phenomenon . . . of accomplishing "the intelligible character of its own appearances as either representations [-of-a-social-order] or as evidences-of-a social-order". . Thus. . examining the professional uses of the idea of rule-governed conduct should give us an initial clue to its uses among lay members. i. One important method of accomplishing a setting's accountability. . because. as organizations of common place everyday activities. we would expect that many of the formalized features and uses of rules in social scientific accounts have their basis in the folk sociological theorizing of societal members. is the members' use of the idea of rule-governed conduct in talking about their own affairs among one another. and taken for granted. Ethno methodological studies analyze everyday activities as members' methods for making those same activities visibly-rational-and-reportable-for all-practical-purposes. reportable. 'accountable '. One of these recommendations (1967 : 33) was that. - The Theory of Normative Culture ill Contemporary Sociology : The Tradition of Weber and Durkheim The idea that normative orders are both observable social facts in themselves and are productive of other observable social facts . . accountable. But before considering how rules may be examined in this way as phenomena in their own right ..in short.e.
definition of the situation. . description. shows where sociology locates the source or cause of its formal structures. see the discussions of Homans (1964). sub-culture. stereotype. those actions which "upon analysis [show] the properties of uniformity.e. attitude. In his monumental study of social order. reproducibility. Parsons (1 937) demonstrated that normative orders are essential components of the study of action. accounting for. orientation.. has been phrased in various ways. Garfinkel (1959) (in his discussions of Parsons) and Zimmerman and Wieder (1 970) discuss it as the problem of order. norm.. . traditional sociology is concerned with some aspect of the problem of accounting for the formal structures of everyday activities. Robin Williams (1 960) refers to it as the problem of accounting for the social structures . Although there is certainly debate over how sociology shall account for the formal structures of everyday activities. In one fashion or another. in discussing the aims of sociology. And Inkles ( 1 964). Norms are essential features of the conception of social phenomena..32 RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION is a cornerstone of contemporary sociological theory and method. and explanation of social events which occur in a more or less regular sequence and pattern. In that work. repetitiveness. sociologists provide for " 1 For example. Turner (1962). independent[ly] of particular production cohorts . Parsons showed that it is logically impossible to account for the observed regularities of the behavior of man in society without providing for a normative order. The central place of norms and normative culture in contemporary sociological analysis can be seen by considering that most. . i. if not all. . value. All of these explanatory concepts refer to elements of the actor's situation as he knows or perceives it. .l the very prevalence of the explanatory uses of the concepts of role. [and which show] these properties . .those social phenomena which are patterned. and any other listing of sociology's funda mental concepts. culture. and Wrong (1961). in Garfinkel and Sacks' terms ( 1 970: 346). Blumer (1962). [and] typicality . recurrent. The problem. standard ization. describes sociology's basic problem as the discovery. and persistent over time. of course.
2 Weber's requirements for the correct causal interpretation of action are cogent for sociology today and are recapitulated without direct acknowledgement in the writings of. . reproducible. and he must describe and appreciate the meaning of the action in its context for the actor in such a way that the investigator 'sees' that the repetitive. A correct causal interpretation of action some involves a twofold task. sociology's fundamental problem is the explanation of regularly occurring patterns of behavior (that can be described without reference to the subjective states of the actors) in terms of the motivated character of those same actions from the point of view of the acting actors. standardized.RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION 33 the uniform. Weber ( 1947) referred to this as the problem of providing a correct causal interpretation of action. repetitive. The investigator must detect uniform patterns of behavior that can be described without reference to their subjective sense for the actors. Weber and Durkheim in their originative and quite compatible discussions provide the most useful and detailed elaborations of the character of social scientific explanation. Weber's "Correct Causal Interpretation o Social Action" f Weber's formulation of sociology and its tasks was directed to this very paradigm of explanation. For a much briefer published account of a similar treatment of the problem of order. typical features of action which are independent of particular production cohorts by discovering or positing regularities in the situations of action as perceived by the actors and toward which their actions are directed. e. see Zimmerman and Wieder (1970). 'Regularities' in observed actions are thereby accounted for by 'regularities' in perceived situations. uniform way of acting follows from a 'typical' or 'correct' course 2 Garfinkel has elaborated Weber's discussion in identifying the problem of a correct causal interpretation of action with the problem of order and the terms of a theory of adequate description in his unpublished Parsons' Primer (1959).. Thomas (1 928) and Blumer (1 962). For Weber and those that followed.g.
These patterns of action are differentiated and are associated with named social positions in such a way that when any member of the population assumes any given social position. and f eeling. . provides for all the characteristics of sociological social facts are regular-patterns-of-action-which-are-produced-by explanation that have just been examined. those motives typically produce regular patterns of action. Norms and the associated concept of roles are the most common theorist's method of distributing motives and definitions of the situation . b. engage in actions that can be described as regular and repetitive. social facts exhaustively constitute the proper domain of sociology and are. In fact for Durkheim. the appropriate associated pattern of action. The sociologist is thereby faced with the theoretical task of distributing motives around a theoretically conceived society in such a way that : a. Durkheim and Social Facts Durkheim's analysis of social f acts. Durkheim defines them as objective ways of acting. those motives are typical of any member of the population who assumes a particular position . character structure. thinking. This means that the identifi cation of social facts parallels Weber's problem of doing correct causal interpretations of action. in T Rules of the Sociological he Method (1938). compliance-to-a-normative-order. objective as opposed to subjective phenomena.34 of 'reasoning'. in the course of leading out their lives. . The discussion also draws on Schutz's (1964: 81-88) description of the social scientific use of rational-typical constructions. To say that these occurrences are objective means 3 The discussion of this model of explanation. he displays . those motives are not a matter solely of biology. c. which is typically employed in sociology. RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION A correct causal interpretation of action yields the following model :3 The members of society are conceived of as a population of actors who. above all else. For Durkheim. or rational adaptation to material circumstances. draws heavily though indirectly on Garfinkel's Parsons' Primer (1959).
RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION 35 that they are observable events in the real world and that they display three properties : exteriority. and typicality. A pattern shows constraint when. As such. or feeling is not that member's creation (1938 : 1). 6). and impressed upon the innovator as. it is nevertheless present. thinking. thinking. as he would discover if he were to resist the pattern (p. Although the individual may accede to the pattern and. thereby. Resistance may be manifested in the variety of ways that other members can negatively sanction the innovator. Even though he engages in it. or in the inability of the innovator to gear his activity to those following the typical pattern (pp. In saying that a way of acting. 6). thought. and feeling (p. thinking. it has nothing in particular to do with him. 2-3). the pattern of acting. they are the sources of our habitual patterns of action. 7). 7). Durkheim means that the individual member's particular way of acting. or feeling has the property of exteriority. thinking. or feeling has the property of typicality. constraint. or feeling is "endowed with coercive power" (p. One feature of the formal structures of everyday activity is derivative of Durkheim's feature of exteriority . immoral. A pattern of acting. A pattern has the property of constraint if the individual cannot change it or if it offers resistance to those who try to change it. every observable occurrence which expresses a social fact is jointly the product of the individual psyche in adaptation to its particular .that the regularities are independent of any particular production cohort. These ways of acting "are not developed by ourselves but come to us from without" (p. 2). Efforts to behave in a way other than that provided for by the pattern will be recognized by others as. In saying that a pattern of acting. thinking. Durkheim means that it is distinct from individual manifestations in two senses (p. 2). or unrealistic. 4) and "could not have [been] arrived at spontaneously" (p. or feeling which has exteriority would be experienced by the individual actor as not his doing or responsibility. by reason of the actor's membership in the society or some partial group within it (p. impolite. not feel or recognize the constraint of it. First.
The construction. the individual contributions cancel each other out (pp. Thus. repetitiveness. thinking. consistent. 9). repe titive acting. Norms and Explanation The attempt to account for the formal structures of everyday activities typically leads the sociologist to search for an appropriate . for in the typicality. 7) and consistent and regular (p. 28). thinking. However. It is the typical pattern or average pattern that expresses the social fact. Social facts. 44-45). then. 8). or feeling is not necessarily a social fact for Durkheim. and feeling) which have the properties of regularity (uniformity. and typicality) and indepen dence of particular production cohorts (exteriority). 8. there is a second sense of independence from individual manifestations which provides Durkheim with the grounds for saying that regular activities 'express' social facts. It must also be the case that the observed pattern is produced because it "is more or less obligatory" for the members (p. regularity or standardization. consistency. An observable pattern of regular. and which show those two sets of properties by reason of the fact that activities with those properties are produced as a matter of motivated compliance to a normative order. is at least one solution to Weber's problem of adequate causal analysis and a solution to the general sociological tasks of theoretically constructing a society whose members produce regular patterns of motivated action in a differentiated fashion. typical. The social fact is "repeated in the [action of the] individual because [it is] imposed on him" in the sense of exteriority and constraint (p.36 RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION concrete circumstances and the product of a social fact (p. social facts are 'expressed' in those aspects of the observable activities of daily life which show the formal structural properties of typicality. Durkheim also speaks of them as repetitive (p. and repetitiveness . reproduci bility. are those aspects of the observable activity of daily life (which include ways of acting. standardization. 9). 'social fact'.
e. and. The actor's motivation to comply with the norms and values must also be established . 4 When other conceptualizations are employed instead of norms. thus. Its basic features are rarely questioned. The explanation which employs rules as an account of motives employs 5 the notion of motive at two levels of analysis. values. Rather than subject the basic formulation to detailed scrutiny. Norms and values serve as instructions to the actor. a condition of retaining the respect of others and a condition of receiving rewards. i. and cultural categories. values. . These studies have special relevance here.g. because he wished to retain the respect of the others standing in the line).RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION 37 normative culture in terms of norms. sociologists and other social scientists generally have taken for granted the a ppropriateness of their solution to the problem of explaining action and have used it as a framework for endless empirical studies and f developing specific questions.. The character of these questions may be illustrated by an examination of studies of deviant behavior. a rather standardized set of questions is posed. There is the motive contained in the rule itself (e. These motives are found in the demonstration that the actor has internalized the normative elements.4 The very way in which norms and normative culture are conceived provides for counting them as formal structures as well. compliance with them is a condition of his capacity to count his own action as morally correct. and cultural cate gories. See Wilson (1970b)..g. therefore. 5 This basic conceptual apparatus and its variations is used in almost every sub-field of sociology. or Given that action is to be explained by reference to rules. can be conceived as variations on explanations based on the idea of normative culture. and/or the actor can be found to comply with normative elements as a condition of his position within his community.. he was motivated to comply with the 'rear of the line' rule. he was motivated to step to the rear of the line. they show the same formal characteristics and. because they serve as one framework for the empirical materials presented in this work. and their contents must be empirically established. because there is a rule which says that) and the motive to comply (e.
RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION
f f The Use o the Theory o Normative Culture in Studies o Deviant Behavior f
The most common form of sociological analyses of criminal deviant behavior conceptualizes deviant behavior as a formal structure of objective activities and locates the source of deviance in the formal structure of the deviant's perceived environment which is conceived of as a deviant or contra-normative sub culture. In such treatments, deviance is defined as those uniform, reproducible, repetitive, standardized, and typical patterns of
departures from an authorized (or establishment, or formal, or
societal, or legitimate, etc.) normative order which occur with such regularity that they may be conceived of as independent of the particular actors producing the deviance and thereby cannot be attributed to their biography as it would be psychiatrically conceived. The analyst then locates a sub-culture or contra-nor mative culture which 'serves as' a set of instructions for producing actions which are deviant from the perspective of the societal or establishment order. For example, Miller describing:
. . . law violating acts committed by members of adolescent street comer groups in lower class communities - and . . . show[ing] that the dominant component of motivation underlying these acts consists in a directed attempt by the actor to adhere to forms of behavior, and to achieve standards of value as they are defined within that community.
(1958 : 5) characterized his task as that of
Within the standard theories, deviance is the result of a delinquent sub-culture (Cohen, 1955 ; Cloward and Ohlin, 1961 ; Finestone, 1957), or "differential association wIth a delinquent sub-oulture" (Sutherland and Cressey, 1955 : 74-81), or "culture conflict" between a legitimate culture and an imported different culture, or an indigenous deviant sub-culture (Sellin, McCay,
1938 ; Mi1ler. 1958),
or a cultural transmission of a deviant sub-culture (Shaw and
1942). All of these- ways of theorizing about the sources
of deviance are essentially the same in their basic approach to explanation.
RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION
This is not to say that contemporary students of deviance devote an or even most of their attention to the relatively simple matter of locating, describing, and analyzing sub-cultures which produce some observed pattern of deviance. It is simply that irrespective of the dominant question the traditional analyst addresses, he portrays deviance as the product of motivated compliance to patterns of ('deviant') normative culture. Within this general scheme of analysis, it is typical that only the earlier studies of some specific social phenomena are directed toward the discovery of a set of norms which correspond to some observed pattern of behavior. Later studies tend to be directed toward such related questions as, 'What accounts for the thematic content of the observed norms '. For example, in the field of deviance, Sutherland and Cressey's work on differential association
(1955) is a formulation of the conditions under which a societal
member will comply with rules which generate behavior deemed to be deviant in a larger societal context. Merton's classic analysis of anomie
(1957) concerns the conditions under which societal
members lose commitment to the dominant normative order and will no longer comply with its norms. Cohen (1955) and Finestone (1957) attempted to account for the thematic content of delinquent norms, while Cloward and Ohlin (1961) attempted to answer all these questions in such a way that they could account for the distributional characteristics of delinquent acts.
Another Way o Treating Rules f
While it has been traditional to build upon the basic idea of explaining action by ref erence to rules or other rule-like constructions, it is possible to proceed in the opposite direction by subjecting the basic explanatory kernel to further scrutiny. Since the late nineteen-fifties, a group of scholars who call them selves ethnomethodologists (though not this group exclusively) has questioned the feasibility of explaining action by reference to rules. Ethnomethodological studies that have empirically investigated
RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION
the ways in which rules are actually employed find that persons continually discover the scope and applicability of a rule in the developing occasions in which rules are used (Garfinkel, 1967 : 18-24; Leiter, 1969; Wieder, 1970; and Zimmerman, 1970). This suggests that the claim that an ensemble of actions which occurred in a variety of occasions is explained by the discovery of a rule which was complied with by the actors in those occasions is a weak assertion, because the rule can vary in its sense from occasion to occasion. One could not 'deduce' or 'predict' a pattern of behavior from such a rule. Because of this character of rules in use, Zimmerman (1970 : 233) has argued that,
. . . it would seem that the notion of action-in-accord-with-a-rule is a matter not of compliance or noncompliance per se but of the various ways in which persons
satisfy themselves and others concerning what
is or is not 'reasonable' compliance in particular situations. Reference to rules might then be seen as a common-sense method of accounting for or making available for talk the orderly features of everyday activities, thereby
making out these activities as orderly in some fashion.
Such a suggestion calls for a thoroughgoing reconception of the possible phenomena of study, including a reconception of the formal structures of everyday life, as in Garfinkel and Sacks' proposal (1970 : 346) :
. . . by formal structures we understand everyday activities (a) in that they exhibit upon analysis the properties of uniformity, reproducibility, repetitiveness, standardization, typicality and so on; (b) in that these properties are independent of particular production cohorts; (c) in that particular-cohort independence is a phenomenon for members' recognition ; and (d) in that the phenomena (a), (b), and (c) are every particular cohort's practical, situated accomplishment. The above development of formal structures contrasts with that which prevails in sociology and the social sciences in that the ethnomethodol ogical procedure . . . provides for the specifications (c) and (d) by studying everyday activities as practical ongoing achievements.
In line with these interests, Zimmerman and I (1970 : 288-89) recently proposed that there were three steps involved in making norms a pure topic, in contrast to a resource, of study. The first
RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION
step was to suspend the assumption that social conduct is rule governed. The second step was to notice that the regular, coherent, connected patterns of social life are
regular, coherent, and connected by showing their relation to rules (or related concepts) by laymen and professional sociologists alike. The third step was to treat the appearances of described and explained patterns of orderly conduct as
by the members' use of such procedures as analyzing an event as an instance of compliance (or noncompliance) with a rule.
I shall follow these steps and the reconceptions of formal structures
in the examination of moral orders in the chapters to follow. Can it be observed that the properties of regular activities are matters of members' recognition and that that recognition is a member's accomplishment ? How could such observations be made ? How can members be observed at the work of producing the
of orderly conduct through such procedures as
analyzing events as instances of compliance with a rule ? Strangely, perhaps, the necessary o bservational materials are close at hand and within the reach of any ethnographer who has been faced with the task of discovering and describing a normative culture. The observational materials, however, have gone largely unnoticed and almost entirely unreported. These necessary data have gone unnoticed and unreported because of the way that the objects of analysis and the data for analysis have been conceived. Traditional objects of analysis (e.g., rules) have been conceived in such a way as to disregard many properties that their empirical counterparts (the data) must have as visible occurrences in actual ongoing occasions within a social world. For example, the traditional conception of rules does not provide for the way in which rules might be routinely observable in actual ongoing occasions, nor does it provide for the properties of those 'displays of rules'. I would like to say that the data-gathering occasion has been altogether ignored for its possible analysis as a social occasion, but to say that would result in many complaints. After all, a critic might say, have we not described the various roles of the observer ? Have we
members o f societies are doing something that makes it possible for social scientists to observe their affairs as 'regular'. for the member the organizational hows of these accomplishments are unproblematic. reproducible. i. repetitive. Traditional analysts and observers have known but have not noticed the following : (l) Somehow. standardized. and typical. [In doing this. . of social events as data and as objects of analysis.. an accomplished familiarity. cognitive order. members also talk about their affairs as showing regularity. members also explain their conduct in this way. as uniform. the member proceeds] in such a way that at the same time that the member 'in the midst' of witnessed actual settings recognizes that witnessed settings have an accomplished sense. . He disregards the reflexivity of that talk . But they have not treated the following matters which are essential to the possibility of observing social life as an ongoing.that members' accounts are constituent features of the settings (and objects in them) that those accounts make observable.. common place activities of everyday life recognizable as familiar. Just as social scientists engage in explaining members' conduct by reference to rules and rule-like constructions. . an accomplished accountability. orderly.e. By and large. what members are doing that makes their affairs observable in this way is talking. . and that their affairs have these properties of 'regularity' independently of particular production cohorts. there have been many such studies. commonplace activities. are . (3) By treating members' talk as 'expressing' an underlying. not only for social scientists. Garfinkel (1967 : 9-10) has argued.42 RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION not described and analyzed the many features of data-gathering occasions that might bias our results ? Indeed. (2) While social scientists talk of members' affairs as showing 'regularity'. but among themselves as well. an accomplished objectivity. the social scientist disregards the f act of that talk as an essential feature of the setting in which it occurs. an accomplished facticity. shared. because to do so would necessitate a thoroughgoing reconceptualization. by his accounting practices the member makes familiar. more or less concerted accomplishment of members.
typicality. The remainder of Part I (Chapters Two. We can. The ethnographer's experience as such. may be made accessible to study by embarking on a traditional ethnography of a normative culture and then turning our attention to the production of that ethnography as an accomplishment in the context of the ethno grapher's interactions with his informants and the informants' folk use of 'ethnographies'. and using ethnographies. uniformly. with enormous standardization and as an unaccountable matter. then becomes a primary source of data. and Four) presents a traditional ethno graphy.the appearances of order as an ongoing accomplishment can be made observable. Chapter Two examines the history and organizational structure of halfway houses in general and the specific halfway house in which the actual observational study was carried out. the work of the accomplished sense. of everyday activities may be observed at first hand. By examining the members' 'use of ethnographies ' . The formal structures of everyday life in general. Three. and are known only in the doing which is done skill fully. but simple direct inspection will not illuminate the temporally engaged methods of that work. objectivity. and the place of norms in these structures in particular. recognizing. The fact and contents of the members' use of ethnographies may be observed by direct inspection. in a social world'. etc. That accomplishment consists of members doing. It is with these interests that the following chapters examine the convict code as it appeared and was used in a halfway house for paroled narcotic-addict felons. By directing attention to the ethnographer's work and his encounters with his subjects or informants. however. and it serves as a way of characterizing the organizational structure of halfway house as an authorized or .their situated talk about their own immediate affairs . as an 'object uniformity. familiarity. reliably. treat the ethnographic occasion itself as an object of study.RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION 43 known vaguely. This chapter serves two purposes. It provides the reader with necessary back ground material. facticity.
How the resultant experiential environment was thereby constituted . this does not mean that its use as a schema of interpretation for seeing and describing halfway house events. These chapters will show that the code was offered by residents (in their dealings with me and with staff) and by staff (in their dealings with me and with each other) as 'embedded instruction' for seeing the formal structures of resident conduct. which was enforced at the halfway house by residents and which (in a traditional sociological treatment) accounts for or explains the observed deviant behaviors noted in Chapter Three. By 'dissecting' the process of ethnographic observation and formulation. explanations based on and referring to the�convict code . These accounts share many formal and sub stantive properties with the explanations of professional sociol ogists. were more than simple descriptions of resident activities. That normative order will be used in Chapter Three as a device for detecting and analyzing the observed behavior of residents as formal structures of deviant behavior. we will observe that seeing and describing the behavior of residents as coherent and more or less stably motivated required the work of actively interpreting the pieces of talk and action that one heard and saw. These and researcher. Chapter Three reports observations of resident behaviors as departures from the authorized normative order. As events in the setting of the halfway house. The fourth chapter reports observations of a normative order. They were persuasive explanations which were consequential in the interactions in which they were 'told '. was simply a matter of using or repeating what they had heard. The penalogical literature is examined for identical.44 RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION legitimate normative order. Although 'telling the code' was persuasive. similar. and parallel findings on the 'convict code' in terms of its production of patterns of deviant behavior in the prison. Part be haviors are analyzed as social structures observable to both staff II presents an ethnomethodological analysis of the convict code as a persuasive activity. by those who were 'persuaded'.'telling the code' . the 'convict code'..
made it happen that their behavior was observable and reportable as deviandy rule governed conduct having the status of formal structure and social fact. how that deviant behavior has the observable and reportable properties of formal structures and social facts that have been enumerated above. .RULES AS EXPLANATIONS OF ACTION 45 through the concerted efforts of those who 'told the code' and those who heard it will be a principal topic of the ethnomethodol ogical analysis. In that analysis. i. The 'how' of these questions pertains to how the residents. in their inter actions with staff and researcher. what Garfinkel and Sacks (1970) formulate as "accountable phenomena as practical accomplishments".. and how the residents' deviant rules have the observable and reportable properties of formal structures and social facts. we will also see how the behavior of parolee residents is recognizable and reportable by lay and professional sociologists (myself and the staff) as deviant behavior that is produced · by rule.e.
This line of talk is delivered to congressional committees. and often work in their own industry. and function which makes the typical halfway house structure describable as the means to those goals. at conventions of correctional and law .2 HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF THE HALFWAY HOUSE Features o Halfway Houses in General f Halfway houses for felons were originally employed by various prisoners' aid societies as part of their programs of assistance to the indigent ex-convicts (Barnes and Teeters. their personnel and social science consultants have formulated a line of talk or rhetoric about their purpose. and Halfway Houses. they began to develop shortly after the Civil War.. on radio discussion programs and in open meetings to the public.g. e. intent. 1959 : 549-551). In the past ten years. public and private halfway houses have become rationalized and their typical program expanded. Homes for Discharged Prisoners. That is. both the State of California and the Federal Government have instituted halfway houses (Glaser. to magazine writers. These practitioners have formulated why halfway houses are needed and why they should have the organization that they do. Also during the past decade. shelter. the making of brooms and brushes. Their announced intent was simply to give material aid to the ex-prisoner in poverty. Such homes typically supplied the ex-prisoner with food. They were typically staffed by a superintendent and his wife who were supported by the Community Chest or some other charitable source. Called Houses of Industry. to newspapermen. 1964 : 41 5-418).
five rationalizing themes are prominent. the most elaborated version appears in the testimony of Harris Isbell before the United States Senate Sub Committee on Improvements of the Federal Criminal Code (Hearings : 146 1 1538). Suddenly the prisoner finds himself out of prison. leading him to return to those places where he will find 1 Although this is a very widely proposed theme.HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 47 enforcement personnel and through their applied journals such as Federal Probation. The first thirty to sixty days after a man has been released from prison are judged by correctional workers to be the most difficult.l They describe the prisoner as having been living in an environment which is both abnormally restricting and upon which the prisoner has become abnormally dependent. The prisoner is described as not knowing how to use his regained freedom and as terrorized by the prospect of having to live an independent life. but having to provide for himself. for one of the interests in these formulations is as data. This same line of talk is delivered in a less formalized form to the very population that halfway houses serve. His social ties are seen as having been disrupted. free to do as he chooses. . Throughout the practitioners' literature on halfway houses and the need for halfway houses. Some practitioners express the fear that he will become easily frustrated in his attempts to hold or find work and will quickly return to crime to support himself. Such a definition of ideal resident behavior will be used in the next chapter as one of the standards against which observed resident behavior will be compared. It is through these formulations that part of what is desired for parolees and ex-patients by correctional personnel and theorists can be seen. 1 . In many places their language has been quoted or paraphrased. Practitioners' formulations will serve as one source of the definition of ideal resident behavior. The bulk of this chapter will examine the practitioners' official formulations. Use of the programmatic ideals as a standard is one way in which resident behavior can appropriately be designated as deviant.
5. Sternberg. 1962 : 5-6). 1 963 . 1 965). The new parolee is portrayed as experiencing severe anxiety and frustration in his initial sojourns into the free world. and Grupp. 3. at solving problems of self-support and independence" (St. Casriel.48 HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE others like himself and will thereby be led back to his criminal ways by his old and new associates. The halfway house i s described by correctional theorists as "a kind of decompression chamber which gradually prepares him [the ex-prisoner] for the pressures of normal life" (Tunley. Special efforts may be taken to increase the contrast between the prison and the 'home-like' halfway house by having little or no mandatory program and by keeping house rules to a minimum (Meiners. the guests do begin to succeed at finding work. The halfway house is proposed as a device for helping the ex-prisoner make the terrible and risky transition f rom captivity to freedom. the halfway house is portrayed as a short-term arrangement where quickly increasing responsibilities are placed on the ex-prisoner and he quickly becomes ready to fully rely on his own efforts (yablonsky. at keeping a job. 2. Leonard 's House. 1 961 : 1 4-15) or "home-like" environment (Tunley. with the staff "running interference. It would be a place where "immediate help is available if he is unable to resist even . The staff of halfway houses and the other residents are portrayed as "assisting in the social psychological adjustment of the individual in making the transition" (Grupp. The halfway house is described as a "normal" (Davidson. It would be a place where the man would receive social support and be accepted as making the transition back into the community rather than being rejected as a hopeless delinquent (Pearl. 4. The attempt is seen as assisting him to withdraw from his dependent relation on some organization which provides all his physical needs. It is often called a "bridge to the community" where. 1 962 . 1965 : 1) by providing "help in all problems of living" (Davidson. 1 965). Annual Report. 1 963 . 1 962 : 1 67). In contrast to programs like Synanon. 1 961 : 1 5). 1966). 1 964 : 3).
the addict is said to quickly return to crime and narcotics use (Hearings. 1961). The Practitioners' Demandf or way Houses f Addicts in Calif or ornia Half In California. Davidson. an Ad Hoc Panel on Drug The Practitioners' Demandf Halfway Houses f Addicts or or The demand for halfway houses is probably the strongest for a4dicts. California already had a special narcotics treatment program for parolee ad dicts. The attempt to treat addiction has largely been a failure. 1461-1 538 . If he turns to public and private agencies for support. 1962). Special Study Commission on Narcotics Report. 1960. . is due to the lack of any follow-up treatment and mandatory supervision and control" (Special Study Com mission on Narcotics Report.2 Parole agents working in this program were given special 2 The program is known as the Narcotic Treatment Control Program and was initiated on October 1 . 1963). and experts h. Thrust back into his old environment. Burkhart and Sathmary. Hoc Panel on Drug Abuse. 1964). The addict at the point of his release is portrayed as a weak individual needing an artificially structured and supportive environment if he is to avoid relapse (Progress Report o an A4.ave asserted that this failure is attributable to the lack of "adequate after-care" for the released addict (Hearings: 14611 538 . 1962 . commissions. "The disappointing lack of success in the rehabilitation of narcotic addicts . and President's Advisory Commission on Narcotics and Drug Abuse. 1961 . Winick. 1961). Davidson. Addicts return to the use of drugs after treatment or incarceration at rates from 60 to 95 percent within the first year after their release.HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 49 minimal stress" (Progress Report o f Abuse. . A variety of governmental committees. the Governor's Special Study Commission reported that. 1959 (Pearl. 1962 : 53). At that time (1961). 1961 . 1957 . f It is typical that the addict comes out of prison with no resources and without skills. he finds that they do not accept addicts. Progress Report o an Ad Hoc Panel f on Drug Abuse. .
the Adult Authority does as the agent recommends. Geis. two to four times a month.4 With all this organization and effort. Geis summarized the line of reasoning of those who officially reviewed the Narcotic Treatment Control Program experience : These units were located at the california Institution for Men at Chino or at San Quentin. the Narcotic Treatment Control Program was recognized by practitioners as a notable failure. 4 It is also proposed by practitioners that if the use of the test fails to inhibit the return to drug use. Weinberg. Typically. It was argued that the Narcotic Treatment Control Program was least eff ective in dealing with the period immediately following release. S One hundred twenty-one cases were in the cohort. More technically. 1 966 : 24. 1960). For the first cohort of cases. 3 . Another part of the program is detection of drug use by nalline testing which involves the intramuscular injection of nalline and the measurement of resulting changes in pupil size (cf. but recom mends those actions to the Adult Authority (parole board). it will at least facilitate the early apprehension of the addict and permit his short-term incarceration before he becomes truly addicted again and before the size of his habit presses him . Agents in this program were grouped into special parole districts and were directed to give larger amounts of individual and group counseling. the parole agent does not actually send the parolee to jail for three weeks or to prison for eighteen months. Prior to this time.50 HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE training in working with addicts and had case loads of thirty men as compared with the usual seventy to seventy-five. the parolee could be sent to a special short-term (ninety days) treatment unit. into criminal pursuits to support it. the man was given intensive group counseling and 'prepared for reintroduction into the community' . the only legitimate alternative actions available to parole agents were to send the man who had relapsed to jail for several weeks or to return him to prison as a parole violator. were detected in the use of drugs within six months after release from the institution. usually for eighteen months. The use of this chemical test. On relapse.s In the treatment unit.5 fifty-eight percent . is intended to inhibit the parolees' return to the use of drugs by increasing the certainty that they would be caught if they did use drugs.
More gradual reintroduction into the com munity seemed to be an obvious requirement of a narcotics control program hoping to achieve a degree of success (Geis. 1966: 27). . in a letter to Geis. (2) Treatment would be facilitated by the possibility of 'working on' the parolee's experiences with his fellow residents and his attitude and behavior at the halfway house. . He envisioned a halfway house which would provide channels into legitimate occupations and which would be a means whereby 'social integration' into other domains of the legitimate world could be accomplished (Pearl. as they frequently do on ordinary parole. yet more observable than on regular parole. He argued that a 'bridge' back into a legitimate society was required to enabJe the addict to avoid relapse. with a reduced likelihood of the old environment and associates disrupting the addict's treatment.lS largely on the initiative of Arthur Pearl.mSTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 51 Abrupt immersion into free society seemed to be too overwhelming an a one-time addict to absorb without rather rapid recourse narcotics. Pearl proposed that : (1) The halfway house would closely resemble a normal social setting. His reasoning. These would be 'normal life experiences' as contrasted with the prison. Pearl proposed that a halfway house would provide a better setting for treatment than either regular parole or the prison. a research specialist who had evaluated the Narcotics Treatment Control Program and who had been on loan from the Department of Corrections to the Governor's Special Study Commission on Narcotics. was sketched in his successful proposal to NIMH. experience for of to re-use . that the East Los Angeles Halfway House was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). described the addict as engulfed in a deviant society. Pearl. The Origin and Original Rationale of the East Los Angeles Halfway House It W. which is remarkably similar to the rationale pro posed by other practitioners and supporters of halfway houses. 1966).
1962. (5) Pearl also proposed that the halfway house would protect society by giving the parolee more complete supervision. in the eastern 6 The application was made under the auspices of the Institute for the Study of Crime and Delinquency.52 HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE (3) Halfway house would provide greater access to community services and facilities. and the first residents were accepted. in cooperation with the California Department of Corrections. The halfway house was to be operated under the auspices of the Department of Corrections and staffed by the department's personnel. the parolee's responsibilities could be gradually increased until he terminated his residency.6 made application to NIMH for partial funding of a halfway house for parolee-addicts and support for a research program. a building in East Los Angeles was leased to the state for the house and parole district office. 7 A special parole district under the Narcotics Treatment Control Program was formed to service (among others) the parolees assigned to the halfway house and to serve as part of the staff of the halfway house. 8 . in contrast to immediate release from prison. (4) While at halfway house. a research institute affiliated with the California Department of Corrections. and by gradually releasing him from controlled supervision as he demonstnted his capabilities. The halfway house as such was closed in 1 967 as one of the moves the California Department of Corrections made in compliance with Governor Reagan ' s ten percent budget cut for all departments. 7 The Neighborhood and Building The East Los Angeles Halfway HouseS was located on Breed Street near Brooklyn and Soto in Boyle Heights. Arguing on the basis of the disappointing experience of the Narcotics Treatment Control Program and the stated belief that the period immediately following release from treatment and incarceration was the weakest link in the chain of treatment and supervision. The demise of the halfway house may also be related to its demonstrated failure in treating addicts . Pearl. The Department of Corrections was also to share in the financing of the operation. By October. by an earlier identification of the parolee's troubles.
At night. perhaps most. a spacious dining r001l1. During the day. Both men and women dress 'typically chicano'. has no particular relevance to the research reported here. once every three minutes. Almost all restaurants in the area are Mexican.HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 53 section of Los Angeles. and a sitting or reception room. The neighborhood was once a Jewish community. 9 This account of the plan of the early program is based largely on official halfway house documents and partly on reconstructions of the early history that I received from those staff who were present at that time. the police pass by perhaps . . at least in part. with many. a kitchen. It contained five dormitories (each housing a maximum of six men). The halfway house was located in a thirty-year-old stucco building that was previously used as a children 's day-care center. Although many non-Mexicans live in the neighborhood. it was not simply to be a place of refuge and assistance for the Whether or not this is the case and. One is often first spoken to in Spanish when in a store or restaurant. people visible on the street are almost exclusively Mexican. but is now a Mexican-American ghetto. East Los Angeles was chosen as the location for the halfway house. The remainder of the building was used as the residential area. and only if that attempt fails is English tried. of the men sporting full mustaches. The Plan o the Early Program9 f In the staff's and consultant's formulations of the halfway house. Papers and literature in Spanish are available on the street corners. Mexican foods are prominent in the markets. to what extent is not known by me and. if it is. on Brooklyn Avenue. a large recreation meeting room. in any case. The area is the largest deharcation point in the state for Mexicans coming into this country. one sees the 'harness bulls' or 'black and whites' (motorcycle police and police cruisers) pass by once every ten minutes. A portion of the building also housed the Halfway House Parole District Office. The area is reputed by the police and correctional workers to be one of the highest narcotic traffic areas in the state. in r esponse to a community request that a program of this type be placed in this high narcotic traffic area.
The program was designed to force the development of a nondelinquent peer group.54 HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE first period that an addict parolee was on parole. 10 The announced intent of the program was "to develop a cohesive. that 'group punishment' was never effective device for developing a nondelinquently oriented peer group (Fisher. however. it was also to be an experiment designed around a therapeutic program. subject to staff review. the average stay was approximately sixty-five days. this right was considered a reward and was revoked for the following week if the staff felt that the group was not treating the matter of a man's release with due seriousness and deliberation. The group was to have the right to release one man each week. 1966 : 219-244). Jones attended a conference held by the Department of Corrections at the halfway house to discuss the application of his ideas to this · type of setting. Mter the program got under way. five nights a week. For example. 1965.ll Mter the parolee had stayed a minimum of thirty days. This was to be accomplished through a program of mandatory group counseling held for one hour. Geis. 1 964). The controls hopefully exercised by the peer group were seen to be more effective than those directly utilized by the staff on an individual deviant. Following Pearl's lead. Under this system. the group was supposed to become concerned about the behavior of its members and negatively sanction its members for behavior that the staff would ultimately punish. In the rationale of the program. Available stories indicate. In this way. the whole group might be restricted to the house on a weekend for the two time absence from the group of one of the members. 1953 : 33-62) modified by halfway house staff and consultants for use with addicts on parole. nondelinquently oriented peer group" (Program Statement. One method of accomplishing tbis was to punisb the group as a whole for what the staff viewed as the irresponsible behavior of one of the group 's members. an 11 . he could be considered for release. He was to have demonstrated his strength and readiness to lead a nondelinquent life. The program of group counseling and other supervision was 10 The therapeutic inspiration was provided by Maxwell Jones' notion of the therapeutic community (Jones.
he would also be charged $ 3. and three parole agents whose case load consisted of present and former residents of the halfway house. this requirement was suspended. Ordinarily. After the resident had found work. they were to do work projects in the house two mornings a week and most of the day Friday. if he failed to carry out a work project. with control and experimental groups. On the second week. All those prospective parolees who had a history of narcotics use and and who. They were also to attend hour-long groups for the unemployed. Prior to finding employment. even if that means staying in prison after the date set for his parole by the Adult Authority. During the operation of the experimental program. a house manager. three after noons a week. Each agent's case load was initially composed entirely of 'experimental group' cases (who began their parole by living in the halfway house) or was composed entirely of 'control group ' cases (who never lived in the halfway house). the residents were initially exposed to a week of orientation and work at the halfway house. 12 12 The development of experimental and control groups involved several steps. On the other hand. inmates who had been selected to become experimental cases were sent to the Narcotics Treatment Control . by reason of an employment offer or family residence. Besides the program of group counseling.00 per day. Parolees assigned to the 'control group' were released from prison on their assigned dates whether or not they had employment or a specific place to live.HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 55 carried out by a program director. They were to look for work two mornings and four afternoons a week. they could search for work. he was charged $ 3. would be expected to live within the geographic boundaries of the Halfway House District Parole Office were assigned to a pool of 'eligibles'. a parolee who had both employment and a specific residence could be assigned to the 'experimental group' and halfway house residence even though the parolee was unlikely to see its possible benefit.00 per day for board and room. One year after the program was initiated. The other distinctive aspect of the initial program was that it was part of an experimental design. a parolee must have a 'program' (employment and residence) in order to be released from prison. Until they found work. a Social Research Analyst of the Department of Corrections assigned every other case to the halfway house 'experimental group' and the remainder to the 'control group'. Both sets of cases were supervised out of the Halfway House District Office. Following the setting of a parole date by the Adult Authority.
They also had contact with their parole-agents-to-be and with other f uture residents of the halfway house. as it was then designed. the Department of Correction assumed complete financial and research responsi bilities for the halfway house program.or impending drug use in group therapy (or any other place) because the staff would have to jail those who admitted use. the men were exposed to a therapeutic community as preparation for their halfway house experience. [have] prevented open and candid communication between resident and staff. (4) (perhaps most important is the following statement :) "The legal consequences of drug use . . The pre-release experience was intended to strengthen the halfway house as a 'bridge to the community'. Staff and residents could not talk directly about existing . (3) The relatively short-term stay at the halfway house meant that members were constantly joining and leaving the group. but then it too was abandoned. The plan of the Therapeutic Community provided for making precisely this matter a continuing topic of therapeutic conversations. the NIMH grant expired.. and residents would draw Program at Chino to complete their prison terms as soon as the Adult Authority had set their parole dates. residents would be informers if they talked in group session about another resident's difficulty in abstaining.. yet high commitment was required to make a therapeutic community work. and changes in the program were made. Staff cited as difficulties : (1) The attempt to be highly selective in the recruitment of parolees created a severe underpopulation problem for the halfway house. 1965). forcing each to maintain his traditional role. The idea of a therapeutic community was retained at first. were formulated in April of 1965.56 HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE In June of 1964. thereby impeding the establishment of the Therapeutic Community group" (Proceedings. At Chino. producing an unstable group. This amounts to staff 's recognition that staff and residents could not easily talk to one another about existing or impending drug use. Officially recognized and stated difficulties with the program. (2) The addict population of the Department of Corrections was seen as minimally committed to change.
a new program of 'outward orientation into the community and local neighborhood' was proposed and ultimately initiated. One agent reported to me that he found the hostility so intense that when he met his group he would do almost anything to avoid taIking about the house and problems in it. This 'other account' . With these troubles 13 recognized and stated to the relevant officials in the Department of Corrections.an account of the residents' behavior formulated in its situated pratical uses is a central topic in terms of the convict code of this work. the staff knew that the setting was creating intense hostility toward them. but that seemed to be what was asked of them. since he might use drugs on the other side of town. After all. They found the processes Qf group counseling.HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 57 suspicion and surveillance on themselves or others if they talked about desires to use. They were exceedingly aware that to talk about drug use was dangerous. They found the request that they talk about someone else's bad behavior incredible and immoral. they had already been paroled. yet they might be punished as a group for his doing that. At the very least. Although these results were not mentioned in the staff's statement of a desire to abandon the therapeutic community. and the release procedures at best unintelligible. group punishment. the first results of the experiment were available and known to staff both at halfway house and in Sacra mento. and (3) what residents who had been there at that time said. By this time as well. They saw it as incredible that they should be asked to do it and immoral that they inform or interfere with another man's affairs. They also reported that they were often helpless to prevent another man's deviance in any case. On the basis of (1) the account of Geis and Fisher. though it was a persistent topic of staff talk. another account of that period is available. - . yet they could not cleally see what they had to do to get out. (2) what was reconstructed for me by a few staff that were at the halfway house during this period. It is notable that this 'other account' was never a topic in official halfway house documents. They said what was intended as a therapeutic community not only did not develop. 13 There were other troubles.l. thereby. They wanted to get out of halfway house. but they were not mentioned in the official documents and. From these reconstructions it is clear that the participants have another way of talking about that early period. but turned into something that Was exceedingly painful for both residents and staff. He gave paper and pencil psychological tests and tried to direct the group to talk about abstract psychological themes so as to avoid the hostility. Residents tended to view their recruitment as an illegitimate extension of their incarceration that was happening to them and not to members of the control group. are not part of this account of the 'official history'. and at worst immOl'3.
Moreover. Approxi mately seventy percent of both groups were detected in the use of opiates or experienced serious difficulty during their first year on parole. 1964). see Wieder (1969 : 41 -44). 14 � 15 For further organizational details see Wieder (1969 : 46-57). only fifty-four percent of those coming to the halfway house made it through that experience successfully and were released to an outside residence in the com munity. but as documented accounts that were facts of life to the staff and to the residents as well. the therapeutic community had failed . The research division of the Depal tment f Corrections compiled the results of the first year's experiences of the cohort going through the halfway house and compared it with the experiences of the control group (Himmelson. For additional outcome details. This was for thirty-seven experimental cases and thirty-nine control cases. The others absconded from the halfway house. 1965). They are part of the officially recognized history of the house that the staff was party to and officially acknowledged.14 My interest here in the outcome statistics is not as a demon stration that the earlier program of the halfway house was a failure. The Plan of the Later Program15 Staff then proposed to alter their program. on the basis of out come statistics. . As such. They designed a program which they felt was more realistic for their population than a therapeutic community. Sixty-seven percent of the house residents were detected in using drugs or experienced 'serious difficulty' (either being returned to prison or being sentenced on a criminal charge to more than ninety days in jail) within a year of their release from prison. The experience of the second year's population in halfway house (116 ex perimentaIs and 109 controls) showed the same results (Miller. were detected in the use of drugs or experienced serious difficulty. those who did not go to the halfway house.58 HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE by this time they were painfully aware that. while sixty-five percent of the controls. were detected by the parole division in the use of opiates. although the treatment program was not fully implemented until 1966. There was no statistically significant difference between the outcomes for those who had gone to halfway house and those who were not given this experience. they were part of the staff's environment. In 1965 the organizational and treatment plan of halfway house became crystalized. The rate of relapse was the same as that ex perienced in earlier phases of the Narcotics Treatment Control Program. or were arrested and confined by the local p olice for both narcotic and non-narcotic offenses.
While the 'therapeutic community' was supposed to alter the parolee's deviance by changing the demands of his peer group. They were responsible both to their parole agent and to the halfway house staff. While the previous treatment program of the 'therapeutic community' had as its rationale that the deviance of the population was based on their ties to a deviant peer group. developed and put into practice a new 'treatment' program. While parolees were in residence. the halfway house staff and district parole agents. not under the authority of the Program Director. "assisted by the District Office parolee population" (Program Revision. they were under two simultaneous systems of authority. Following a seminar of correctional workers that was held at halfway house in April. they were under the direct authority of the Assistant District Supervisor and the District Supervisor.mSTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 59 The lines of authority and supervision took the form displayed in Chart 1 . 1965 : 1). 1965. the rationale of the new program proposed that the source of deviance was in the parolee's lack of involvement in the legitimate community. They could be given orders by both parties and could be arrested by both parties.pervisor Director Assistant Parole Agents (6) House Manager Student Professional Assistant� I I Parolees on Street (approximately 220) Parolees in Residence (less than 25) I CHART 1 : Lines of Authority Although the parole agents were allocated to the halfway house for the operation of the treatment program (approximately four to eight hours a week) and for supervising the house in the evenings and weekends. the new program was supposed to rehabilitate him . District Supervisor Program / � /' District S.
These committees were to plan and develop the various activities of the program which were to be executed throughout the week. his commitments. The parolee. education. legitimate recreation. By getting the parolee involved in nondelinquent activities. most particularly parolee needs for adequate employment. but he was also to have "real responsibility for the program design and implemen tation" (Program Revision. it was 'agreed' that parolees needed assistance in the areas of employment. The organizational structure of the committees was formulated 16 The education committee was quickly dropped because of what staff members called "a lack of attendance and interest on the part of the parolees". was not only to be directly involved in obtaining his own support from the community. it was hoped that his past patterns of behavior would change and that this. and other activities. would change his associates.60 HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE by getting him involved in the legitimate community. 1 965 : 2). The halfway house was to be a center from which community resources were made available to fulfill parolee needs. ideally. the focus and direction of the new program was to be achieved by committees of staff and parolees which met one evening a week. . and training. and orientation (to the program and regime of the halfway house).16 recreation. Through these discussions. in turn. The vehicle that was to alter the kind of activity the parolee engaged in was referred to officially by the staff as a "task-oriented program which focuses on staff-parolee-community involvement and interaction" (Program Revision. Each committee was directed to an 'area of need' which had been located through discussions between staff and residents. 1965 : 1). public relations (overcoming the public image of the addict). The center was to be operated through the joint efforts of parolees (residents and former residents) and halfway house staff. education. The Committee System Although the new program was rationalized in terms of its relevance for directing the parolee 'outward into the community'.
a meeting of the chairmen and other 'interested'ltl members gathered in the program director's office to discuss and coordinate that evening's committee efforts. At the very least. Parolees were given an 'overnight pass' for attendance. The committees met each Wednesday evening from seven to eight.HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 61 in the following terms : each resident parolee was to select any committee he wished. An overnight pass permitted a parolee to ignore curfew for one evening. 1 965 : 2). The committees not only provided their members with an introduction to nondelinquent activities. 'supportive supervision" was another focus of the program. the program. his f amily. althrough he was "expectedl7 to be an active participant of some commitee" (Program Revision. Each committee would have approximately ten members and was to elect from their own membership a chairman who would direct their efforts. As an accompaniment of 'increased parolee involvement in the legitimate affairs of the community' . although in practice parole agents were always chairmen. Two staff members were assigned to 'work with' each committee. but also provided another occasion for parole-agent-parolee contact. Former residents and other parolees in the district were also invited or required to attend by their parole agents. Requesting or demanding a parolee to come to committee meetings at halfway house was one way an agent could increase contact with a parolee who was seen as requiring intensive supervision and observation without giving the parolee the constant feeling that his every move was · being scrutinized. but possibly an agent. and his community. which they could use at any time. it meant 'required'. close supportive supervision was also supposed to provide a means of focusing the parolee's attention on the importance of meeting personal responsibilities to himself. Described as a means of assisting the parolee in meeting the demands of routine anxiety producing · situations. Mter the committee meeting. IS 17 . In every official context that I saw the term 'expected'. The plan was for the chairman to be a parolee.
want to be helped .g. g. propose steps to reach what they really wanted . Events in this history were also held up as programmatic ideals by the staff when they came to evaluate specific men and specific events and show the character of these programmatic ideals. To speak of these matters as ideals means that they would not have been taken as factual depictions by staff or residents. "Look what kind of place it would be for you if you had a bunch of drunks around here" . only use staff as a resource for accomplishing those pieces of the work that required official intervention. i. a. and while they could be held up as goals for halfway house to achieve. Staff hoped (and held out as ideals) that residents would :. c. b. signing agreements with the parks department. h.. actually do the work of the committees . Staff rationalized the rules by saying that compliance with them was a sign of respect for the residents' own house and organization. they were not enforceable as day-to-day demands. f The Programmatic Ideals and Hopes o Halfway House What has been delivered thus far is a euphemistic history. accept staff as working with residents . It is stated in terms used by correctional workers and corresponds to the ways they would tell 'their story' in pUblic. staff would say to a resident. e.62 IllSTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE the parolee would be supervised in meeting these responsibilities by enforcement of the conditions of parole and the rules of the halfway house. e. d. say what they really wanted . accept the minimal set of rules of the halfway house as being there for the residents' own good. For example. want to do the work of helping others as a means to their own rehabilitation. f. . volunteer to lead the work of carrying out those steps .
be open. "Pedro doesn't want to be helped.. staff described the success of a Christmas party by noting that residents voluntarily undertook the various tasks of the party (e. and it will give us an opportunity to be with them and their families in non-business circumstances. This is not to say that in actual practice the staff regarded these goals or ideals as realistic or personally took them to be desirable. these unstated goals became apparent in the variety of ways in which the staff evaluated activities of the halfway house and its residents. Staff said such things as. k. in so many words. For example.mSTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 63 j. Instead. They are alluded to in references to the need for giving 'supportive supervision ' and 'providing some sort of structured . The programmatic ideals were also verbalized every day outside the context of formal staff meetings.. i. the ideal of solidarity and resident self-determination was verbalized at a staff conference in which a dinner for the staff and residents was being planned. playing Santa Claus) and that staff and residents enjoyed each others ' company. in the halfway house staff's programmatic written statements.g. as in the evaluation. For example. "Here are our goals". the closest they came to stating these as goals was to speak of their desire to 'involve' the resident in the program and to 'involve' him in the affairs of the legitimate community." The Daily Working Concerns o the Sta f ff The programmatic ideals of the regime of the halfway house were overlaid with a set of day-to-day working concerns. Nor did they say. Indeed. willingly talk about themselves and do so truthfully. willingly make important organizational decisions together with staff. "The residents have said they really want this. These working concerns are rarely noted in the literature on halfway houses. " And in another conference.e. they were frequently employed by staff in talking to each other and with residents in characterizing or evaluating the behavior of a resident.
'incompetent' . It is with respect to the tasks of surveillance. it would be rare that anyone in the bureaucracy would know whether or not he did that. Staff never forgot that they were dealing with parolees and that they had responsibility for the parolees as their parole agents. one thing he is continuously engaged in as the showable part of his task is giving accounts about the behavior and location of his case load. These were first-order conditions of fulfilling their occupational duties. 'being un The Specifics of Supervision Whatever else a parole agent does in the accomplishment of his occupational duties. This preoccupation was observable in constant references in their talk to each other. factual states of affairs in the lives of parolees and the requirements of . reformulating and transmitting accounts. or 'not taking care of business' . The two things that he must show his superiors are accounts about his parolees and accounts about the fact that he is seeing them and finding out about them. have as their immediate and continuous responsibility the detection and rectification of deviance in their midst. Whenever agents gathered. verifying accounts. or 'lazy' . He may or may not give them advice and assistance . they talked about knowing what their charges were doing (as a matter of assertable fact to other staff) and knowing that what their charges were doing was in compliance with the law and the conditions of parole. and saying that he was 'not doing his job' . receiving accounts. these phrases mean that the staff of this halfway house. calling him realistic' . Not doing that work and not showing that work to supervisors and other staff were taken as occasions for denouncing a parole agent. Briefly put.64 HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE environment'. and making comparisons between accountable. Knowing 'what' and knowing 'that' were of such an order of concern that it was definitive of being a competent parole agent in the setting. and any other halfway house operated under parole authority (and to a lesser extent private halfway house staffs). It was one of the fundamental showable parts of doing the work of parole.
as conditions of an adequate account about an agent 's work that he would offer to his peers or superiors. As matters that parole agents and other staff had to determine and could . b.e. The p arole agent is ch arged with determining the following matters about his charges : a. and could not contradict cover these matters). not take as settled. at halfway house a particular set of such considerations was typical.mSTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 65 the Adult Authority . the ways in which a parolee is able to afford the clothes he is wearing is potentially relevant to questions concerning his criminality. where and for how much and doing what ? Where do they live and with whom ? Are they driving ? If s� do they have a license and insurance ? With whom are they assQciating ? Are they using drugs or a )cohol ? If alcohol.. In determining these matters. f. While there are a swarm of such considerations in day-to-day parole for men living in their own residences. sanctionable that any account that dealt with parolees would include (if it covered these matters). For example. in excess or not ? d. The continuous task of parole is to assess the parolee's com pliance with the conditions of parole (a set of rules) and with the law. structure. d. i. all laws except minor traffic matters. These tasks are equivalent to a set of structural features (if it did not Are they violating any laws ? Are they employed ? If so. c. the following were prominent questions asked about all residents : a. e.it is with respect to these tasks that the parole agent 's environment has an unavoidable. Is he using drugs ? Is he selling drugs ? Is he drinking or drinking to excess ? Is he either really employed or really looking for work ? . the parole agent may find a wide variety of concrete determinations relevant to answering these questions. c. b.
It was within the context of these tasks of parole supervision that the day-to-day routines of halfway house had their sense for the staff-participants and were describable by staff as sensible routines for them to require.66 e. did demand proof. the agents were 'entitled to' demand proof. In enforcing the rule prohibiting the use of drugs. and they were required to demand proof by their superiors 'whenever appro priate occasions arose'. and this was openly recognized by the parolees. and were required to demand proof.19 Parole agents were charged with enforcing these matters as laws and had the power to put men in jail for violating these regulations. charged with determining that these directives were being followed. It was also the agents' task to monitor the behavior of their cases with respect to complyin. then the parolee went there) efforts to find a job. parole agents had unlimited rights of interrogation and inspection. but not on all occasions. mSTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE Is he respecting the rules and regulations of halfway house ? In determining answers to these questions and any other questions which had tangential relevance to these questions. describable (first the parolee went here. although they did not always do this. The agents were also They were to monitor each man's behavi �t in such a way that they could say either that he had a job and what job it was. About each question they could demand proof. and there was no guarantee that their superiors would know about 'the appropriate occasions'. or that he was making concrete. They were to monitor the affairs of their charges in such a way that they would be able to detect the sale of drugs. Some parolees were directed by the Adult Authority to abstain from the use of alcohol.g with halfway house rules and to enforce that compliance.g them and writing a report to the Adult Authority about the use. All others were permitted to 'drink in moderation'. . if a staff member 19 That is. they were to ascertain that that rule was being complied with and to deal with violaters of that rule by jailin. These activities required of residents that they make their lives observable to staff in such a way that the questions staff had about the conforming character of that life could be answered in 'empirical' terms : that is. they did demand proof.
namely that no drug use was permitted and that alcohol was not permitted on the premises. he was oriented by the house manager in his office. On the same day the resident saw his parole agent. except for scheduled house meetings to be noted below. The term is used grammatically in the same way that 'party' is used. At 4 :00 p. Typically the resident was given a brief history of the organization and its purpose. In that session he told about the routines of the halfway house and about some of its other overriding rules. a 'group' is not a collection of persons. those routines in fact provided for the ob servability referred to above. the new resident had a midnight curfew. leave the halfway house by eight. Starting on the fourth day and until he located employment. and be back to the halfway house by four. The routine activities were used by staff as a standard in terms of which assessments of residents' behavior were formulated. parolee. Those routine activities can be described in terms of the typical career of halfway house residents The Routines o the Hal way House f f The day a resident arrived.mSTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 67 were asked by one of his colleagues about a particular resident. he could answer in terms of what he had seen or had been shown. and inmate. be looking for work during the day. At this Labor provided by new residents was the chief source of maintenance labor available to the halfway house.m. For the next two days the new resident was assigned a work project by the house manager. who might take him to the test center to receive nalline testing. 21 In the language of staff.20 Although his evenings were free. To the extent that the typical routines were adequate descriptions of a resident's life. The agent typically gave the man an overnight pass on his first night. but an occasion at which persons gathered to do therapy or business. he was required to be up by six. he was required to go to a short group2 1 for the unemployed in the house manager's office. Then the resident saw the program director in his office where he was given another orientation in which the 'therapeutic program' was emphasized. This 20 . The parole agent also gave the man an initial interview if he were just coming out of prison.
where events of the week were discussed. Most residents left one week after obtaining employment. On Friday evening there was a brief meeting to review each resident's bill and how he intended to settle it (either cash or doing jobs at halfway house).. On Wednesday night the committees met. there were occasional optional evening programs.m. concerned the control of narcotics use. group for the unemployed men. regardless of the length of time they had resided in the house. After a resident obtained work. After he obtained employment and paid his bilI. particular group met only when there were a sufficient number of unemployed men to warrant it. Urine samples (for a narcotics test) were taken from all residents whenever the house manager's periodic searches of halfway house uncovered evidence that narcotics were being used in the house. . Surprise nalline tests were sometimes given to all residents. In addition.m. his curfew was extended to I :00 a. He could then set his own time for getting up in the morning. unless they were scheduled for halfway house meetings that night.. The meeting usually took less than one-half hour. The men were then free to do as they chose until midnight when their curfew applied. These were typically held on Thursday nights and involved such activities as resident pool tournaments and attending 'the fights'.68 HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE group he was asked to give evidence of his employment-searching efforts by listing the potential employers he had contacted and by telling what happened with each one of them. he was permitted to leave. behavior of the residents was reviewed. On Monday night there was a required house administration meeting from 6 : 30 to 7 :30 p. and residents were invited to tell 'how they felt' about what the staff was doing and 'what they thought' of the regulations of the regime. Daily skin and eye checks were given to all residents who were viewed as particularly risky by staff.m. He might also have received leads for job-searching for the next day from the house manager who ran this group or from other residents attending the group. which typically took nine days. Another set of routines which was required of all residents. and he no longer was required to go to the 4 :00 p.
HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 69 Sta Uses o the Routines ff f Cooperative compliance with the above routines (being in the places at the times specified) and not visibly using drugs would have made a resident's behavior non-notable for the staff when they came to give an account of the resident.e. i. compliance with the routine insured that the resident was at halfway house for certain periods each day and gave staff the opportunity to observe his behavior and appearance. he's not paying his bilt" . That is. " 22 Moreover. he missed group last night. "How's Fernando doing ?" would have been answered. "0. and especially open to question. for the unemployed. . or. "He's messing up . I'm going to check it out with him as soon as 1 see him" . residents who 22 These quotations come from my field notes and cannot be counted on as verbatim transcriptions of what staff said.he's giving no trouble. and what was said many. " Rupturing any one of those routines made the resident's behavior notable. open for comment to other staff members. however. 1 observed the following answers : "I don't know. For example.. keeping track of their job-seeking efforts). the resident's pattern of activities was observed for the possibility of full-time criminal occupations. he gave a very fuzzy account of how he is going about finding work. compliance with the routine made the resident's behavior observable so that staff could say that they saw him and that he looked and acted 'normally'. "How's he doing ?" was answered. They would be extremely close to what was said. or. many times. he's stable . "Something's up . or. it provided the occasions upon which staff were required to question a resident's behavior. A parole agent's question to one of the house staff. For example. It provided the terms in which responses to the question. he's taking an awfully long time finding work" . K. By keeping track of part of the resident's day through required attendance and by obtaining some information on other parts of his day (either from knowledge of when and where the resident was working or. "He's messing up . thereby detecting at least the more radical forms of narcotic-induced behavior..
Staff also spoke of their certainty that some portion of the population was using drugs even though that might not be visible at any given moment. Whatever was seen directly was merely 'the top of the iceberg'. the notable-reportable occurrences (such as not paying a bill. to treat present appearances as acts-as-they-are-part-of-a-thing-be coming. but was to be seen as (b) one resident's deviance that was about to spread to the whole population of residents. or this resident's cycle of increasing rule breaking which itself would lead to drug use. to be treated judiciously in terms of their conforming or deviant character. and report the deviance of the residents. they were interpreted as (were elaborated and explained in terms of) the portents of further and more serious deviance. The staff used the routines of the halfway house to detect. staff were asked. looking bad. and to treat the resident accordingly. Instead. or as-it-was-developing. Thus a detected case of rule breaking or drug use was not to be treated in itself as 'merely that" but to be seen as (a) the 'first step' in this resident's cycle of increasing drug use and illegal activities. but was to be seen as well in a 28 67-78).23 Staff were asked to respond to resident behavior not simply as acts in themselves.) were not simply isolated matters which indicated lack of compliance to an order they were charged with enforcing. For the staff. Present displays were to be understood as portents of the terrible thing that would happen if action were not taken to 'head off' or 'nip-in-the-bud' the thin$-that-is-becoming. The specifics of the elaboration of portents is described in Wieder (1%9 : . Moreover. and asked each other.70 HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE made many brief trips in and out of the halfway house frequently were suspected of selling narcotics and keeping their 'stash' in the halfway house. The detected case of rule breaking was also to be treated as not simply this particular resident's deviance in-itself. observe. etc. but more importantly. that which was seen as merely the 'top of the iceberg' was not necessarily seen through the obvious cases of apprehended drug use.
and anxiety. or a resident's being up late at night. In brief. Concluding Remarks In light of the way staff looked at relatively minor deviance. it was the matter they had to write reports about. Moreover. and the like. "What are we doing ?". or its members. "Was last night's event a success?" were also frequent topics of staff meetings. the questions. deviance and failure were constant topical matters of any talk about. Deviance that was seen through these minor occurrences still represented 'the top of the iceberg'. questions on the order of. the plans about the setting. located in terms of. or getting into other 'serious trouble' on the occasion and through the occasion of a single resident's making frequent trips through the front door. the here and now.HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE 71 multitude o f 'trivial' occurrences. identified as. "What do we do here ?" . "Are we doing any good ?". it can be seen that the conforming and deviant behavior o f the residents on a case-by-case basis was no casual matter to the staff. and "What do we want to do here ?" They were embedded in every reference to the past. 'routines'. It is deviance recognized by. "How are we doing ?". talk at parties. Finally. the organization. It was the matter their accounts were frequently directed to. "How is the program doing ?". 'bull sessions'. and it was the matter that their supervisors asked them about. the locale. or 'rules ' in locating this deviance or failure. and described by reference to . This way of looking at appearances as portents meant that the whole population of residents could be seen as using drugs. such as the loss o f a job. curiosity. "What's going to happen next ?" and "Where and when will trouble break out ?" were continuously topics of expressed concern. In each case reference was made directly or by understood implication to the 'programmatic ideals'. or in immediate danger of using drugs.
Deviance recognized in this fashion is the topic of the next chapter. and 'rules' that is the typical topic the sociologist addresses when he deals with deviance. 'routines'. .72 HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION OF HALFWAY HOUSE departures from organizationally employed schemes like 'pro grammatic ideals '. It is deviance recognized. and analyzed in this way which sociologists and laymen alike (in this case the staff and the residents) undertake to explain. most particularly and clearly when he deals with deviance in organi zational settings. defined.
That is. describing. to me and to the staff. they appeared as massively regular. i. That is. throughout that period. meaning within the organization. As observable departures from what phenomena might be called the official order. entirely changed several .l One could see the patterns on any day and from day to day with the same population of residents. (2) The behaviors were patterns of special occupational relevance 'programmatic ideals'.3 PATIERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR This chapter describes a set of notable behaviors for later analysis. . and perhaps explaining. They were visible to us as departures from staff 's program. and 'rules'. and in their relation to the convict code. I was hired to go to the halfway house to observe whatever might be going on there which was relevant to its apparent failure. this means that on any given occasion. were frequent topics of accounts which staff offered me and each other about their real and de- 1 In more precise language. the observed thing appeared to be the same thing that the observer had seen before. All of the patterns. I observed these regularities The continously " for population eighteen months of field times observation.e. They are notable behaviors in three ways : pattern. save one. (1) These behaviors were observable as patterns of behavior. save the first. The observable patterns persisted over time while the membership of the populati<?n was forever changing.. in terms of the 'routines'. these patterns were the very that I was occupationally charged with locating.
analyzed. and a Staff did not talk about the pattern I call 'doing distance'. (3) These patterns were notable in one further and. when: they were planning possible successes. They were notable in their relation to the convict code. Moreover. Staff sought my sympathy and sometimes sought my counsel about their occupational circumstances.4 In my own form of analysis.e. when they were forecasting trouble. these patterns were observable to me and to staff together. 4 The patterns of deviant behavior. 3 Alfred Schutz provides a detailed analysis of seeing an environment with someone else through modes of interaction. and so forth. i. the relation of behavior patterns to code is similar to the phenomenological idea of constitution.2 Staff spoke of the patterns of departures from the official program when they complained about the course of events or the behavior of a single man. . like patterns of leadership. Which is to say that the reportable sense. my account will necessarily read like a litany of woe.t�e patterns of behavior are caused by the code. It is in these terms that the exposition of the behaviors reported as observed in tt� foUownng pages will later be analyzed for the ways such observed. are traditionally described together as 'the inmate social system'. in serious inter actionally based ways. analytic. when they evaluated events or men. staff encouraged and fed my interest in these patterns as matters which were a chronic source of trouble for them in meeting their occupational responsibilities as they described them. 1964: 27-36). make their attention to this pattern visible through other modes of com munication. and re ported as behaviors could be factual Oil" '. how ever.3 Since the patterns were sources of chronic trouble and observed as such. Therefore. body movements or gestures..real' in the first place by whomsoever might do such observational. most important sense. I mean 'seeing with' in the sense that he describes as the "We-Relation" (Schutz. the code. for the purpose of this work. A traditional sociological analysis would provide for the relations�p of these patterns to the convict code as a relation of causality .74 PA'ITERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR manding circumstances. including the sense of departure. and the reportable patterning of the residents' behavior is dependent on the obser ver's use of the code as a 'guide to perception'. and other elements of social organization. They did.
or any other 'spectator'.. staff. staff described their attempts to enforce the routines and rules as a continuous struggle that they were always about to lose. The residents' observable behavior can be characterized as showing interactional distance from. Since my description of the patterned. a correctional staff member. 'deviant' (in the sense of departing from the staff sponsored order). a sociologist. and desires came to be realized. Moreover. Staff found that they could not rely on residents to supply them with information about what was going on in halfway house either through . As previously noted. (2) cooperation with and interest in the goals of the program. a policeman. the specific ways of that departure need some elaboration. and notable behaviors is conveniently organized in terms of the ways in which that behavior departs from the staff sponsored order. "I have nothing to say".an active mastery of their circumstances. Staff tried to be knowledgeable about what the residents were doing and whether or not what they were doing was legitimate by treating residents as informants about their own affairs and the affairs of others. Rather th. rather than solidarity with. and desires had only vague connections with how the resident would feel and what he would do when those plans. The visible behavior of the residents stood in marked contrast to those hopes. residents relied heavily on staff efforts as a solution to their problems. repetitive. Coordinated efforts between staff and residents were disrupted by staff 's discovery that what a resident said 'now' about his plans. residents dramatically showed disinterest in the program and resisted active participation.g. Rather than cooperating with the goals of the program and integrating their own lines of actions with those goals. prospects. prospects. and (3) active attempts on the part of the residents to control and mold their own fate through their own efforts.These attempts were met by claims of ignorance and statements such as. e. the 'programmatic ideals' of halfway house called for (1) solidarity between staff and residents. Cooperation with and interest in the goals of the program were further under mined by resident displays of apathy toward the program.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 75 reportorial work.
At meal . what had initially been a series of conversations having both staff and residents as parties to the same conversation would become conversations between the residents and conver sations between the staff. On entering the house. talking only to each other. The residents' accomplishment of ecological segregation was perhaps the most striking impression of the organization a visitor might obtain. The staff members were typically located in their offices. residents in those areas would move on to somewhere else.in the sitting room. Doing distance Through their body movements. and the residents that were there were typically sprinkled throughout the remainder of the house . or the dining room and kitchen. the residents were in some places and the staff were in others. the dorms. Residents thereby quickly turned nearly every integrated gathering into a segregated gathering. THE STRUCTURES OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR IN DETAIL I . residents distanced or isolated themselves from staff in every public encounter. or talk around the staff by the use of Spanish. the recreation room.76 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR interrogation or through gossip. one could have looked around and found that wherever one looked. The residents would group together. conversational styles. la. If staff moved to the dining room for a coffee break or to the recreation room for a game of pool. within a short period of time. or would leave the room. and the use of Spanish. Within several minutes of the beginning of a mixed gathering of staff and residents. The staff would be left either to themselves saying nothing or speaking only to each other. For the staff and the researchers. for example in the afternoon. the environment did not make itself visible through these two modes of talk.
lunch and particularly dinner. were more complex ways of accomplishing . one encountered the same patterns. Dinner was served buffet style.. One way residents accomplished segregation was to go to the tables in the back of the dining room. Seating Patterns at Dinner Time More typical.. as were the means by which it was produced. On coining into the dining room. leaving staff the tables that were quickest and easiest to get to. Wednesday night was the occasion for the greatest staff attendance at dinner. however. 0 0 X X X X 0 0 � . each individual joined a single-file line. Wednesday night dinner was nearly mandatory for staff as some expression of solidarity with the residents prior to their work in the committees. � � '0 0 0 0 0 0 X X X X X X X X X X X X 0 x @ - residents staff FIGURE 1 . and then found a place to sit down. thereby producing the display shown in Figure l . � X X 0 = 0 0 0 0 0 0 X X X X X X X X X X X X b:I. On these nights the segregation was quite visible. Each person in his turn exercised 'choice ' in locating where he would sit relative to others who had already sat down. Residents sat together and staff sat together. filled his plate.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 77 times.
x - @ - residents staff FIGURE 3. Seating Sequenc.es Conversational attention was then divided into two groups (see Figure 3). x 1 2 x o 3 x o x x 4 0 X X S 0 0 x X X 6 X 0 0 X X 0 0 - @ - residents staff FIGURE 2.78 PA1TBRNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR the segregation as shown in the way a table frequently filled (see Figure 2).. some residents would 'get stuck' (see Figure 4). . Conversational Units at One Table As the tables were filling up.
They went to the dorms. and the recreation room. the resident would typically get up and move to another table. leaving the staff with the recreation room to themselves. residents in the recreation room would typically (not invariably) move elsewhere. As soon as the residents finished. the sitting room. for a while. The patterns of segregation were observable to me simply by being present on those occasions. After staff finished coffee. Seating Sequence Resulting in 'Getting Stuck' At this point. they began to move to their offices . had to themselves.and to the recreation room.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEUAVIOR o 1 X 2 X o o 79 3 X o 4 X o o o o o o o o o 5 X o 6 X o x - @ FIGURE residents staff 4. the dining room on Wednesday night had the typical configuration shown in Figure 5. Thus. while residents typically did not offer such excuses. A staff member 'stuck' in the same position would also move. leaving the staff in small clusters that combined to form a single conversational group over coffee and cigarettes. However. The residents moved to three areas of the house which they. Though they might begin to propo$e a pool game with the residents that were there. the notability of those . though he would typically offer some excuse for moving. they left the room.
These same re sponses by staff also show that the behaviors were noticeable to staff as well as to me. I wished to be able to talk to the men. Particular . lb. the responses of the staff to the residents' segregative work made my task of 'being with the residents so as to see and hear what they were doing' even more difficult. When they segregated them selves in the fashion that they did. Conversational segregation or isolation was another mode of 'd oing distance' that was accomplished by residents. A Typical Seating Pattern at Dinner Time behaviors for me was intertwined with and produced by my practical concerns as an observer. this made my observations through overhearing and casual conversation particularly difficult. as I will indicate in another section.80 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR o o o o o o X X o o x X X o X X X x x x 0 X X 0 X X 0 0 X X X X X X X X X X X X x - @ residents staff FIGURE 5. It was in seeing how the difficulty came about that those behaviors became so noticeable to me. in order to make their concerns and present inter pretations of events available to me. on the various occasions in which they were around the house. Moreover.
if a staff member or researcher attempted to engage a resident in conversation. without evoking the patterns I am describing here. He typically would not get a response upon which he could build more conversation. for example. the conversation simp y ended.. That kind of discussion could have been carried out over the dinner table.. their reactions to the mundane events around them. a direct discussion of a man's success at finding a job and what the agent could do to 'help out'. While I did not hear the staff talking about these effects.al styles were invoked when staff or researcher attempted to 'break through' the patterns of ecological segre gration. their plans. they These conversational styles were not utilized when residents and staff had 'business' to do that was being accomplished in the presence of others.g. embarrassing. Often it was the case that residents immediately in front of a staff member or myself were having some kind of lively conversation. If he asked a question as a device to get the conversation going.that I did not belong. t . but the conversation kept going only so long as he developed devices which obtained responses from the resident.PATI'ERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 81 conversation. The effect was even more pronounced by the nearby presence of residents speaking with each other in the very ways in which they apparently refused to · speak to staff. The effect was experienced by me (and. Yet these are the very matters that seem to be the stuff of casual conversations that are typical of the ways persons share experiences. "Oh". and the like. and get a reply like. or no reply at all. but it would be in Spanish. I experienced that conversational style as isolating. 5 . If he stopped making that kind of effort. Instead. he might get a response. The experience was that of not getting the conversation 'really ' going. e. "Yeah.5 Residents 'resisted' casual talk about themselves. "I see that such and such happened today". by staff) as 'not being able to get into the conversation'. e. He might make a statement. I saw that". and as telling me that I was not acceptable .g. he quickly found that he would be initiating all the conversational events. The effect was that of being a stranger among a set of persons who were talking together but not letting you in. their hopes. as it appeared to me. They also expressed no interest in hearing that kind of personal talk from the staff about staff's lives and circum stances.
That is. none of the staff spoke Spanish. a staff member preparing to sit down (e. 1 c.6 staff and researcher confronted 6 It was not the case that residents would not talk with staff or researcher . At any given time. so that while I was attempting to engage myself in conversation with a resident. who was Mexican American himself. Except for one agent. the conversation immediately shifted into Spanish. It was when these three 'devices ' combined that one got the full effect of the segregation. If the occasion was not meal time. The use of Spanish in front of staff made it possible for the residents to have a lively conversation in which staff could not take part.82 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR were apparently responsive to them in the following ways. I was often taken as 'someone to talk to ' on those occasions.g. however.. to eat or to take a break) would occasionally sit next to me and engage me in the kind of conversation that he apparently could not hold with a resident. I did observe some occasions in which staff experienced the halting conversations that I had had. when there were enough staff members around to form their own conversational unit. Likewise. Segregation through language was yet another way for residents to accomplish 'distance'. Staff did not do that. the recreation room. I was told by some residents that Spanish was preferred for conversation which 'expressed solidarity'. I could overhear enough conversation to tell that it was in English. about ninety percent of the residents were Mexican-Americans �ho had been brought up in a Mexican-American ghetto and who spoke Spanish much of the time. although they could all speak English. yet when I or a staff member entered. That Spanish was being used for just those effects became apparent to me when I located myself near the door of the kitchen. when residents were on the scene and in each other's presence. it was frequently the case that staff avoided these scenes by getting their food from the kitchen and then taking it to their offices. staff typically left the scene and went to some other part of the building. and then ate their meal in silence in the midst of others having conversations. and the sitting room.
by coming to halfway house.perhaps for someone else. non-purpose-directed talk and through the various means provided by overheard gossip. They thereby did not make known how they were spending their time outside halfway house by this simple means. To use Goffman's term. a resident who was washing the dishes might start a long and rather open conversation. were agreeing (in terms of the 'programmatic ideals' of the halfway house) to participate voluntarily in some form of treatment or rehabilitation. For the staff. Residents might even initiate more or less private conversation when an official encountered them alone. Doing Disinterest and Doing Disrespect I combine these two typical modes of action because staff noted both of them as 'passive hostility'. 2. as an observer. that they 'couldn't care less' about 'opportunities for rehabilitation'. as when a parole agent or I wandered into the kitchen to get something to eat.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 83 the various forms of doing distance.g. open conversation between residents and officials was a matter of "secret consumption" and could occur whenever one resident was not under the gaze of his fellows. and that the program was not for them .. 1 had to find ways of limiting the length of the interview so that they would not last four hours or more. these means of observation were similarly restricted. I did not find it difficult to get them to talk. For me. e. In interviewing residents. Residents were not with staff while in staff's visible presence. Long and sometimes open conversations were held with staff and with the researcher in the privacy of an office. but not for them. The rationale for the various or be friendly to staff or researcher. . that they were not interested in what staff had to say. as an observer. These same men were typically not engageable in open conversation around the dinner table in the presence of others. took to be showing) that they were not interested in the program. Doing disinterest and doing disrespect refers to the variety of ways that residents 'showed' (what observably looked like showing and which the staff and I. We should recall that residents of halfway house. Instead. and knowing 'that' · what they were doing was legitimate) were not achievable by means of casual. and because they are distinct only in the degree to which they were done. the tasks of surveillance (knowing 'what' the residents were doing.
2a. Monday and Friday night groups were held in the recreation room where a set of chairs were pulled into a circle so that every member of the group faced inward.84 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR forms of rehabilitation required that group members 'demo cratically participate' in controlling their own fate and that they learn to actively master the legitimate world by their own efforts. Residents showed disinterest and disrespect in their actions during the official group activities at halfway house. The slouch was frequently accom panied by other displayed features : (a) half-open eyes. That arrangement was important. (b) looking off in some direction other than toward the person talking. There were more radical accompanying displays which were less frequent. Residents might fall asleep during a meeting . 2b.other residents showed great amusement if a resident snored when he did this. and their hips were near the edge of the chair seat. (c) looking at their fingernails and cleaning them. Disinterest toward the program and what staff had to say was shown through unresponsiveness to the group leader and . The behaviors I observed as 'disinterest and disrespect' are notable in their contrast to these hopes. The form of these official group meetings provided the vehicles for showing disinterest and disrespect. and it focused presumptive attention on what each person was doing as a member of the group. though they would recognize that many non-delinquents do it as well. Disinterest and disrespect was also shown by low toned side conversations. One prominent manifestation of apathy or disinterest was visible in the ways the residents were sitting. They sat in a characteristic slouch in which their necks touched the top of the back of the chair. because it made all activity visible to all members of the group. High school teachers would probably recognize the display as a 'delinquent slouch '. Other groups (the committees and the four o'clock employment group) were held in staff offices where the general 'circle' form of arrangement of members was also used.
way of profaning the group was through their manner of dress. e. e. In general. entirely unresponsive to what the group leader might say. very little happened. do you guys have anything to say about it ?". they deferred 'dressing up' until after dinner and group. "We were thinking about the possibility of a pool tournament .g. and got no response . though not expensively. On nights when a group was scheduled.g. and they would be freshly showered.from the men might occur even if his comment were not directed toward deviant behavior. 2e. In a variety of ways residents 'profaned' the occasion of the group meeting. e..e. " What would you suggest ?".. It was typical that he got very little response and that sometimes. they 'put down' the occasion and the program and thereby 'showed' that it was not important to them.. "Someone's using drugs. For group they often came in their soiled work ' . and received no response at all . they 'dressed up' before dinner. he would get nearly none at all. through their visible presentations in group. though perhaps minor. On nights when group meetings were not held and on nights when visitors came to dinner. Most residents 'dressed up' and went out every evening as soon as they could (usually after dinner). . he again obtained no response. We found an outfit today". In their own rhetoric and the rhetoric that many of the staff adopted. A 'no response' .. i. A consistent. or "Too many guys have been coming in late . their shoes would be polished. what do you think about it ?" When he added. the group leader received no response when he announced. they 'showed' a lack of respect for what was going on. their slacks would be neatly pressed. On some occasions the group would be totally silent. Relative to his efforts at getting some kind of group conversation going. their hair would be carefully combed. he commented on some occurrence in the house. for half the group session or so.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 85 his calls for participation in the activity of the group. "Where would you like to have the T. He asked questions. V. They would typically wear a freshly ironed shirt. when the men were going somewhere they dressed 'sharply'. set located ?".g.
Beyond the shows of disinterest. frequently one waiting for a call. almost always in Spanish. If the call were not for him. often loudly. The action of persons 'traipsing' in and out of group to go to the phone can be under stood as a way of showing that whatever the content of the call. dragging the ironing board close to the circle of chairs and then ironing clothes during group. A few that wore 'doo-rags' (a head covering that protects a hairdo) would wear those to group. eating in group. . about thirty feet away. One occasion for movement was phone calls coming in for group members during the period of the group meeting. In a similar way the boundaries of the group activity were profaned by mixing other mundane activities with going to group. it was more important than whatever was going on in group. but did so afterward. Though many of them showered and shaved twice a day. The manner of dress profanes the group by identifying it as mundane work-a-day activity. ' or talking to a resident who was sitting nearby about matters " that were not part of 'grouping'. who would then go to the phone and talk. Among the other common activities that group members did while in group were bringing in a shoe-shine kit and shining shoes during group.86 PATI'ERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR clothes or in a 'tee' shirt or barefoot or in some other way 'un dressed'. he would come back to group and say. All those ways of dressing contrasted with the ways the men dressed for 'going out' or for any kind of 'occasion'. It markedly contrasts with the action of an executive who tells his secretary to hold all his calls until after a meeting as a way of showing the importance of the meeting. would get up and answer the phone by 'clomping' out of the room. they did not typically shower and shave before group. A few that wore hats or stocking caps at work wore those to group. Boundaries were also profaned by residents' physically moving in and out of the group. A resident. that disinterest was highlighted by doing other things in group besides 'grouping'. The phone was down the hall from the rec-room. and one could easily hear the phone ring in the meeting. "It's for ".
For example.. I've been this afternoon. money would be provided for transportation" . "I don't understand why I'm here" . and ' the residents ' welfare fund. What happened to these funds merely illustrates the order of occurrence I saw a number of times. A prominent theme of the 'programmatic ideals' was the idea that residents should have some control over their fate. "I can't see why we should [do.PA TTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 87 Getting up to get something to eat and then bringing it back to group was yet another way of profaning the boundaries of the group. another resident said. Staff had discussed the possible ways of splitting up the funds in their own meeting. Admission was charged. 2d. since you have already decided to put it in the rec-room anyway. you fucking hypocrite. "If there was really a desire to help us. "What's the use of my telling where . Other modes of mild disrespect were directed at the program and its sense. I saw this form employed on many occasions. "What in the world could this program do for me 1" . since the staff would actually decide the matter anyway. several said that they did not really see the point of their making any decision. Decisions were to be given to them. The money was to be split up between the cast. The residents were asked to discuss how they would like to have the money split up and then vote on it. since it's what you say about where I 've been this afternoon that counts. In my field notes I find many variations on a remark made by one resident about the funds from the play : "What's the use of our having an opinion. Shortly after the residents began discussing the issue in group. the play "The Connection" was held at halfway house. and you have already made up your mind. since you will decide our fate in the final analysis. "What's the use of our talking about the television set." When the group was asked about the placement of the television set. "We all know that group is not going . yet another resident said." In answering his parole agent's questions about job hunting. ." Other variations on profaning the program were the claims. a small jazz band that played.this or that].
If we stay here. and continually looked away f rom group. and the character of that talk. in which they tried to evaluate exactly what i t was that had happened in the group that had just met.g. we keep building up a bill while we are trying to pay you off. the amount of talk. Their accounts focused on the amount of attention they got. and as evidence of the 'delinquent orientation of the group'. you would let us move out before we pay our bill and let us pay you back while we are li ving with our mother or our brother. In those sessions. that they would recognize their own best interests and see the halfway house as an opportunity to further their best interests. For example. coming to group 'roaring drunk ' and then creating a scene." Some forms of doing disrespect received the immediate attention of staff. staff interpreted the behaviors of 'disinterest' and 'disrespect ' as signs of 'passive hostility'. and in other references to the groups that were made in various types of staff meetings. Not all of the behaviors that I have enumerated under disinterest and disrespect were noted by staff in their accounts of how group went. staff took those displays as a proper occasion for punishing the man. 3. and that they would cheerfully organize and participate in the program as the thing they really wanted to do. These assessments were frequently made when the 'mood of the house' was being ascertained. and what that meant. Passive Compliance The idea of milieu therapy and the idea oC'the committee system' included the notions that the residents themselves would work for the rehabilitation of others. particularly with respect to the suspected amounts of drug use and sales that were taking place." "If you really want to help us. I observed staff's concern for residents' attention and talk in group through staff's attempts to get me to participate in 'rump sessions' . when a resident lay down on a couch near group. ..88 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR to help a guy. e. each guy just has to make up his own mind to quit using drugs. A resident who combined a display of apathy and disrespect would also receive immediate attention. ate dessert.
Then the staff tried to emphasize that a responsible person would pay his board and room bill. but only whatever." . Residents still did not pay their bills. rulings. I'll do those things that you are prepared to punish me for if I don't do them..] If they ask me to piss in a bottle [referring to urinalysis for morphine traces]. Residents were notably unresponsive to requests.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 89 In contrast to these hopes of staff. At first. required and what is optional and close attention to what will be rewarded and what will be punished. you demand of me. and regulations was visibly associated with staff's issuance of rewards and punishments. and directly refused to volunteer for almost anything staff might suggest. Residents' compliance with requests. Some residents were quite explicit about the fact that what I am calling 'passive compliance' was a method of managing their involvement. I'll do that. unless they were phrased as . the residents at halfway . [I just do what they order me to do. many residents pronounced this stance in just so many words. requirements. going into hundreds of dollars for some. i. as did the amount of detail which was furnished in the resident's statement. Residents showed close attention to the difference between what is . bug me.. If they ask me to piss in their pocket. Staff then made it a requirement that a resident would have to pay his bill before he left the halfway 7 The exact wording of the pronouncement varied.00 per week if he stayed in halfway house over the weekend. of course. house treated their involvement in ways consistent with the attitude expressed in the following language : " I really couldn't care less about what you have going here. Resident house bills mounted. but as long as I 'm here. but they did nothing in partic ular to collect it. I'll do that [too1.7 That stance was regularly manifested in the ways rules were treated.00 per week - $ 2 1 . Further. The history of bill payment at halfway house illustrates the association between compliance and punishment.e.' In fact. Each man was charged $ 1 5. rates of compliance altered when staff attached concrete rewards and punishments to that com pliance.. I'll do whatever. staff talked about paying the bill to individuals and in group.. One told me that by passively following orders "I don't let them . 3a.
"- . For example. "What will you do to me if I don't go to that group [for the unemployed] ?" Particularly visible to me because of my practical research circumstances were the questions. For example. The residents displayed their attentiveness to exactly what was required with respect to the halfway house program. or are you just asking me to do it?". at one meeting of the recreation committee. and in the mean time they would be building up a f urther bill. and even saying. if the meeting went over' I observed this same stance toward each part of the program by the questions residents asked in group and in orientation sessions. "Are you inviting me to go to your [program director's] office. "Does cleaning the kitchen count as work [and is thereby 'paid']. for example. "Is going to committee required?". staff instituted the policy that each Friday each man's bill would be reviewed with him. 3b. collecting the bill diminished considerably as a problem for staff. as soon as a committee meeting was over. "Is this [particular thing] required ?".90 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR house. They asked. This sanction produced some bill payment. It did so because this requirement produced a category of residents who were ready to leave but had built up a bill so large that it would take weeks to pay off. but it created further difficulties. "Is this interview required ?" and "What happens to me if I don 't want to be interviewed ?" Accompanying the displayed concern for what was required and doing that which was required. Finally. time. If he did not make arrangements for paying. "What happens to guys who do that?". "What happens to my bill if I run [go absent without leave] ?". residents typically refused to volunteer for taking part in activities that they themselves · proposed. "It's time". checking their watches. They did not 'hang around' to continue talking about the 'important matters being discussed'. looking at other people's watches. or do I have to go ?". the residents would typically clear out of the room. he could not have a weekend pass. At that point. They would show edginess as the scheduled ending time ap proached.
The patterns of passive compliance were notable to staff. and other residents concurred. on Thursday night residents could alternatively go to the fights. since. interest in going to the fights radically declined. For example. That residents would not volunteer. in the early period of the halfway house. . It's good to encourage them in healthy recreation. However. or by going to it if it were counted by staff as an alternative to some required activity. Almost everyone went to the fights. the residents wanted to play baseball. and there were no Thursday night groups as an alternative. At the time. but would do only what was 8 This chain of events. Staff asked the man who proposed the team to organize it. This pattern was reproduced in the history of baseball at half way house. He replied that he would not do that and.8 there were group meetings every night.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 91 residents were asked if they could think of any activities that residents of the halfway house could all do together. Because staff felt that residents had a need for 'healthy entertainment'. was reconstructed for me by staff and residents who were on the scene at the time. as staff said. 3c. Staff obtained the tickets and supplied the transportation to the fights. residents refused to volunteer to carry out these same activities. what is more. could not do it. it seemed to staff that while residents appeared to like going to the fights better than going to group. the residents no longer showed interest (by participation) in playing baseball. As long as playing baseball was a way of avoiding group. "It's much better to go to the fights than to stick a needle in your arm. A further way in which residents showed passive compliance was by attending some activity only if it were required. Many activities (like trying to locate employers who would hire parolees) were proposed by residents. like the other 'historical occurrences'. Staff still provided tickets and transportation. As soon as it was no longer a matter of alternatives." But when the program changed. One resident proposed that they might have a baseball team. but the residents no longer wanted to go. it was a good thing that they liked going to the fights.
4. it was not phrased in terms of how disappointing it was that the men were not reaching the therapeutic objective of volunteering to manipulate their own fate. it would be staff's effort that got the job done.g. the theme was phrased in terms of the burden that the lack of residents' volunteering placed on the staff.. they described to each other in staff meetings and informal 'rump sessions'. Residents were often seen by staff as attempting to detect what would be enforced and how it would be enforced. but if one directed them to do something. 'Passive compliance' also became the topic of staff discussions when advice was being exchanged. Staff members told each other that if there were to be a program (e. Staff said that the men could not volunteer. They often spoke of particular men as 'needing to be told' what to do. was a constant theme of staff meetings in which the program was evaluated. Staff offered me advice about my research procedures. As a theme. for transportation. Staff and researchers who dealt regularly with the residents found themselves beseiged with requests. What I have called passive compliance was also thematized by staff in two other ways. Doing Requests and Demands The 'programmatic ideals ' of the organization stressed self reliance. Staff called these behaviors 'testing the limits'. An observation of 'testing the limits' often led to the further interpretation that the staff member had uncovered a 'delinquently oriented ' man or group and that the rest of the staff should be apprised of the impending deviance that might follow from a 'delinquent orientation'. What staff saw in orientation sessions and groups. Instead. .92 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR required of them. Requests were most commonly for money in small amounts. but would have to order him or have staff order him to attend. they would do it willingly. if a play were to be held at halfway house). They said that I could not merely invite a resident to an interview. Staff members told each other that the only way to get the men to do anything was to order the� to do it.
verbalized extensive plans and projects but did not act on them. Doing Unreliability as I f n ormants In several different ways. 5. Staff members 'told each other about 'dependent persons'. and either truncated their accounts in such a way as to render them useless to staff in . "Would you can so-and-so for me ?"). Such residents were 'diagnosed' as 'dependent'. The same pattern of demanding and requesting was frequently observable in groups and committees. the same sets of requests were made : provide money for transportation. provide some staff member to take residents out to look for work. When residents were asked for their suggestions for the program. Residents that might otherwise notably ignore staff would nevertheless make such requests. Residents frequently broke promises or agreements.g. for assistance in dealing with some kind of authority (e. warning each other that to fulfill the demand was only to strengthen the personality pattern and warning each other about the possibility of being exploited and worn down by particular residents who made demands on a regular basis. provide more forms of free recreation (in contrast to some joint staff resident effort to obtain such recreation). and that if I gave in to them. I was counselled by staff that residents would make demands on me. and permit residents to leave halfway house prior to paying their bill when they could find someone who would provide them with a free resi dence. and for assistance in filling out forms. When I first arrived at halfway house. These patterns of demands and requests from residents were frequent topics of complaint by staff about the residents who made them. I would spend all my time and money in attempting to fulfill them .PAITERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 93 for information about jobs.. the accounts offered by residents were not trusted by staff and researchers. told 'simple lies'. several patterns of answers were repeated. It seemed that whatever population of residents was at the halfway house at any given time.
He told me that he had learned masonry while in prison and had a chance to use those skills while in one of the California Department of Correction's conservation camps. Arrangements were made by staff to obtain an electric guitar and amplifier. however. Staff cited incidents such as the following as grounds for not taking resident plans seriously : I had been talking with one resident after the employment group met. late that evening. but often did so in very public ways. so that when the resident did not show up to play. Residents were similarly 'unreliable' with respect to their since job spepific personal plans and projects. Residents not only frequently failed to 'fulfill promises'. not to show up for appointments they had made with their parole agent. their wives.l he finally did show up perform that night.94 PATIERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR determining what was happening at halfway house or claimed ignorance of matters about which they must have known. both the agreement he had made and his 'failure' to meet its terms were quite public. one resident volunteered to provide entertainment for a family-night dinner that was being held at halfway house for residents. Beyond these forms of breaking promises. Staff spoke of themselves as 'burned out' (presently indifferent toward the same matters they had previously been enthusiastic about) on such talk. and children. and not to pay a bill that they had explicitly promised to pay. it was common for residents to break their 'pledge of abstinence' from drugs and sometimes alcohol. The system was set up early in the dinner hour. He spoke of the sense of fulfillment he had f ound in building . I queried him about the job he wanted and why he regarded that job as desirable. he merely reported that' he had decided not to . Parolees easily verbalized elaborate placement and training placement were part of the official and occupational plans. Part of the routine of halfway house provided for eliciting resident occupational plans. As might be imagined from the characterization I have given. WheJ. program. For example. they also frequently failed to perform some promised task which was critical for others who were dependent on that task.
For example. if a resident were reporting on his own activities. ended up doing would often. He said that the next day he was going to follow up a contact he had with a partic ular construction firm. he would truncate his account so that any contact he had had with other residents during the period in question was suppressed. A week later he turned himself in for using drugs. as did many of the other residents. this resident left the house. Part of the task of the parole agent was to manage routines of finding out what residents were 'actually' doing. If staff asked one resident about another. However. Similarly. in fact. Immediately after our conversation. perhaps typically. So. staff would find that the resident in . for example. they said they were employed when their supposed employer denied even knowing them. since they had already more or less agreed to hire him. Staff were aware of such matters as truncated accounts. the agent would ask him to show his most recent paycheck stubs. "Where is Jose ?" or "Did Enrique get a job ?" or "Has Carlos returned yet ?".. They said they were not using drugs when chemical tests showed that they had drugs in their bodies.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 95 small bridges that would stand for many years. it was not clear whether the residents' plans were simple fabrications or whether residents simply abandoned such plans with great speed.g. however. e. They gave their mother's addres s as their own when they were actually living with a girl friend. but did not return for curfew. the resident would nearly always reply that he did not know. It was clear to us. be quite disconnected. if they questioned one of the pair because he was 'under suspicion' or because he had been late for curfew. For me and for the staff with whom I discussed such matters. rather than merely ask a resident if he were still employed at the' same place. Their reports were truncated in such a way that they rarely made reference to other residents. that what residents said they were going to do and what they. There was one further way in which resident accounts were 'disappointing'. because they might have seen two residents together in the neighborhood. Residents also 'told direct lies'. under the condition that he could not take their talk as necessarily true.
6. The proportion of the resident population which was engaged in rule violations each week ranged from 10 to 60 percent. They also frequently engaged in those activities that were specifically prohibited in the rules of the halfway house. . In these various ways. That is. Thus far. residents did not comply with the routines of the halfway house. in which I kept explicit account of the rates of these violations. resident accounts were taken as un trustworthy by staff. that it did not 'exist'. since some violators did more than one violation. . Doing Violations With great frequency. For a five-month period. were late for curfew. For example. Residents did these activities with such frequency that one could conclude that the order that the staff was attempting to enforce was never actualized. etc. and did not do their initial work assignments at the halfway house. those forms of systematic behaviors that were deviant by contrast to the programmatic ideals of the halfway house have been examined. ". the median rate of rule violators was 26 percent. in the language of the staff and residents. " or "Jose says that he did not see . 'was not valid ' . did not seek work. and sold drugs. They used drugs.96 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR question would describe his evening in much detail. Residents also stole equipment and money from the halfway house. They drank and kept alcohol in the halfway house. Next to be considered are those forms of behavior that violated the 'routine' and 'rules' of the halfway house. . They missed group. (The rate of rule violations would have been even higher. failed to pay their bill. or in Weber's terms. They took this feature of resident accounts into consideration when discussing residents and their activities by frequent insertion of 'he said' and 'he reported that '. etc. they were behaviors which indicated that the residents were 'not going along with the program' and 'ranking [insulting] the house'. kept drugs. but never mention the presence of another resident. staff would say "Jose says that he will . .) The rates of drug use. as evidenced through chemical tests and other .
Routine Surveillance f or Rule Violations. to 35. i. while a sign of drug use).4 percent of the residents of the same cohort left halfway house residency by being placed in county jail. it served as the . impetus for interrogations of residents and confer ences between staff members..9 only some form of independent residence.3 percent ran away from halfway house (usually understood in the organization as 33.e. 9 - Lateness (missing N = 331. this last group combines those residents whose drug use was officially demonstrated and those residents whose halfway house rule violations were taken by staff as so severe that placing the man in jail was warranted (Los Angeles Research Unit. The extent and forms of this kind of deviance gave the halfway house its appearance as an organization in which there was a constant struggle to enforce the rules and a constant struggle against the imminent possibility that the building would be turned into a 'den' of illicit activities.PA'ITERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 97 percent of the signs which indicated drug use. and 30. ranged from 0 to 55 population each week. The deviance itself was open to detection through routinized surveillance techniqqes and through the constant application of scanning-for-deviance techniques by staff. For the last cohort that was enumerated by the research division. it was cause for announcement and recording. Leaving halfway house by way of the county jail was yet another indicator of explicit deviance.4 percent of the men left halfway house by way of the legitimate route. The rates of deviance reported above were the products of the staff's use of such techniques which will now be described. However. When the occurrence of these forms of deviance was brought to ' staff's attention. The median rate of drug use for a week was 21 percent for the five-month period of observation. 1 966 : 30). . When deviance was detected. for admissions between July of 1964 to August of 1966. Staff spent much time developing strategies for dealing with these forms of deviance. The rates of drug use and other explicit deviance among the men during residency were also partially indicated by the frequency with which residents 'jumped' parole during their stay at halfway house.
because roll was taken at the groups.. his employment status would be established' at that Friday ' night group. These forms of deviance were so common that at any given time house staff were likely to be waiting for at least one resident to show up so that they might interrogate him. the program director and the house manager) read the log each morning as soon as they came in. the resident was required . in which case they would be encountered later about not paying and about being absent. the staff also. Those who did not pay at that point were asked for an explanation. and then either accepting his excuse. issuing him a warning. i. though it could involve sending him to jail. The staff (in this case. The house staff (program director and house manager) were responsible for the detection. . and non-payment of the bill were ascertained through these routinized forms of surveillance and recordage. interrogating him. Staff supervision of work projects served to ascertain whether these had been done or not. assessed who was in residence. The third consecutive absence was taken as a conclusive indication that the resident had become a parolee at large.e. or meting out some form of punishment. missing group. staff knew that a man was absent from group. Similarly. staff questioned the resident on their next encounter with him. that he had run away from the halfway house and was probably using drugs. to report to staff for certification that the project had been ac complished. and 'disposal' of these forms of deviance. asking him why he was late or missed group. i. The SPA recorded the time at which each man returned. Payment of the bill occurred in a group for that purpose held at 6 :30 on Friday nights. The typical punishment was restricting him to the house. Some missed group altogether. If staff did not other wise know about the resident's employment status as a result ' of his reports at the afternoon group for the unemployed. reportage. In each case. at that time. Lateness. On the basis of who was recorded as coming in the night before. and the resident was thereby credited.98 PATI'BRNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR curfew) was known to the staff through the student professional assistant's (SPA) night log..e. The 'disposal' of the deviance took the form of encountering the off ending party.
however. between staff members holding a case conference. both directly and indirectly acknowledged this thesis in their talk. while other deviance was seen through the behavior of the men them selves when interpreted as possible signs of deviance. rather than being judged as deviant or conforming in itself. as well as being attended to as violations in themselves. too. Parole agents were also called in by house staff to talk to residents about the violation of house rules. was only hinted at in the rates that were generated by these routine surveillance procedures. particularly when the resident had established a pattern of violations. in discussions between staff and researchers. Some deviance was seen in the very appearance of the halfway house itself. Excursus pertaining to talk about actual rates o drug use. Residents. Before an enumeration of these diagnostic devices can be clearly made. Staff continuously assessed the behavior and appearance of the residents and the house itself for evidences of drug use and other criminal activity.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 99 Routinized Surveillance f Drug Use. f - The common view of addiction that was proposed in and around half way house was that every ex-addict parolee was either presently a user or was exceedingly likely to begin using at any time. The detection of drug use in that way resulted in the parolee 's placement in jail and the suspension of his parole. some other matters concerning the rates of deviance need to be clarified. however. The extent of resident violations that was visible to and noted by staff. informal bull sessions between staff members. or - Most parolees would be sent to the central testing center by their parole agents for a chemical test at least once every two weeks. and in both formal and informal discussions between staff and residents. This view was also reiterated by staff and residents in their interviews with me. Violations of house rules were used diagnostically in this way by staff. This common talk about users was directly expressed in staff meetings. Each resident who was available . I asked both groupslO the following question : 11) A serial sample of residents was drawn.
was interviewed within two days after he entered.11 56 % (33) of the residents and 40 % (4) of the staff said that all of the released former addicts would resume the use of heroin. 88 % (52) and 90 % (9) of the staff said that at least six of ten released former addicts would resume use within the first six months. How many of them do you think will use stuff within a month (after release) ?" Of the residents. parole agent staff fre quently countered with the statement that at least one-third of their case load on the street was using at any one time.12 What staff and residents said in the interview paralleled what they said in other contexts when I was present. answers from only sixty of the 11 12 sixty-four residents interviewed are available. This procedure was continued until sixty-four residents were interviewed. which was made by parolees to staff when it was suggested that they might live in the halfway house (or when they were already living there and were asking to go home). 30 % the first month. see Wieder (1 969 : 125-1 26). while 83 (I8) said that all ten former addicts would resume heroin use within % (50) said that at least half (five of ten) of the former addicts would resume use within the first month after release. so there was 'nothing special to be excited about'. Of the residents.iod were not available. seven residents who entered during this peJ. A common complaint about the house. For some additional figures. For the question above.100 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR "Suppose ten guys come out of prison who had been addicted before they went to prison. Fifty-nine residents answered this question. 20 % (2) said that all ten would use within the first month. When the question was extended to. and three either refused or made themselves otherwise unavailable. Staff answers to the question were remarkably the same. Residents said essentially the same thing to staff. Of the staff. When house staff complained that use in the house was chronically high and that something in particular should be done. . "How many will use within the first six months ?". Four were unavailable because they left the house without leave before they could be interviewed. was that there was so much use there that they found abstinence difficult. while 60 % (6) said that at least half of the former addicts would resume use within the first month after release. Although the intention was to interview each new resident. The interviewing started in August and ended in December of 1966.
Deviance visible through the demeanor and response o individuals f when displays are seen as signs o deviance rather than judged as f f deviant or con orming in themselves. confessions were frequently not reported. . even more common than the actual rates of absconding or capture would suggest. as a task of grea t importance. (1967 : 120-121) in his account of how narcotics officers go about their work.During my stay at halfway house. In fact. any perceived action could be addressed under the aUspices of the question. It was readily acknow ledged as a chief responsibility of their work and was spoken of as a task which. they never supplied the specifics of who was using or how it was done. The only use that was reported to the Adult Authority was that detected through confession or chemical test. In all occasions I observed (or even heard about) in which residents made reference to the fact of use. if left undone. would have dire consequences for the organization. First. every parolee was suspect and. and drug use was thereby no longer a plivate matter between the agent and his parolee. staff gave special attention to the actions of ex-addicts in attempting to find out what they were doing. . As indicated in the estimated rates. I spent perhaps thirty percent of my time following staff's work. in turn. pointed out to each other. What staff was doing in scanning for drug use can be described in terms of a procedure that staff taught me and used in my presence. In a fashion much like that described by Skolnick . T�ey spoke of this task. In watching what they told each other. staff reported13 on the drug use which they saw all around them. "Is it evidence of drug use. however.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 101 Thus. This attention diff ered f rom the attention given to the actions of any other persons in two ways. that is. to me and to each other. it became evident that they spent much of their time scanning the scene for evidences of drug use and other criminality. and told and pointed out to me. Results of chemical tests which indicated use were always reported. both staff and residents said that the use of drugs was extremely common. as those reports were already records of the bureaucracy. showed me and showed others direct and indirect evidence of drug use. Staff. 13 Reporte4 to each other.
nor could they overhear such talk among the ul residents. what would ordinarily pass as 'nothing much to be noticed' (e.. by the staff in order to answer the question. In light of the rates of 'perceived use' reported above.102 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR or drug sales. (Staff took it that only a small portion of residents who used confessed. Residents who confessed that they had been using and now wanted to stop were the single exception to this. scanning and questioning activity make it unlike the perception of ordinary aff airs. "Is he using again 1" and "Is he dealing again 7" were questions that were continually being directed toward the behavior of every resident. in analyzing it. i. As previously noted. Deviance evidenced through a search o the physical environment. "Is Joe using again ?" or "Is Joe dealing again ?" The equivocal sense of perceived objects and events was organized for the staff and by the staff by use of the scheme of relevancies provided by the query about use.) Second. Two f eatures of this . where .not directly ask questions of the residents about deviant behavior an� assume that they had a faithf answer.g. Thus. f - The house itself was examined (usually about once a week by the house manager) as a place where narcotics were being used. that environment was organized. the questions. by and large.e. the way someone stands) could be closely scrutinized.. Residents did not knowingly 'shoot dope ' in front of staff. or not ?" Second. the staff did not treat the reports of residents about their own activities or the activities of others as factual. not useful to staff. these occurrences had the appearance of being unintended by the residents and a surprise to the staff. They found that they could . verbal reports were. the kind of behavior staff was looking for was not typically open to direct observation. The whole environment of halfway house was organized under the auspices of this query. Although occasionally staff would walk into the men's restroom and find a resident with his belt around his arm (a tourniquet) and a needle with an eyedropper (a homemade syringe) in his arm.
was identified as a wrapping for an outfit. particularly in the bathrooms and basement. where dealing was occurring. found under a bed. The underside of the halfway house occasionally gave signs of having been entered. and the insides of fuse boxes were all viewed as potential hiding places and were searched for 'fits' and 'stashes'.14 The back.g.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 103 'fits' (narcotics paraphernalia) were stored. The box out of place was seeable by staff as a makeshift step ladder used in hiding a 'stash' or 'fit' that someone would have to have (and have to hide) if they were to shoot drugs. they were identified as the by-product of cooking heroin. where 'stashes' (of drugs) were hidden. This search was made by addressing every part of the physically displayed halfway house with the question. The very appearances them selves are notable only under a conception of the consumption of 14 Heroin is prepared by mixing the powder and some water in a spoon and then heating it. and. a box found out of place in the basement was seen as having been moved so that some resident could stash drugs some where in the upper regions of an unfinished wall. And a piece of paper with a black oval smudge on it (indicating its having been used to clean and/or wrap a heroin-cooking spoon). . The inside and outside of the house were examined for anything interpretable as a sign of narcotic use. were examined. "What narcotic-deviant course of action could have produced this particular display I see before me now 1" Floors. an instance of the general phenomena of attending displays as a phase-of-the-action. Such an inter pretation stands in contrast to other possible interpretations. Many of the displays were encountered as something out of place which could be explained as a phase-in-consuming-narcotics.s of toilets. Several features of the search need emphasis. e. the insides of air vents. under a different temporal scheme. an air vent out of place was interpreted as indicating that that area had been used as a 'shooting gallery' (a place to use drugs).. Similarly.g. e.. If piles of matches were encountered. someone moved it in their search for some particular supplies in the room or moved it to sit on it. the interiors of floor standing ash trays.
For example. that a user would be concerned with privacy. When relatively clear evidence was found. it had to be found in a place in which it would be plausible to use drugs. offered some privacy.e. . those places in the halfway house that residents had easy and constant access to. While a pile of matches was understood as evidence of use. Thus.. staff ordered all residents to submit to a chemical test. Attention to these informing considerations excluded some areas of the house from frequent search. The searcher does not know specifically what he is looking for or the sense he will make of it until he encounters it in a particular context. then. and with being able to get them without raising questions about what he was doing. When such tests were ordered. Therefore. the house manager told me he did not inspect behind grates that were fastened with screws. but was also informed by imputed motives which were assumed to accompany the use of drugs. The halfway house was regularly and systematically searched by the house manager and was continually being inspected in the same fashion by staff as they happened to be walking around in it. The search.104 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR narcotics as a sequence of more or less clearly known steps. it frequently happened that some residents would flee the scene (which was seen by staff as evidence that they were using drugs) and that at least one resident who stayed would be detected as having recently used drugs. something found out of place in the front room or a pile of matches found in the kitchen would be less likely to be interpreted as the residue of use than if it had been found in the bathroom. That evidence of various sorts was found in such places heightened staff's tendency to interpret any particular thing found as evidence of use. since no hype would want to go to that much effort when he felt in need of a 'geez' (an injection of heroin). were close at hand for the residents. was continually being informed not only by a knowledge of the steps involved in using drugs. with getting his drugs quickly when he wanted them. and that residents could go to with some frequency without raising questions were more closely scrutinized by staff. i.
PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 1 05 - Deviance evidenced through an inspection o persons. he sought to avoid the consequences of that contact. they are seeing in a glance that that movement is a final step in an unobserved sequence : the man is a criminal. are concerned with this). What the police in their investigation thereafter must do is demonstrate the unequivocal meaning of the display. but also with deviance that was about to happen. Here too. too. The potentially incrim inating display itself gives them the legal ground for further search. the staff of the halfway house treated their responsibilities as more extensive than those of the police. behaviors and physical appearances were understood as phases in more or less well known sequences. a whole series of prior actions are seen by the viewer as also indicated. I list some of the displays that staff saw as evidence of use. It should be noted that full suspicion was most often activated by some pattern of these particulars taken in conjunction with whatever history the resident had established. but also in the sense that someone was getting into a state in which he was likely to commit a deviant act. . The appearances of residents of halfway house were continuously treated as potentially incriminating. and. and then and therefore did the thing the police actually observed. when the police see that the movement of a man's hand to his mouth is an attempt to dispose of incriminating evidence. he saw the police coming. then those same signs indicated that drug use or other criminality was imminent. Many equivocal signs that the staff used for seeing deviance were treated by them as indicating the possible use of drugs. f The same kind of considerations used in inspecting the house itself were used in the assessment of the appearance and behavior of the residents. Through a briefly seen 'furtive action'. To give some sense of the particulars of their inspection. 1967 : 1 20-121). They said that they were properly concerned not only with ongoing deviance. if not that. However. For example. The police refer to such actions as 'furtive actions' (cf. he anticipated contact with the police. Skolnick. not just in the sense that it was planned (for the police. so that many of these displays done in isolation would not have rendered the resident suspect.
faintly moving body. Residents' displayed affective states were also used by staff as indicators of drug use.1 06 PATIERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR Drug use was seen by staff in the residents' bodily states. or less neat than that particular resident usually was. they saw that the resident was likely to be using drugs through that bodily display. synthetic opiates. or barbiturates. yet is either carefully controlling it or is less 'loaded'. closing his eyes. Other bodily states which were taken as symptomatic of drug use also told staff something about the recency and/or amount of heroin that the resident had injected. through a lack of coordination and euphoria (smillng and laughing). Being 'on the nod' is the most exaggerated state of drug intoxi cation . he would present the appearance of being drunk. One manifestation was pupil size. 'nodding') so as to 'feel the warmth of the dope in his body'. when staff encountered a resident who was notably passive. Signs of indifference were taken by staff to be often drug-induced.hence. slouching. If he were not so 'loaded'. and rhythmically moving his body (typically. a user who is 'on · the nod' will be enjoying an injected opiate by more or Jess lying back on a chair. Therefore. Typically.to go beyond this state is to pass out. When staff saw a resident in such a state. moving his head back and forth . or notably sloppy. they supposed that he was under the influence of opiates. Staff and residents identified persons 'on the nod' through that person's stuperous. they were likely to suspect that he was using drugs. since opiates and other depressants are said to focus one's attention on his own private pleasures and focus attention away from the way one appears to and is related to others. When staff saw a resident who looked drunk or nearly drunk but who was not reputed to be a drinker. When staff noted that a resident's pupils were smaller than normal (as compared with others in the room) or that his pupil size did not change with changing light conditions. The user might appear to be ill or walk with a slouch or have slackened cheek muscles. but nevertheless strongly under the influence of an opiate. They might also suspect that if he were 'merely depressed' and . One who is 'under the influence'. gives off less obvious bodily signs of drug use. they would suspect that he was using drugs.
though they might also have been suspected of selling drugs and.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 1 07 not giving off these signs because of drug use. It might have been that he was using and therefore did those things. therefore.g. Some displays were described by staff as showing delinquent intent. or not coming to group) as indicating that something was awry with the man. more displayed hostility than usual from this particular resident. that that depression itself would lead to drug use. Staff also noted changes in or slightly exaggerated forms of any affective state as signs · of drug use. or that these indicators were the inci dental by-products of some other activity. Spending time with other residents who later ran from the house or were caught for drugs was taken as indicating a willingness to associate with 'bad characters' and thereby pointed to a likely interest in illegitimate activities. bring a resident under general suspi .. which led staff to suspect that a particular resident was using drugs. or that he was 'badly motivated ' and therefore was likely to use. For example. and even more friendliness than usual from this particular resident were treated as potential signs of drug use. Manifested 'irresponsibility' was treated in a similar way by staff. not abiding by curfew. or he was spending his time 'partying' with drugs and therefore did not make curfew. shadow boxing in the shower) was taken as a therefore. falling asleep on a hard bench. Therefore. being up very late at night. Staff spoke of 'not meeting one's commitments ' or 'not taking care of business' (not paying one's bill. A resident could show his essential delinquency by spending an unusual amount of time talking about prison or about lives of crime. displayed indifference or depression was notable for staff in any case. Depression. Erratic behavior (e. had no need to actively search for a job. cion. he was spending his money on drugs and therefore could not pay his bill. Bringing a stranger into the halfway house or smuggling a friend into the house for a place to sleep were also taken to indicate a delinquent character and would. Residents who did not actively seek work were viewed in the same light.
Residents were seen to employ various measures to obscure what they were 'really up to ' which were 'seen through' by staff. Some covers literally covered part of the body. Receiving many phone calls. i. Persons would also be brought under suspicion if they could be associated with some delinquent-indicating event. when these items were employed in an even slightly out of ordinary context (or when 'covers ' on the arm were fresh). . the resident whose bed was nearest the door would likely be suspected of being 'up to something'. In treating a displayed body or act as a cover. burns. though not necessarily a sign of opiate use. rather than 'for itself'. they were seen by staff as evidence of drug use and thereby brought the wearer under suspicion. thereby.e. For example. residents could draw suspicion to themselves by behaviors which could function as 'covers' . going in and out the door many times. tatoos. brought the resident under suspicion were patterns which could be seen as phases in some sort of criminal activity. were grounds for suspicion in any observed case.. Or if a fire door were broken so as to permit easy and secret entrance and exit. Another set of behaviors which. staff attended the perceived thing for the ways in which it could be hiding something. cuts. even if he did not intend the act or sequence of acts to be obscuring in the first place. and sunglasses could cover pupil size. looking out the window for sustained periods of time as if looking for a pickup or delivery. though this list is by no means exhaustive. This order of suspicion was greatly strengthened if some other indicator displayed by the resident also pointed to some form of deviance. Inasmuch as long-sleeved shirts. and having money but no job were all seen as activities of the sort a drug dealer would do. if paraphernalia were discovered shortly after one resident moved into the house. and scratches on the arms could cover needle marks. when identified. that resident might be suspect. and they. Finally. 'seen through' in the sense that the obscuring routine drew attention to rather than away from the resident.108 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR likely indicator of some kind of drug use.
since staff knew about the possibility of that sort of cover. it did not necessarily lead to immediate action on their part for several reasons. Staff's suspicion would also be raised if they discovered that the SPA had recorded in his log that two men left and came back to the halfway house together. there were sev�ral ways that missing a scheduled nalline test for opiates was Understood by staff as a possible cover for the use of drugs. whenever staff did not see a resident as often as they previously had seen him.PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR 109 Since some stages of drug use produce bodily appearances similar to minor illness. the claim of illness (even if legitimate) tended to draw suspicious attention to the 'sick' resident. but then did not go to the testing center. .sign-out sheet indicated that they had left and returned at non-coinciding times. Similarly. these bodily states can be 'explained away' by the claim of illness. However. Staff suspicion was enhanced when they read in the log (which was kept by the student professional assistant during the evening) that that particular resident checked out just before staff arrived in the morning and checked in just after staff left in the evening. when they missed several consecutive tests no matter how plausible the excuse. Both of those modes of staff behavior were negatively . and/or asking him to submit to a chemical test. that resident was likely to come under suspicion. To pursue every suspicion in that way would have resulted in what staff called 'acting like a bull' (prison guard) and 'playing cops and robbers' with the men (permitting all interactions with the men to be heavily tainted with overtones of suspicion). When staff encountered these 'suspicious displays'. Finally. since persons could hide their visible 'high' by staying away from staff. house staff were frequently reluctant to pursue their investigation directly by interrogating the man under suspicion. and when a resident drew attention to himself by announcing that he was going to test (in response to receiving a notice to test). Even when staff members' suspicions were relatively well-aroused. checking his arms for marks. while what those residents had written on the residents' sign-in . Residents were seen as attempting to hide their drug use when their excuse for not testing was implausible.
1 10 PATrERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR sanctioned at halfway house. other staff would speak of him in his presence as 'handcuff happy'. When I was with a staff member when he did interrogations of this sort. he complained to me about his distaste for having to be 'a cop'. staff was able to act on their suspicions without having those suspicions be the constant theme of their interactions with the residents. and 'liking the game of cops and robbers'. especially by the parole agents. and (c) reported their suspicions to the resident's parole agent and asked that the man be sent to the central testing center for a routine 'surprise' injection of nalline. since they would often be waiting for 'further evidence' before doing something. Instead of pursuing each and every suspicion. Staff not only received negative sanctions from their peers in trying to track down drug use on the basis of small evidence. When one staff member pursued residents on the basis of 'small evidence'. But it also meant that the staff were seeing more deviance around them than they were acting on. They said in these meetings that if staff were to be overly visibly involved in surveillance and investigation. (b) turned any occasion in which the resident in question violated an explicit rule (which would routinely result in a con frontation between staff and that resident about the violation) into an occasion in which they asked the resident to display his arms and give a urine sample for clinical test. In these three ways. staff (a) watched the man in question more closelY for other evidence that he might be using. These further . it would put pressure on the residents that would likely result in enhancing the possibility that they would return to drug use. the program director argued and the other staff members concurred that they did not want the residents to feel that they were in prison and that they did not want their relationship with the residents to be ]ike that between residents and police. 'a bull'. Whenever surveillance was a topic of staff meetings. Deviance that staff saw and that staff dealt with had further organizational meanings than I have indicated 'here. but their encounters with the residents when they did that also became noticeably unpleasant.
repetitive patterns which were deviant when compared to the 'programmatic ideals '. residents demanded assistance from the staff in accomplishing many mundane tasks. SUMMARY Direct observation of the behavior of residents at the halfway house established a series of regular. but . the halfway house was by no means an organization in which staff and residents worked together to provide a program of rehabilitation for the residents. I merely want to establish the point that widespread drug use and rule violations were noticeable to staff and were the source of considerable organizationally relevant work on their part. residents showed their disinterest and lack of respect for the program of the halfway house. Nor would residents serve as a reliable source of information about their own behavior or the behavior of their peers. Beyond the residents ' behavior which vitiated the joint program of rehabilitation. Residents typically could not be counted on a s reliable sources of information about their own plans. For the time being. The patterned behavior of the residents undermined such a program at every turn. . In the ways they positioned their bodies to show attention and respect and through what they said to staff. Nor could they be relied upon to keep agreements.PATtERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAViOR 111 meanings will be treated later. and the 'rules' of halfway house. 'the routines '. With great regularity. They were in every respect unreliable informants . doing only what staff directly demanded and sanctioned with explicit rewards and punishments. the residents observably distanced themselves from staff by physical movement and through their conversational styles. Not only did they violate such house rules as curfew and mandatory 'group'. residents were also deviant in their frequent violation of halfway house routines and rules. Rather than being self-reliant. making it difficult for them to assume 'responsible roles' in the organization. Thus. residents were merely passively com pliant with staff demands. Rather than being willing participants.
All of these patterns were visible not only to the researcher. . both typically came to the same explanation. Both staff and researcher were concerned with ex plaining these behaviors. these patterns were a source of complaint and required additional organizational effort on their part.1 12 PATTERNS OF RESIDENT BEHAVIOR they also used drugs and sold drugs in and from the halfway house with great regularity. but to the staff as well. and. as will be shown in succeeding chapters. and both were assisted in these explanations by the deviant residents them selves. For the staff.
They explained to me that everyone there had 'done a lot of time' and had even learned the code much earlier than their prison experiences. or residents of rehabilitative organizations. some subversive or contra-culture normative order is searched out by the analyst and utilized by him as an explanation for the behavior patterns he has observed. The Code as an Explicitly Verbalized Moral Order My participant observation detected a code which was operative at halfway house. In the case of prisons and related organizations. In traditional analyses of deviant behavior. as hypes on the street. spoke readily of a code. convicts. My principal resident informants. They also spoke of 'regular guys' (followers of the code) and said that every one of the residents at the halfway house was a regular guy. which is the classical or traditional explanation of those forms of deviant behavior engaged in by inmates. and with whom I had at least several conversations a week and often several a day. the 'convict code' is typically encountered by the researc:. whom I came to know over a period of several months. They called this code activities that they the code and told of a set of should and should not engage in.4 THE CONVICT CODE AS AN EXPLANATION OF DEVIANT BEHAVIOR Introduction This chapter examines the convict code. .her and employed as such an explanation.
residents spoke of the 'fact' that violations of the code would be remembered and dealt with later. At other times. enforcement of the code by inmates or residents is closely related to the use of social types. That is. A sniveler would be spoken of as a 'fool' and 'not like one ofus'. 'Sniveler' was employed to designate another resident as one who chronically complained to staff and pleaded with staff for better treatment. In the joint. like inmates as they are described in the literature on prisons. snitching. and 'sniveler'. 'snitch'. and at that point he would not be trusted by the other cons and would be suspected by the other cons on each occasion in which they thOUght someone had snitched. at some time return to the 'joint' (prison). . Sanctions directed against kiss asses and snitches. Residents spoke of kissing ass. In the case of the halfway house. To be called a 'kiss ass' meant that one was too close to staff. spoke clearly about the ways in which the code was enforced. Sanctions directed against the sniveler were minor when com pared with the measures taken against the snitch and kiss ass. As traditionally reported. while more potent. the reprehensible one would. like all other residents. The code is generally enforced by inmates through their application of a label or social-type name to those inmates who are seen by members of the group as deviating from the code. were spoken of with less clarity and uniformity. and sniveling as clearly moral matters which required their attention and intervention. and as I observed in the case of the halfway house. residents said that kiss asses would be frozen out of contact with the other 'guys' and that immediate violence would be done against snitches. The title 'snitch' was employed to designate another as an informer. At times. his repre hensible reputation would be spread.1 14 THE CONVICT CODE The Code and Explicitly Verbalized Sanctions Residents of the halfway house. the only deviant types or labels that I regularly heard were 'kiss ass'.
While a specific resident could not recite all of the maxims. Except for this incident. but against the whole collection of deviant colleagues. Pablo said that the other man thought Pablo had informed on him. Someone who turned himself in . residents. do not admit that you have done something illegal or illegitimate. 'Pablo' came to his parole agent. There was only one actual case in which I observed snitching or possible snitching as a real issue (as compared to a potential or hypothetical issue) at the halfway house. hear talk about specific snitches who were not residents (other men in prison or in the community). I did. As a set of maxims. what residents said about the code can be formulated in that fashion. the code in its specifics is as follows : 1. Both were arrested. and he would find that he could no longer operate with other deviants. while the other man was tried. though Pablo told him he had not. but charges were dropped against Pablo. His reputation would be spread throughout the whole deviant community. Years before. and inmates. manently jeopardize a resident's standing with other hypes. Now Pablo wanted release from the halfway house because of what that man might do and how the other residents might treat him if the other man ever talked about him. - That is. the two men had used and sold drugs together. 2. however. as well as much talk about snitches and snitching in general.THE CONVICT CODE us pecifics o the Code at Halfway House f The S The code was often spoken of by residents as containing a set of maxims. do not snitch. Do not cop out. who in tum told me. Above all else. - Informing was regarded as Snitching would per an act directed not simply against an individual. telling him of his anxiety about a parolee who was about to move into the halfway house. I observed no cases of residents' being identified as snitches. And the only reason this case was observable to me was because a resident who was fearful that others regarded him as a snitch told the following story to his parole agent.
it was his own respon sibility to take care of the thief. and wine. 5. providing 1 Also included generally under the rule. Do not take advantage of other residents. telling staff that they were ignorant about the activities of other residents. so as not to help staff indirectly investigate another gUy. was not talked about as 'copping out'. Residents were prohibited by the code from appealing to staff for assistance in locating the stolen goods. To turn oneself in could be viewed as a form of defection. It included 'standing point' for them (being a lookout for staff or the police when the other was involved in a compromising activity. Unlike the case of the snitch. if he had more than he needed. - This maxim was principally directed against thievery among residents. Hel other residents.l arguing with staff on the behalf of another resident. such as injecting drugs). 3. He should share drugs with his closest friends and sell drugs to others. because to 'cop out' was a form of defecting to the other side. To turn oneself in to a parole agent when one was about to be caught anyway or when one was 'tired of running' and likely to get caught by the police. and probably not trustworthy. 'not like us'. However.116 THE CONVICT CODE willingly would be regarded as strange. dumb. - A regular resident should be relatively generous with other residents in terms of his money. . clothes. 4. a resident could not count on others to negatively sanction the thief. because it implied agreement with the standards that one had violated. p - This maxim was principally a directive to help one's fellows avoid detection and punishment. warning them about suspicions that staff had. 'do not snitch'. if a resident had something stolen from him. He should share his 'fit' (syringe and spoon) with others and 'score' (purchase drugs) for those who could not find a con nection (source of drugs). Share what you have. If he used drugs. however. he should offer a 'taste' to others that were around when he 'geezed'.
Anything a resident might let them know about himself or others could. helping another resident sneak into the house after curfew. etc. if a resident has anything deviant going for him at all (like having a common law wife. It is not that being friendly to staff or complying with staff's regulations is intrinsically illegitimate. Any of these acts can be understood as a defection to their side. - Staff. is 'the enemy'. Do not trust sta . This advice holds even if a resident is on the best of terms with his agent. or accept the legitimacy of their rules. So. He should not 'kiss ass'. 8. do favors for staff. This includes not 'bringing the heat' by engaging in sus picious actions or by getting into an unnecessary altercation with staff. and makes a resident suspect of being the kind of 'guy' that would snitch.THE CONVICT CODE 117 cover stqries for other residents. thereby. one could 'bring the heat' by leaving evidence of drug use around the house which would lead staff to suspect everybody. occasionally using heroin. be used by them to send him or someone else back to the joint. may not be trustworthy in protecting residents and their interests. · because one of staff's principal occupational duties is to detect deviance. 7. and a resident's actions should show that he recognizes this. having user friends in his house. 6.sta is heat. . Do not mess with other residents' interests. he is well advised not to let his agent know his real residence and to give his mother's address instead. should not disapprove of it. For example. or even using marijuana). Show your loyalty to the residents. but these matters indicate what kind of person one is and that one. in some presently unknown fashion. in fact. be friendly to staff. take their side in an argument. and should not in any way draw staff's attention to it. In this way he avoids letting his agent know anything that might lead to the discovery of his deviant doings. ff ff - This maxim · simply says that in the final analysis staff cannot be trusted. - A resident should not prevent others from enjoying their deviance.
g. not letting staff know about residents' doings as a way of protecting other residents. If residents comply with the maxim. in his private dealings with other residents) that he indeed is on the residents' side. then special effort would be required to retain the trust of other residents. The rules account for that behavior in the following specific ways. and even the injunction against 'snitching'2 are also fulfilled (in part) in the avoidance behavior 'doing distance'. and by not staying around after group to talk with staff about the program. That is. e. Further. which can be accomplished by 'doing distance'. residents can show their loyalty to each other by dis playing a lack of enthusiasm for what staff proposes in group. avoid lively conversation with staff. or wants to make the kind of impression on his parole agent that will lead the agent away from suspecting him when he otherwise might. a resident wants them to give him the best jobs they have. 'Show your loyalty to the residents'. for example. by not paying attention in group.1 18 THE CONVICT CODE If a resident makes it clear in other ways (as. then they would be motivated to avoid spending time with staff. The Code as Explanation f Resident Behavior or Treating the rules of the code as maxims of conduct that residents follow and enforce upon one another provides a traditional socio logical explanation for the regular patterns of deviant behavior that were observed in the halfway house. and. would exclude staff from their conversations. by the use of Spanish and other conversational devices. indicates to others that one would not snitch. Residents explained to me that being aloof from staff. these signalizing activities may then be understood in other ways by the other residents. by verbally demeaning the program in group. If one did not stay aloof. showing where one's loyalties are can be accomplished by dispJaying the behaviors 2 'disinterest and The relationship of 'doing distance' to 'snitching' requires further explana tion. They may be understood as efforts to manipulate staff in some concrete way. The injunction against trusting staff. ..
and ignorant of whether or not he would do as he had promised. directs the resident to avoid letting staff share any of his knowledge of other residents. though they are not directly prescribed. and 'Do not mess with other residents ' interests'. 'Do not trust staff'. ignorant of what a resident would do. which would be that 'Jones ' is using drugs). sneaking them into the house when the 'night watchman ' [SPA] was not looking. who is physically in the house. by complying with no more than what staff demands and explicitly sanctions ('passive compliance ') and by attempting to get staff to do what they hope a resident will do for himself ('demands and requests'). supported. 'Do not snitch'. one can. including who is friends with whom. because refusing would indicate that they disapproved of drug use or were 'taking to heart' staff hopes that they womd not use drugs. Patterns of deviant behavior were protected by maxims of the code which required that (a) other residents help those who chose to violate the 'ru1es' and 'routines '. Similarly. While there is nothing in the code which says 'miss group'. providing excuses and alibis. or 'use drugs'. that drugs are being used (which is different from snitching. Patterns of violating rmes and routines are protected. which left staff ignorant of what was actually happening at the moment. thereby.THE CONVICT CODE 1 19 disrespect'. 'Do not cop out' directs him to prevent staff from knowing about his own activities.). (b) other residents cover for those who needed it (standing point. Patterns of lying and generally being a bad informant. especially the use of drugs. 'bring wine into the house'. any of these activities. The maxim. 'be late for curfew'. These same maxims would lead residents to prevent staff from hearing anything about what residents were doing. also show his loyalties by doing as little as possible for 'the enemy' and taking him for whatever one can get. and (c) no resident let staff verbally know . etc. is a relatively clear sign of one's loyalties. and encouraged by the code. are provided for in the maxims. 'Do not snitch'. 'Help other inmates'. and often whether or not one resident even knows another. 'Do not cop out'. Residents sometimes told me that they took drugs that were offered to them.
Most recent research is concerned with the practical import . many studies report variations in normative orders without indicating any patterns of behavior that inmate compliance to such contra-normative orders would produce (e. The code provides the motivations to engage in those patterns. in the research on the prison. Schragg. that these should be shared with others.1 20 THE CONVICT CODE about deviant activities.. Other studies show the ways that the code and the social types that revolve around it make inmates ' behavior understandable (e. Deviant activities were further supported by the set of rules which said that residents should let each other do whatever deviant (from staff's point of view) thing they chose. to positively sanction those patterns. Sykes and Messinger. including the analysis of sub-cultures or contra cultures in the prison setting. This form of explanation is traditional in the analysis of correctional organizations and has its direct analog in traditional analyses of other forms of deviant behavior.g. the code as I found it at halfway house would explain the patterns of deviance that I observed there.. 1 960). predictable (e. 1 944).g. Therefore. The Sociological Literature on the Convict Code Although patterns of deviant behavior are traditionally explained by reference to a set of rules like the convict code. Caldwell. 1 960) without specifying observed patterns of behavior which would be produced by the rules under consideration. In this fashion. In many areas of sociology.. Weinberg. Later studies explore such matters as the functional relationships between the rules or normative culture detected in early studies and other elements of organization. and to not interfere with those patterns even if a resident were to find it in his own interest to do so. Cloward. and characterizable as repudiating institutional norms (e.g. only the earliest studies focus on explaining observed patterns of behavior in terms of rules.. and if they were to engage in deviant consumption of wine and drugs. 1 956. Galtung. 1 942 .g. 1958). explanations are often not the focus of traditional research.
McLeery. Clemmer. and the prison 'culture'. not talking to them except about 'business'. is considerably more detailed in the ways the code is used to analyze and account for inmate behavior. Clemmer's prisonized inmate would not snitch. the daily round of life in prison. is widely found. Another set of studies. Berk. portrays the formal organization of the prison. Grusky. Vintner. 1959 .on Community (1 940). would regard officials as his enemy and would show this by. . Another set of studies is directed at detecting the conditions under which varying degrees of compliance with the code are fostered (Wheeler. b. Messinger. One set of studies explores the relationship between types of prison administration and the extent to which the code is elaborated and enforced (e. The code detected at the halfway house was strikingly similar to that described by Clemmer. His principal thesis is that this prison culture. 1968). and Ward and Kassbaum. He counts the code as one of the fundamental social controls among the inmate population. in The Pru. Throughout the rest of the volume.THE CONVICT CODE 1 21 of the convict code as an impediment to rehabilitation and/or treatment. to be reviewed below. these studies document the fact that the code. and Perrow. 1965 . 1966. Street. for example. although varied in the extent of its elaboration and enforceability. Gara 1963 . He proposed that the code "does control conduct in many instances and tends to control it in other instances" (p. 1 40). and Wilson. 1964.g. 1965). 196 1 . bedian. For the interests of my research. 1966 . 1961 a. which is partially assimilated by all prisoners and wholly assi milated by twenty to forty percent. Studies Which Employ the Code to Analyze and Account f Inmate Behavior or In what is generally regarded as the first major study of prisons. It revolves around two propositions : 'Don't help the officials' and 'Do help your fellow inmates'. Tittle and Tittle.. and Studt. and would assist his fellow inmates by helping them avoid detection in their deviance. Street. turns those convicted of crimes into even more anti-social persons. Thus.
each social type representing a pattern of compliance with or deviance from the code. Historically. Cursing and denouncing the guards is described as necessary for the inmate who wishes to retain the respect of his fellows. The inmate social system protects the self-conception by providing a social world in which the inmate can have status and in which he can believe that it is his captors who are immoral and incompetent rather than himself. and engaging in homosexual behavior (p. In a variety of contexts. Sykes' strategy was to account for the inmate social system by proposing that it developed as a protective device to insulate the inmate from the pains of imprisonment which amount to an attack' on his self-conception. he does analyze patterns of deviant behavior as the outcome of what he calls "prisonization".1 22 THE CONVICT CODE interspersed in his discussion of rules. 160) and sharing that stolen food with inmates who have just gotten off bread and water (p. 304). He recites incidents in which one inmate would not inform on two other inmates who stole his cat (p. Sykes' analysis of the code is embedded in this thesis. Being insolent to the guards and threatening them is depicted as giving the inmate prestige among his fellows (pp. which is principally socialization to the convict code. He cites stealing food from the institution (p. patterns of work. 164) as further instances. the next major piece of prison research was Sykes' The Society 0 Ca / ptives. and his presentation of the code is embedded in a system of social types which revolve around the code. stealing from the prison. patterns of leisure. 304). Though Clemmer's analysis of the code is scattered throughout this work. he cites a variety of examples of complying with the code. 164) as instances of complying with the code. 1 58) I and another who would not inform on an inmate who knifed him (p. 195). and sexual patterns. Other patterns of behavior and attitude associated with compliance to the code include not respecting prison rules (p. he shows patterns of hostility (exhibited toward the guards) which are produced by inmates complying with the code. talking about criminal exploits. gambling. 1 96. .
'Do not snitch'. 1 958 : 42). like the staff of the halfway house. while those who are quick . for he is disloyal to his fellow inmates by displaying the attitudes of the custodians . who exemplifies compliance with the convict code. He exem- . each type represents the moral standing of the inmate to which it is applied. 62). which leads them to violate institutional regulations by coercion of fellow prisoners. they have more respect for the 'tough'. The term 'rat ' is applied to inmates who have betrayed their fellows by violating the rule. which in terms of the code should be freely shared. sharing of stolen supplies. Both gorillas and merchants are despised for their violation of the ideals of inmate solidarity. and so on.frequently not because he agrees with them. 47). Sykes argues that inmates violate rules because they lack a sense of duty to comply with them (p. He has strength. homosexuality. He violates the maxim. The 'gorilla' exploits his fellow inmates by use or threat of violence. fraud. to fight with their fellow inmates are called 'toughs'. gambling. while the 'merchant' exploits them by inappropriately selling goods stolen from the prison. The 'center man' would correspond to the kiss-ass in the halfway house. He lists fifteen rule violations which were reported during one week. Inmates who react with violence toward the officials are referred to as 'ball busters '.THE CONVICT CODE 1 23 In Sykes' description. was "engaged in a continuous struggle to maintain order" (Sykes. 84-1 08) which simultaneously deal with the major problems of prison life and are the devices for indicating inmate admiration for and disapproval of the behavior of their fellow inmates. He is able to 'take it '. because the 'ball buster' brings the 'heat' (more surveillance and stricter enforcement of the rules) down on the whole inmate population. Though inmates are ambivalent toward both types. 'don't cause unnecessary trouble'. The one type that inmates unequivocally admire is the 'real man'. indicating that both inmates and officials agreed that the actual offense rate was much higher. That social world is characterized in terms of a set of argot roles (pp. the staff of the maximum security prison he studied. They lack this sense of duty because of the nature of the inmate social world (p. Thus. but in order to manipulate them.
and 'outlaws'. knowledge of the therapeutic program of the institution. Gara bedian was able to detect the social types of 'square Johns'. in another account of the same research in which Sykes contrasts 'real men'. 'politicians'. They would thereby have no sense of duty toward the institutional rules and in turn would enact the patterns of deviant behavior he observed.1 24 THE CONVICT CODE plifies "masculine mannerisms and inward stamina" (p. 'right guys'. 1 956). those inmates put pressure on the inmate who goes to therapy However. amount of contact with staff. He reports a series of behaviors associated with the types that are similar to the patterns of deviant behavior detected at halfway house. Ohlin (1 956) proposes that the act of going to therapy is viewed by nonparticipating inmates as violating those tenets of the code which prohibit contact with staff. This finding indicates that the activities of nonparticipation in staff programs. not having knowledge of the therapeutic programs. Sykes proposes that by responding to one another as 'real men' (complying with the code). Garabedian (1 964) follows Sykes by treating the code in terms of the social types that revolve around it. 'politicians'. the rank order of compliance to staff's regulations and 'hopes' was 'square Johns'. Using attitudinal items on an anonymous questionnaire submitted to a sample of 345 inmates of a maximum security prison. he finds that while all three types commit violations of prison rules. 3 . and numbers of rule violations committed all vary with social type. and 'toughs'. and committing rule violations were all associated with commitment to the code. inmates reduce the pains of imprisonment and can achieve a sense of self-respect.3 In a more recent study. Extent of par ticipation in staff-sponsored programs. 1 02). 'merchants'. A further example of behaviors caused by the code is the open display of hostility toward staff which often occurs when inmates attend group therapy. 101) and "confronts his captors with neither subservience nor aggression" (p. In turn. Similar to Sykes' findings. not having contacts with staff. 'right guys'. 'toughs' do so at a higher rate than do 'real men' and 'merchants' (Sykes. and 'outlaws'.
since one shows his compliance with the code and loyalty to its underlying values by engaging . and avoidance of participation in group therapy programs.THE CONVICT CODE 125 "to reaffirm his continued allegiance and identification with the inmate value system. however. hostile gestures and talk toward officers. or they are encouraged by the code. 1960 . 1965). engaging in homosexuality. Tittle and Tittle (1964) find that those who most strongly . their involvement is superficial. Cressey and Krasowski. Wilmer. 1939. 1954. 1 959 . The participating inmate can handle this kind of pressure for a time by displaying conspicuous acts of aggression against authorities both within and outside the therapy group" (Ohlin. that this is not an easy solution. but it only repeats the findings which have been cited (Haynor and Asch. Summary and Implications Essentially the same code has been found in a variety of settings and has been utilized by sociologists to account for a variety of deviant behavior: violation of institutional rules. sharing stolen goods. or supported by the code in the sense that other inmates are prohibited from interfering or disapproving of the activity by maxims of the code. Haynor. refusal to give information to officers. It has been found that these behaviors are prescribed by the code. Using an attitudinal device on a questionnaire to detect sentiments supportive of the code. Other abbreviated accounts of behavior analyzable as produced through conformity to the code is available. Schragg. These behaviors have been traditionally analyzed as produced by compliance to the convict code. threats against officers. It appears. More typical is avoidance of therapy in the first place. support the code least frequently appear at group therapy sessions and that when they do participate. gambling. avoidance of contact with staff. 1940. Johnson. Haynor and Asch. 1961 . 1943 . Cloward. 1956 : 36). stealing from the institution.
As shall be shown. this explanatory use of the code parallels its uses by staff and residents in the very settings in which the code is detected.126 THE CONVICT CODE in the deviant behavior. .
P A R T II .
customs. values. is often analytically related by him to the meaning of some other remark. an attitude may be related to the meaning of some other remarks which are understood or construed as meaning the individual's social status. . for example. Talk was of monumental importance to the studies of the convict code examined in Chapter Four. and the interactional and other contexts for what is said is generally disregarded in f avor of exclusively examining what was meant by some utterance or collection of utterances as that meaning is r�levant to some sociological theory or frame of reference. The meani�gs of a societal member's talk. how it is said. is of interest as a reflection of the interviewee's attitude or as a description of events in his world. the remarks that an ethnographer receives to his questions (or simply overhears) are of interest in the ways that they can be understood as substantive reports about such matters as norms. and the like.except. in the ways that social science methods for obtaining talk may bias the resulting findings.AN INTRODUCTION TO AN ETHNOMETHODOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF THE CONVICT CODE Traditionally sociology has been concerned with talk only as a source of data for analysis.1 An answer to a question in an interview. Even though many of the studies which were considered were vague as to their methods. as understood in terms of the social scientist's theory or frame of reference. What is said as such. For example. it is re1a� 1 Even more disregarded are the 'methods' whereby talk is understood and what consequences hearing what is said has for the listener. In this way talk is both of overwhelming interest to social science and of little concern . OF. of course.
in which case one would be analyzing the 'telling of the code' as the creation of a reality by inmates for investigators. Such an analysis would seem rather uninteresting and redundant if it were the case that investigators knew nothing of inmates' conduct except what they learned in interview situations. and researchers employ to 'interpret' conduct. Inasmuch as these data are inmate-produced accounts. If 'telling the code' were something that happened only between sociologists and their subjects. seminars held for McLeery. or the single and group interview and questionnaire sessions held by Wheeler. they are visible phenomena in the way they occur as interactional events between an investigator and his subjects. in fact. then one might wonder why one 2 Whether the investigator was a member of the staff or not or whether or not he attempted to avoid identification with staff. by other investigators as well) in the very setting that it was being used to 'tell about'. it appears. act of 'telling the code' was itself a part and was included in the actions being described. like most of the data of sociology. That is. the activity of 'telling the code' was informing the investigator about actions in the same setting in which the . the code. . Such properties of accounts have been called 'reflexive' by Garfinkel (1 967) and will be matters of close attention in the following chapters.2 This was the case whether the accounts were essays written for Clemmer. was encountered by me (and. the long accounts of inmate lives and sentiments given to Shragg. akin to Burke's (1936) and Mills' (1 940) urging that motives be considered as language events whereby societal members interpret their colleagues' actions and whereby they announce the meaning of their own actions for others.1 30 ETIINOMETHODOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF THE CODE tively clear that the maxims of the code were derived from inmate accounts that were given to the investigator. However. Just what kind of interactional events they are is the topic of Part II. In a manner . the convict code could be examined as something like a language event that inmates or residents. staff. the products appear remarkably the same. and akin to Garfinkel and Sacks' (1970 : 346) more general formulation.
even better.. and between members of the staff to analyze. In examining the convict code as an interactional event. factual. to justify. and to foretell resident actions. i . to interpret. factual in Durkheim's sense of constraining) character of action and the causally meaningful or motivated character of action.ETHNOMETHODOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF THE CODE 131 should b e s o concerned for the ways i n which the observable properties or the 'real' properties of a setting were being ac complished for a sociologist. The code was interactionally employed between 'investigator' and 'subjects' to detect. 'Telling the code' in an environment of other behaviors gave witnesses a schema whereby the environment appeared to display sensible. Such an examination provides the necessary context for the more detailed consideration of 'telling the code' as an interactional and creative occurrence to follow. Moreover. and stable properties. However.e. and clarify the repetitive sense of action . the various ways the code was conversationally employed between residents and researcher. staff. will be examined. in Chapter Five. . to argue and persuade. employed the code to explain the actions of inmates. 'Telling the code' was an important interactional event between staff and residents. But first.. The details of the way in which this 'inter pretive' work was done as a situationally contingent accomplish ment (or. the code was being told to the staff of the halfway house as well. This fact suggests that the causal analyses of actions by reference to rules might effectively be examined as interactional events. continuous accomplishing) will be treated in Chapters Six and Seven.e.the necessary. like sociologists. hearing the code and employing it as a 'guide to perception' gave behaviors of residents a specific and stable sense. the folk sociological usage of the convict code. 'no-choice about-it' (i. show. we will explore the ways in which the activity of 'telling the code' in a behavioral environment accomplished (or created and sustained) a particular kind of social reality for those who witnessed the scene. residents and staff. as I will show in detail later. That is.
by 'telling the code' in formulating moral alter natives. and actions of residents by formulating resident affairs in terms of the convict code. so I called them. the use of which was productive of a social reality. they were folk sociologists responding to questions. THE CODE AS TOLD BY RESIDENTS In examining the 'telling of the code' as an interactional or conversational event. role relationships. beliefs. caste conflict. they described and analyzed resident affairs by 'telling the code'. etc. offering advice. I had heard through colleagues that the Department of Corrections might have something. I find it useful to report the initial details of these events in a biographical manner and will begin 'at the beginning' of my experience at the halfway house. That is. arguing the efficacy or propriety of some action. In a variety of contexts. By 'telling the code'. I was invited to their research offices in downtown Los Angeles and . or moral categories 'contained within' the code. both staff and residents described and defined an environment of real events for one another and for me as a researcher : 'telling the code' was a folk sociology. My first contact with the project came about because I was looking for some kind of research position on a project dealing with deviance. etc. the rationality of action. or maxims of the code.5 'TELLING THE CODE' : FOLK SOCIOLOGY AND SOCIAL REALITY Residents and staff of the halfway house described and analyzed the commitments.
I was given an office in the upstairs of the building in an area where none of the staff had their offices. Mr. We f elt that my ignorance was desirable. i. They had already made outcome studies and. knew that a stay at the halfway house did not improve a parolee-addict's chances of abstaining f rom drug use. and intended not to locate myself next to staff while in the presence of the residents. therefore. while the staff wore coat and tie. . they did not know why this was the case. To assist in doing this. However. to observe what I could of the organization by being around it in as many places as I could. Don Miller. we did have brief discussions concerning the possibility of the existence of some kind of oppositional sub-culture in the halfway house and that that was one of the things I might look for. a sport shirt and cotton slacks. my observations might be pushed in the direction of the results of previous studies.THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 1 33 told that they had a position open. The job promised considerable f reedom. so I arranged to take it. and to become friends with residents so as to spend time with them in order to see what it was that they were doing and saying. that I had read none of the literature in this area. said that his section of the Research Division had been charged with studying the halfway house in East Los Angeles. However. I want to stress that I knew nothing about correctional establish ments. f in that regard. because equipped with the literature. who had already spent one day a week at the halfway house for six months or so. and it appeared quite appealing to me.e. Miller. and at that point decided with other researchers in the Department of Corrections research office (Don Miller and AI Himmelson) that or me to remain ignorant it would be desirable. at least at first. My colleague-to-be. Miller and some of the members of the administration of the department thought that an exploratory study of the structure of the organization and of the lives of the residents might shed light on why the organization was not 'working'. took me there and introduced me to the staff and a few of the residents he had come to know. I wore casual clothes. I had planned to try to avoid identification as a staff member..
I asked if there 'were anything else. were there parts of the code that had to do with the use of drugs in the house. who introduced me to a resident with whom he had become friendly. particularly. yes. although later experience with other informants. led me to think that that was not 'the explanation. I later came to see that he was telling me to behave like a good resident . whom I will call Sanchez. I asked him to come to my office to tell me about the place. Sanchez said that he would like to help. I said that I had heard that there were a lot of drugs at the halfway house. there was more to the code than that. M ter he had sketched out the program for me and explained the difficulty in finding jobs for ex-convicts. suddenly was destroyed. He told the resident. I wondered if he had had so much contact with researchers that they had taught him to speak about moral expectations as forming a code. In any case. For example. When I first heard that. I asked him how the residents got along with one another. and he replied that. He suggested that I should publicly argue with the staff about their treatment of the residents.at least not now. and that I should take guys out for beer and the like. who said essen tially the same thing. were there things that they should do and should not do. that I was going to study what was going on at the halfway house. What had seemed up to that point to be a conver sation that was filled with 'good rapport' and was teaching me much. Then he told me that I could not ask that . so the next time I was at the halfway house. He said that 'guys' should not snitch (inform on each other) or steal from one another. that I should not spend time with the staff. I was struck with the extent to which those expectations were verbally formalized.1 34 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY First Encounters with the Code : A Temporally Assembled Context f (and o ) the Residents' or f ' Telling and Showing the Code' to the Researcher My first contact with the residents was provided by Miller. He said that for me to do research in the halfway house would require my making it clear that I was on the side of the residents. For a moment he said nothing. I tried to get my informant to tell me more.
Following Sanchez's advice. and talked with them in the front room. which was fine with him. I went to the meetings the residents went to. sat on the front porch with them. only those that were at the house to work off board and room were typically there. Except for my conversations with the staff aide. The residents were rarely there when they did not have to be. I asked them to join me for a beer outside the house. and the conversation which had lasted for nearly an hour ended. I stayed with them when they washed the dishes and did other work around the house. Though he was marginally a staff member. He moved into the office ad jacent to mine and we began a course of conversation. . because there was little for him to do in the program. and saying nothing. however. When it seemed appropriate. I went to lunch and dinner with them. Even then. then perhaps after several weeks I might find out something.THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 1 35 by showing my loyalty to the residents. he was unsure about the possibility of learning very much from the residents. The very routines of the halfway house made contact difficult. my contact with the residents was erratic at best. I realized later that the very matters being talked about in the conversation with Sanchez made the course of that conversation understandable as a rule-governed dialogue. He suggested that if I followed his instructions. he then said he had to go set up the tables for dinner. sometimes for lunch. though this was not a common occurrence. since anyone with whom I had already talked would most likely not be around again except at meetings and meals. I saw why the conversation had halted . in part. sitting as they sat. and then leave until curfew. After giving me this piece of advice. Whenever I could not find others to talk to. I spent time with him. I then began my attempts at observing life at the halfway house. An ex resident had been hired under a war-an-poverty program to work as a staff aide at halfway house. and for meetings.because for him to tell me about drug use would have amounted to or come close to snitching. This meant that during the day. I could never count on seeing a particular resident. The others would come in for dinner. he maintained his friendships with the residents.
" I asked. We don't get angry enough to fight or anything. and what it was like in prison. but exceedingly little about life in halfway house aside from relations with staff. some halting and some extensive conversations were held. I wanted to find out about the expectations residents had for one another and how the breach of those expectations was responded to. Like I loan ed my jacket to a guy and he got busted. When these conversations did occur.136 TH E CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY Nevertheless. parole agents. I frequently encountered what I experienced as a kind of 'evasion' even from residents with whom I had established some kind of relationship by spending several hours with them over a series of encounters. I found the residents very ready to tell me something of their history. the difficulty in finding good jobs. have you ever seen guys get angry at one another?" He replied. the halfway house. I had known 'Carlos' for three weeks. We had talked about such matters as his job and how he got it. sometimes guys get angry about little things. One afternoon shortly after he had returned to halfway house from his job. An episode recorded in my field notes illustrates the kind of 'evasion' I ex perienced. their complaints about parole. In my attempts to learn about relations between residents and about the personal lives of residents. and my general research interests. so I lost my jacket. especially with residents who were working around the house. we are just one big happy family here. "Well. "Never?" He said. "No. . It appeared that he trusted me to some extent. But what are you going to do about it. the police. We had seen each other many times and had had three or four rather lengthy conversations." And he walked off. the police. I got a cup and joined him. On� point in the conver sation permitted me to ask the following question without dis rupting the relevancies and flow of the conversation: "Carlos. coming events in the halfway house program. Carlos was sitting in the dining room having a cup of coffee. and practically nothing at all about relations between residents and what the particular resident was doing besides working or looking for work. I gotta go see my agent now. and sometimes with others immediately before dinner and after meetings.
such a person must not snitch on others in order to avoid punishment. several residents. They explained that to engage fully in group therapy meant that you had to talk about what other guys were doing and to talk about your own private life. and that anyone who was not prepared to go to prison if he got caught should ' not use drugs in the first place. They spoke of guys who like to 'score points' with staff. They told me that trying to get another man to talk about his life was just like snitching. as responses to me and to staff.. they knew that there was a risk that they might get caught. They said that such programs were based on 'snitching. in recounting their early life. Residents were more willing to talk about moral relationships between 'hypes ' (heroin users) in abstract and historically reconstructed terms. residents taught me that all of Durkheim's properties of social facts were characteristic of their behavior. was suggestive of the objective structures or the 'social facts' of Durkheim's analysis. In various ways residents offered me moral characterizations which made references to the code. told me that they had been brought up to believe that snitching was wrong. Talk of this sort was easy to obtain from residents and was accompanied by the announcement that what was being talked about was the code itself. i. For example. residents complained to me about the group therapy they experienced at the narcotics treatment center and under the old halfway house program.THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 1 37 I was left with the sense that he could have answered my questions quite differently. because you were getting him to cop out on himself. and said that that was the principal motivation for guys' . In the weeks that followed. On a number of occasions. In learning about narcotics. but avoided doing so because of what answering that question would mean for a resident in dealing with any outsider.e. snivelling. Clearly. which was certain to include deviant episodes. any non-resident. Some of these references were included in their complaints about the program. and copping out'. The more or less patterned behavior of residents. I experienced this occasion (and many others) as presenting me with massive structures that were resistive of my efforts to alter or overcome them.
some concrete examples will be cited. but were also simultaneously sanctioning my conduct by such a recitation. were done in such a way that the residents were not simply describing a set of rules to me. I came to understand that this too was a sanctioning of the code. . The Code as Residents' Advice to the Researcher In the third to fourth week of the study. was being produced by the code that I was trying to explicate. or some element of it. my understanding of the code as it applied to me (that it applied to me and how it applied to me) was strengthened by some residents who explicitly pointed out the relevance of the code in and for their dealings with me. the code could be assembled from references in my notes. I came to see that my experience of not being able to join conversations over the dinner table.138 THE CODE A S FOLK SOCIOLOGY talking about themselves. In particular. To show this in more detail. followed by the conversation coming to a quick halt. I have already alluded to the difficulty I had in getting the residents to talk with me. they were often engaged in persuading me that some questions I might ask and some questions I did ask were 'out of order' and that there were some areas of resident 'under life' that I should not attempt to explore. But there were three other kinds of observations that were essential to its formulation and that led me to a strong belief in the actuality of the code. A point I wish to emphasize is that resident recitations of the code. a 'good grouper' was likely to be a 'kiss-ass'. Through bits and pieces of moral characterization like those above. I began to see that the difficulty I was experiencing was produced by the same phenomenon that I was trying to investigate. In their terms. although conversations were going on all around me. I experienced their 'telling the code' as an attempt to constrain my conduct by telling me what I could and could not appropriately do. When I was having a conversation with a resident and other residents passed by and said something in Spanish to him.
and about getting stopped by the police because one lives at halfway house. and he said. Mter we finished the unloading. who sat down at the bar next to me. He changed the topic by asking me if I had read a lot of books about addicts. "Sure. in the hall. Though our conversation had been long and friendly. while we walked to a nearby tavern which reputedly catered to addicts. "I don't know. at which point Arnaldo said that he had to get back to the house to set up for dinner. who asked me if 1 knew of any jobs that were available. I asked him if he would like a beer. for our talk during the past two hours had led me to think that I could ask such a question.THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 1 39 In my fifth or sixth week at the house. and 'kiss asses'. since he was more or less ordered to do it. un loading the truck was not. and both of us walked into it. whom I will call Miguel. Arnaldo told me about 'kiss asses ' who volunteered to do favors for staff. when I started to ask him about the clientele of the bar and the fact that I had heard that there were lots of guys 'holding' (possessing drugs) there. 'The reason' seemed immediately obvious. when Miguel returned and came in. I encountered a younger resident. when 1 said that I didn't know of any." We continued our talk about 'regulars'.for him to have told me would have bordered on snitching. and what I thought about what they had to say. he explained. I did not know what to say and did not press the matter f urther. 'snitching'. if you're buying. The house manager came past and asked us to help unload a truck of toys for the annual Christmas party. whom I will call Arnaldo. I said hello to him. leaving me with Miguel. popped his head in the door for a moment and then left. Arnaldo said." I was taken aback by this remark. At that point another resident. . We had resumed talking. We talked about the ways staff was suspicious of him because he had not yet found work and what his social life was like without any money. since we had been talking about the code . Then he began to tell me of the pressure staff was putting on him because he was not yet employed. While we unloaded the truck. which. as I might have done by asking him why I would be the last one he would tell. but you'd be the last one I'd tell if I did. We were walking down the hall toward his dormitory.
I had talked to Miguel several times in the house prior to this. and though he introduced me to her. and started to leave. but had seen the 'fuzz' (police) patrolling the block outside and decided to come back. I said to my 'informant ' Miguel that I was sorry that I could not convince residents that I would not let the staff know I had seen them. 'you'd be the last one I'd tell '. to which he replied. I asked him if he could tell me more about that. "What do you mean. Upon hearing that I did. spotted me. I suggested that we might go out for a beer that evening. my second informant was ready to leave. cut loose of that guy or he'll group you". that I was receiving friendliness from the same resident who had 'put me down' by saying. and left. when he turned to talk to her. to which he replied that he had seen me. they would not. but we had to leave if we were to eat dinner at the halfway house. and he said . "Hey man. I said that I supposed they could not afford to. as if to say that.140 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY I said that I had seen him just a moment ago. A resident who was a parolee at-large (one who breaks parole by deliberately avoiding all contact with his agent) walked in. I asked him where he would like to go. "Do you think that they would believe you ?". I found it somewhat strange. but perhaps we could do it sometime later. be 'grouped' by me?" He said that when he was in the house talking to me that other guys would come past and say to him in Spanish. which meant "talk to you about what is your business and none of his". Arnaldo. a girl he knew came up and started talking to him. I told him I was tied up that evening. and he said "Fine . because he was arrested for drug use in a day or so. we can talk more about your work then. because he did the dishes to earn a day's room and board." Miguel was not ready to leave until about an hour after dinner. At about this point. I was not part of their conversation. although reassuring. I said. In any case. of course. even if that meant talking to me. In the meantime. who asked me if I had a girl friend. I encountered the first informant of the day. The arrangement never materialized. decided that he did not want to be 'grouped' by me. he asked if she had a friend or a sister and suggested that we go out together.
and prescriptions calling for a show of loyalty among residents and a show of distrust for staff. Miguel. he said that my 'problem' was the kind of event it was for residents to be talking to me in the setting of the halfway house as that conversation would be construed by other residents.THE COnE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 141 that he would prefer somewhere outside the neighborhood. but more than that.that he got a ride to work every day from another employee of the place where he worked . The ride in my car to the bar provided a stream of conversational topics . and messing with other residents' interests. because my presence in a local bar would make other guys uncomfortable. if that were the case. unless I knew them very well. Then he turned his attention to what I was doing in the halfway house. it was an issue of residents' being seen by other residents as violating maxims of the code or appearing to be about to violate maxims of the code. and that that would not happen because guys were not there long enough. especially prohibitions against snitching. He said it was foolish to try to talk to convicts about personal matters like that. every one of them had the following fear. when we arrived. He said that guys would rather not lie to me if they could help it. He said that what I had been told was largely a lot of 'bullshit'. talked to me in spite of it : every ex-con knows that he is very likely to go back to prison sometime. and that is especially so for . its bikini clad waitresses . so they would try to steer clear of me if they could. and he did not want to be seen with me there. So we 'headed' for a bar near the place where he worked. and. Instead. He said that I was 'fucking up ' and 'ranking' my job by talking to guys about themselves and the house. though he. the fact that aside from the waitresses. he replied that they would tell each other not to talk to me. his response indicated that it was not 'really' a problem of 'establishing rapport\ as he had previously seemed to indicate. That is. what kind of a bar we were going to . there were no women in the bar. copping out. When I asked what was going on that kept guys from talking to me. When I asked him what I could do. that he had that guy pick him up a block away from the halfway house so that his friend would not see him coming out of the halfway house .
The patterns had the property of constraint. explaining that in this way he would not be seen with me by the residents and their friends. On the return trip. He told me to drop him off several blocks from the house and the bars that were near it. They were patterns of action which for the residents had the property of exferiority . it was dangerous to talk to a researcher. or be friends with me. and the apparent mistrust that I ex perienced in resident behavior were social facts in Durkheiin's sense. he could take that as an instance of someone's gossiping to me about the 'dead man's' business and. other experiences like this one. Miguel was telling me that residents treated me (and staff) in the fashion that they did because they were obliged to do so. for he showed me the ways that the more or less uniform patterns of behavior resulted from a typical and correct course of reasoning which was founded on the use of the convict code in defining one's circumstances • • . in that any resident who tried to behave otherwise was resisted and corrected by others. though they were not spelled out for me in as much detail. I had . Miguel was persuading me that the evasion. or tell me 'the truth'.they were not 'chosen' by each resident. My attempts to get people to talk to me were 'stupid' and were endangering persons who were helpful to me. . In the language of sociology. he asked to be taken back to the neighborhood of the halfway house. Therefore. that is. in tum. the ex-con might meet others he had seen and known at the halfway house. If the 'dead man' recalled that someone had spoken to me at the halfway house. They all amounted to residents' telling me that they were not going to talk to me.142 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY addicts. the distance. but instead were experienced as 'the way we do things '.<\fter Miguel and I visited another bar. because it was prohibited for them to do so. he would not care what happened �o him. attack and perhaps kill the supposed gossip. That other guy might be there on a fifteen-year sentence and count himself as dead. Miguel's explanation of his own behavior and the behavior of other residents might also be conceived of as a folk version of Weber's adequate causal analysis.
some of these occasions were not initiated by . 'kiss ass'. I asked him to explain how that was the case. e. I passed the war-on-poverty aide 's office one afternoon. but that was in return for particularly good treatment from the agent.THE conE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 1 43 The Code as Residents' Descriptions and Explanations A variety of my encounters with residents produced depictions of staff-resident relations phrased in terms of the code. I asked him what the trouble was. and 'regular'. Personal relationships with individual staff members were not only discouraged.. in f act. because the staff had been rendered ineffective. but now he was sure that it could not. Important in my attempts to formulate the code as a normative order that was actually enforced were those oc casions in which residents employed the code to explain their behavior and the behavior of their f ellows when I was not asking them about rules in general or the code in particular. the agent 's not arresting the man when the regulations of parole said he should. He had been working in the house for several weeks and was evidently quite unhappy. Residents did tell some agents about some parts of their lives. When I asked him about particular parole agents who appeared to have established trust with their men. thinking. he said that that appearance was.g. He indicated that this experience had taught them to see all staff as part of 'the system'. The aide was dismayed over the apparent hopelessness of altering patterned ways of acting. but were not even conceived of as possible in the first place. As in the case me. He understood below. He said that he once had had hopes that the halfway house could do something for the residents. He said that it was because the guys had all had long experience with 'the system' (meaning the correctional apparatus) and saw their relationship to it in terms of the code. Some of these came about by my asking residents how they should behave -toward the staff and for a clarification of the terms 'snitch'. and f eeling which had the properties of exteriority and constraint. which meant that each and every staff member was 'the enemy '. an exchange.
but that was no special help in trying to alter them.they followed from a typical course of reasoning . a resident more con cretely used the code to describe a 'hassle' between a staff member and himself. but they said that they had nothing and held out their hands for .144 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY them . but the aide said. When he approached them. where he asked what it was all about. because there were two urine samples with their names on them in the outgoing mail. had been suspected of something. he also identified and defined what he had been doing . On a number of other occasions. He told me that it was not that he didn't want to go to those bars. Although he did not concretely mention the code. the code was employed to explain concrete episodes of behavior. very close together and "acting suspicious". but that he did not want to go to them with the agents. until they started listing bars outside the immediate neighborhood. He asked them what it was. Jose passed something to Pablito. The agents invited the aide and me to come along.namely. By explaining why he had acted in the fashion that he did. I saw him in the front office and asked him about what had happened over the weekend. the language and the relevancies in his explanation were understood by me as 'drawn from' it. I went with him to the office of the weekend duty officer. In another case. He did not think they should go to those bars. 'Pablito' and 'Jose'. They suggested several places that we might go. An example is provided by an incident which occurred when several parole agents wanted to go out for a beer after the committee meetings. He said he did not know. The duty officer said that he had seen Pablito and Jose in the dorms. The incident began on a Monday morning when the program director had just come back to the house after the weekend. because it would make the customers uncomfortable. The next day I asked him why he was so hesitant about going to neighborhood bars. but that apparently two residents. "No. because people (residents and other hypes) would think he was "sucking up to the fuzz" and could not be trusted. showing his loyalty to the residents. I don't want to go there". and he did not want to be seen in that situation with them.
so why does he [duty agent] think he could get us to do it ?" In these ways. We all come f rom the joint. more or less uniform conduct that would be done by any resident. I'm clean. I 'll do that. residents conveyed the code as the explanation of their behavior.bug me. and those guys have been trying for years to get us to cop out to stuff and we won't. They give you a bunch of shit. He said. Jose had run from the house a few hours later. It's like they are trying to force you out of here. . He replied that he felt it was very unjust. It was .THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 145 him to see. not that fucking [other agent who was on duty]. He thought it was probably a bottle of bennys (benza drine). In their occasioned talk. but that he did not let it 'bug' him. so I don't have nothing to worry about. "I don't let them get at me . But when they talk to me. and [my agent] doesn't bug me. I'll do that. "The only thing that would make [the duty agent] happy would have been if I had copped out. If they ask me to piss in their pocket. whether we have done it or not. through ordinary interactions in the setting in which the 'business' of the setting was being accomplished that the code was empirically manifested as a part or feature of the setting as well as being about it. They identified (largely by naming) their actions as instances of patterned. They pointed to the ways that these patterns of action were produced by the constraint of normative requirement. He then restricted both of them to the house for not cooperating with him in the questioning. I just don't let it get to me. residents provided descriptions and explanations of their conduct. If they ask me to piss in a bottle. He immediately asked them both to give a urine sample and show their arms for inspection. He should know that we aren't going to cop out to nothing. As long as I don't go to jail. 1 don't care. I said that I heard that he had lost his weekend pass. as well as in the ways of the more telegraphic and eliptical 'methods' described in the next chapters." I asked him what he thought the duty agent was up to in restricting him to the house. When I saw Pablito that afternoon. The only one who can tell me what to do is [my agent].
It would be an understatement to say that I was dismayed by being 'put in my place' by references to the code. residents made it happen that their behavior would be seen as regular. In the pages that follow. my own field of action was progressively developed. and done as a matter of normative requirement. and stable properties of that part of my social world which intersected theirs. By 'telling the code'. the f act that members (in cluding professional sociologists) recognized these properties is a practical accomplishment of members in the setting. as well. residents gave me a schema for seeing the sensible. In this consequentiality. Before considering the details of this accomplishment (see Chapters Six and Seven). 'telling the code' was not merely about the halfway house and events in it but was. My data gathering efforts with the residents altered the character of my own circumstances as I knew them. I want to establish the fact that residents did convincingly show staff and researcher the formal and social-fact properties of resident action in such a way that staff and researcher talked about resident conduct in terms of these properties and in other ways treated resident behaviors as the relatively unalterable structures that residents persuasively argued them to be. an active element of that same setting. I could . 'telling the code' structured the appearance of actions in the setting.146 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY The Code as an Active Consequential Ob ject in the Researcher's Environment At this point. independent of their particular doing. For a week or so. As I obtained new materials about the residents' social world. we could say that the residents (as societal members) recognized the formal and social-fact properties of their own conduct. we shall see that somehow through the uses of persuasive talk. factual. Somehow through the vehicle of ordinary conversation. Residents ' 'telling the code' was consequential for the ways in which I saw my research circumstances. It seemed to me that I had several alternatives. I thought that I could learn nothing more about the lives of residents. We will see that through its presence in ordinary conversations in the scene.
THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 147 simply study the work of staff using the observational techniques I had started with. I also decided to continue informal observations of resident activities whenever I could. or I could study staff and residents through observation. 'real'. consequential character of the code for me as a practicing researcher was further illuminated. As it turned out. to be truthful in the interview would have amounted to the resident's 'copping out' on himself. if so. "Where ?" were troublesome. or I might study staff in that way and study residents using interview and questionnaire techniques. As that work proceeded. Questions that would ask for 'copping out' to offenses in the recent past were also avoided. with the abandonment of the halfway house. "Are you employed ?" and. They sometimes were answered with 'stories' about where the resident was employed which later appeared to be false. even seemingly innocuous questions like. Arrangements for getting the interviews done and the formulation of the interview items relied on the knowledge of the code that I had already obtained (and by this time from staff as well as from residents). the active. I had the hope that such a procedure would be less painful than the rather direct rejection I had been experiencing from the residents. I felt bound by my promises to the research division and came to see that my only means of providing them with some kinds of materials that would 'explicate' the lives of the residents was to do a set of interviews with residents that relied on standardized notions of rapport as their warrant for being 'objective reports'. More over. The interviews were designed to explicitly avoid any questions which asked (much less required) the interviewees to tell anything about the lives of specific (named) other residents. However. . but restrict my work with residents to observations that did not require using informants. so the interviews were only partially codified and analyzed. the obser vations were sufficient for my interests and. the contents of the interviews were not of pressing interest to the research division. It appeared that these false stories were told so that what a resident said in the interview would be compatible with what he had told the staff about where he was employed. Thus.
I quickly learned that those places in the halfway house where residents were easiest to find provided me with the most difficult settings for making arrangements to talk to them. "These guys simply can't volunteer for anything. the house manager scheduled appointments for me with each new man within his first two days of residence. I quickly found that most of my time was being taken up by trying to persuade them to be interviewed. I obtained a further response such as. on finding him. I encountered many responses which were variants of.. Two of sixty-four cases said they preferred that the interview not be recorded. In less than a week of trying to do it that way. "Is it required?" When I said. I was frequently given equivocal replies. Staff's advice (which will be explored later) was that. I had staff make the interview part of the orientation routine. I went around the house looking for him and. "I'll do it in a couple of hours" or "tomorrow". Thereby. e. Nearly everyone showed up for their interviews. In several ways. But these same settings were typically populated by several other new residents. they were told that actual participation was not required. "Well. I utilized the code as I had learned it and was continuing to learn it to formulate good strategies for getting . When they got there. although 'showing up' was. I had easy access to them while they were on work projects. No one refused to be interviewed at that point. they will happily do so. and thereby added credence to the code for me as a device for dealing with my practical circumstances. then I don't think I want to do it.148 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY The initial interviews were 'voluntary' in that upon learning from the staff that a new resident had moved to the halfway house. then. "No"." Even though I was eventually able to persuade almost all new residents to come to be interviewed. Following staff's advice about the residents' behavior vis-a-vis the code.g. but if you direct them to do it. My asking a man to come to be interviewed in that context often · became a topic of conversation and joking for the residents who heard the invitation. the situation was awkward and time-consuming." The advice worked. told him who I was and asked him to participate in an interview.
explaining. They also used the code in giving advice to each other. W: Okay.THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 149 through the research in such a way that I could finally submit a report to the Department of Corrections Research Division. what do you think he should do about it ? P A: I think he should do a little investigating on his own and find out who took it. see Wieder (1969: 235-250). Excerpts from three of these conversationsl show some of the ways that staff 'knew' and 'told' the code. Okay. For staff. and in justif ying their own actions and decisions. For a more lengthy presentation of tape-recorded protocols of staff's 'telling the code' and an analysis of the varieties of the modes of 'telling the code'. Sta Awareness o the Code ff f Some of my conversations with staff were tape recorded. in devising strategies. and the character of staff's talk. THE CODE AS TOLD BY STAFF As I continued my observational work. 'telling the code' identified the meaning of resident behavior. I increasingly watched staff-resident encounters. . inter preting. why? 1 I encountered innumerable instances of staff's 'telling the code'. and then after he did that. I do not think he should tell staff. the round of staff's activities. or otherwise he will take care of the justice himself. portrayed situations from the point of view of residents. These observations showed me that staff had been taught the code by residents and each other and employed it in ways that both paralleled its uses by sociologists and by residents and inmates. he should confront the guy with it and tell him to give back his watch. and defined staff's own situation and the meaning of staff's actions. W: Su ppose a guy discovered that his jeweled watch had been stolen from him here in the house . and finding the patterned character of resident conduct. Staff 'told the code' in describing.
and staff would have feelings about it too. or he'll ridicule someone else in the group . In another case. well. They wouldn 't know whether they should take his side or say. he will.it would diminish because he did some thing you're not supposed to do. if he tells staff about it. Yeah. W : Tell me some of the things he does in particular.you violated the rules. W : What consequences do you see for him ? PA : Oh.1 50 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY PA : Okay. PA : Well.his status in the eyes of the rest of the people . The moral and consequential meanings of a situation of action what to do about a stolen watch . I had asked the agent to clarify the staff terminology of 'hostility to authority' by telling me about the kinds of things a particular resident he would identify as 'hostile to authority' would do. be very rejecting or he'll ridicule you. The majority of them [the residents] would think that way. you know. There's a sixty-forty possibility he'd be a .are generated by imagining the possible actions that a resident could take and then assessing those actions in terms of their likely meanings when defined by reference to the code. he's going to be branded as a fink. like for example. The agent proposed that he had to adapt to those principles if he were to have tolerable dealings with the man. that's a sixty-forty possibility. you're a fink. or he'll be uncooperative. you know." The parole agent's response is almost identical to resident advice about the same matter. The agent ended his recitation by attributing the underlying motivations of the unpleasant actions to the principles by which this man lived. in the group situation where you have a lot of freedom. · Any time you tell staff anything like that. you know. Staff elaborated the meaning of the situation from the standpoint of the residents by invoking the code as relevant to the possible alternatives a victim of theft would face. he's liable to get killed. "What the hell is the matter with you . a staff member employed these same ideals to characterize the unpleasant patterns of resident behavior and the kind of relationship those patterns and their underlying motives required staff to have with residents. specifically the code.
if you're not. whether it's having buttered popcorn or having plain popcorn. you see. . you know.which he knows is kind of not a legitimate reason for being late for group. you're working. 'cause you could make things pretty unbearable for him. then he'll establish a relationship with you whose level of interaction is characterized by kidding. and then he'll play one staff member against another staff member.] And then. and like that. as a rule. and so you know he'll be uncooperative within limits. this kind of thing. You haven 't worked a day in your life." You know. You know. [if I say." [Then he will say. [Agent then cites examples. what are you going to do to me as a result of it ?" And then if you don't do anything. which they could really give a shit about less. Just to demonstrate that he really is reluctant. high level kidding. in other words.] "No wonder you feel terrible." And I'll say. and when you do that he'll run. I feel terrible.] "Oh.] "It's a lousy job. and that's all. and then. but nothing deeper than that. and then walk into group and state that he was on the phone . he is never going to side with staff on any issue. he will drag his feet. PA: Okay. If staff says buttered popcorn.] "What's happening today ?" [he will say. of course.] Okay. and you are his mouthpiece. just this sort o f thing . Okay. If you can tolerate it. you know. well then it's a couple of strokes for him. and the only kind of relationship that you can establish with him. you usually don't do anything . W : Does having a guy that is hostile like that make for difficulties for you ? PA : [He replied that as long as he could stand the backbiting and could make it clear that there were some things like nalline testing and filing the monthly report that he must do. because he is invariably going to get into trouble sometimes. you'll go out to get him. and he's saying to you." [I will say. nothing much. God.for being cooperative. he says plain popcorn. he'll make those funny remarks that he makes. W: Yeah. "Well. It's going to take a long time to get used to it. that such a man was not really difficult to deal with. . "You'll get used to it.THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 151 who i s cooperative . it is a couple of strokes for him.I mean if you are the type of person that can tolerate that sort . He'll be late for group. . Okay. of course. you know. you know. you are always going to run into the situation where he is going to need you. if you're the type of person that can tolerate any of that kind of thing . . and you're the guy that's got the say-so about what's . And.
1 52 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY going to happen to him . and you're not going to change the way I live'. I couldn't respect him any longer if I said to him. but you are feeding it to him and just see how he takes it. and he'll say. He is a certain kind of guy . but that 's true. which is kind of a strange thing. okay. . "These are the things you will have to do. because if I do.keep my respect. then I'll say okay. you asshole. He will say. you want our relationship to be like this. "Yes. and now you're snivelling because you're in a bind and you want me to help you out. and then he'll just laugh and say. and you won't expect him to change his mode. you see.' "I'm in a bind". I'll accept this relationship on this basis. . "Remember last time ?" . he has already told me he wants to keep our relationship a certain way. then when you get involved in any situation where he does need you. I feel. you know. but if I catch you . this means that I can play you so much. you see. so then if you resign yourself to the fact that you are going to establish your relationship on a superficial level and that's the extent of it. if he backs down and starts doing that sort of thing. because you're playing me so much. Do you want to eat shit or don't you?" You don't ask him. "Listen. from my point of view. and I'll try to uphold them. and then I'll say. you know. He violated the codes of his group . but before I help you. and okay. if he wants to hold . then I can't very well respect him any more. W : Lose respect from his point of view ? PA : No. Okay. Do you want to buy it?". in a sense. . W: A tough guy ? PA : Let's say a man who says that 'these are my principles and this is how I live.take me or leave me." And then I'll say. Okay. .not in the literal sense . but yet I don't respect an informer. It's the same kind of thing if a guy informs. let's not go into that" . I'll buy those things. you remember all that shit you used to pull and all that little backbiting remarks you used to make and how uncooperative you were and this and this and this. You have to abide by the rules of the game by not sniv elling and not changing or doing anything kind of peculiar out of your mode of ordinary response. okay. you're going to have to eat shit. You know. you know. he'll have to say. and then I'll explain to him how I think it will go and when he'll probably get out of jail. if he takes it. I won't needle him in that situation." Then I'll say. "Okay. you know. then he has lost esteem in my eyes.well. then he won't change his mode. "Fuck you". Okay. "You're in a bind. . those are the rules of the game and you lost. Now why should I not respect an informer ? He's helping me do my job.
therefore. but I'd probably justify it. the supervisor. his uncooperativeness with staff.the set of principles by which he lives or 'the code of his group'. Clearly. they're in a very peculiar position .THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 1 53 Here the agent portrays many details of a man's behavior which stem from the same motivational source . his lateness and other rule violations. In the excerpt that follows. They really can't take responsibility for the fact that this house is clean or dirty. his ridicule of other residents for being cooperative with staff. PA : You know. two maxiIns of the code ('Do not snitch' and 'Do not mess with other residents' interests ') were used to characterize relationships between residents and to explain why they could do nothing about each others' deviance as a partial explanation for the high rate of drug use at halfway house. In leading his life in terms of these principles. the tempo of the times. the resident consistently demonstrates his opposition to the order proposed by staff. The behaviors are thereby seen and depicted as patterned. his rejection of staff. I don't know if it's a position that can be justified. and his imperviousness to staff efforts to establish a more intimate relationship with him are all analyzed as having a common meaning. . So they can't take responsibility for keeping this place clean. Anything the man does which is not to the liking of staff can be accomodated along with the others. The common pattern seen through these behavioral events is that they are all shows of his resistance to staff and his reluctance to follow staff directives which stem from his compliance to the code. W: It sounds like they told you that's why they can't do anything about other guys' using. depends on the whim of the parole agent. His disagreements with staff. I know enough about parole that it's a very precarious thing. because there is always going to be that sometime when they are going to get into trouble again and have to face these people [other residents of the house] in prison. So. the pattern could accomodate more particulars. that could conceivably happen [going back to prison]. The code was occasionally employed as an explanation without topically referring to it.
that's what they told me. right.g. although not labeled as a rule. the house is always dirty) is thereby explained as an outcome of residents ' defining their situation (and having it defin�d for them) in terms of the code. 'Do not snitch'. staff 'told the code' to identify or name individual acts and patterns of repetitive action and to collect diverse actions under the rubric of a single motive and. the staff member portrays the residents' circumstances from their point of view. and I'm saying I bought it. but knew how to use it as well. to name them as the same kind of act. Some Features o Sta f ff's Use o the Code f The dialogues between staff and researcher show that staff not only knew the code. Like residents and sociologists. they couldn't snitch. or do anything about trying to stop another guy from using ? PA : Therefore. From their point of view. in turn.. Through this maxim and the maxim. In this way staff offered a folk version of Weber's adequate causal analysis by showing that the typical patterned actions of residents followed from a 'correct' course of reasoning. they are endangered by doing so. The staff member also indicates that the rule is enforced. therefore. Here a maxim of the code. they are prohibited from stopping each others' drug use. is employed. Staff portrayed the reasonable . W: So. but I 'm not very comfortable with it. you know. they couldn't snitch or the rest. for instance. a state of affairs (e. They rendered resident action sensible or rational by noting the ways in which resident action was rule governed and directed toward achieving goals that were specified by the code. Through this portrayal. From their point of view.1 54 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY PA : Yeah. 'Do not mess with other residents' [deviant] interests '. particularly if they are returned to prison where violence is employed more frequently than it is at the halfway house. It was used as a wide-reaching scheme of interpretation which 'structured' their environment.
repetitive. An equivocal act then becomes 'clear' in the way that it obtains its sense as typical.e. the distinction between the intended and unintended outcomes of action.. being late to the meeting. one staff member identified a case of a resident's .THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 155 character of resident action b y using the code and its elements to define the residents ' situation. goal-directed action. the distinction between nor matively required and normatively optional means of achieving a morally valued end.. even though the specific behaviors might not have been predicted. even though the act might not be 'expected' or 'predicted' in any precise meaning of those terms. and playing one staff member off against another . staff implicitly and explicitly used a wide range of social scientific conceptions. For example. e. which could render nearly any equivocal act sensible in such a way that it was experienced as something familiar. By 'telling the code' as the residents' definition of their situation. and definition of the situation. It did this by identifying the meaning of a resident's act by placing it in the context of a pattern. and more or less uniform. role-bound behaviors.a resident's ridiculing the agent and other group members in a comittee meeting. In 'telling the code'. never siding with staff on any issue. he made them parts of an already known pattern. when the parole agent portrayed a diverse collection of actions . i.g. giving inadequate excuses.as instances of a familiar pattern of behavior (demonstrating one's opposition to staff as a display of one's loyalty). 'Telling the code' also structured staff's environment by connecting a given act to its possible goal or to some specific consequence of the act among its many consequences. its sense as an instance of the kind of action with which staff was already familiar. Residents' actions were reasonable in the sense that they had no choice but to behave in the fashion that they did. staff showed that patterns of resident action had Durkheim's social-fact properties of exteriority and constraint. Staff's environment was also structured by the flexibility of 'telling the code'. The use of these ethno-social scientific conceptions in 'telling the code' structured staff's environment. roles. For example. rule-governed action.
By seeing the potential code-relevance of the act as an attack on staff. while giving it a trans-situational explanation. 'telling the code' drew attention away from the specific features of the situation of an act (e.. By explaining the varieties of unpleasant gestures that residents directed toward them in terms of 'the (trans situational) principles by which these men live'. 'Telling the code' was useful to staff by converting .1 56 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY (possibly accidental) burning his own mattress as an attack on staff. It rendered parts of staff's environment trans situational by depicting them as recurrent and produced by a constantly operative set of motives (provided by the code) which were acted upon in every staff-resident encounter..g.g. the staff member identified 'the' specific meaning of the act. 'Telling the code' rendered residents' behavior rational for staff by placing the acts in question in the context of a loose collection of maxims which compelled their occurrence and by portraying the consequences for those residents who did not comply with these maxims. plausible story about the varieties of trouble staff encountered. Staff's 'telling the code' also rendered important features of staff's environment trans-situational and non-situation specific in character. and it could have served as a 'cover' for some illegitimate activity. staff depicted residents as reasonable. Non-situation specificity was an accompaniment of trans-situationality. This consequence was only one among many consequences. As a useful and flexible explanation. 'telling the code' was an attractive. it created much smoke that would bother his dorm mates. acting like Anyman would act under the circumstances. e. that it was this resident acting toward a specific staff member who had treated him in a particular way). By describing resident conduct in terms of the normative order which generated it. Acts were also rendered sensible by connecting them to the activ ities of others (especially staff) in terms of role-bound reciprocities. staff 'avoided' the possible interpretation of those unpleasant actions in such situation-specific terms as 'getting back at a staff member for the way he treated the resident the day before' or 'responding to an obvious attack on the resident's integrity'. for in staff's hands.
or propose some remedy for it. In this fashion. On the occasion that a staff member had to tell of the trouble. 'telling the code' gave staff a describable environment which was sufficiently structured such that they could rationally adapt to it.THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 1 57 problematic acts of residents into instances of a familiar pattern. staff's description of residents as avoiding cooperating with staff in order to comply with the code requirement that they show their loyalty to one another justified staff's ordering residents to do things that would otherwise be 'voluntary' in the quasi democratic environment of halfway house. Once a week. When a staff member reported that his committee had not accomplished much. he explained that the residents could not and would not participate in any active way and that there was nothing that staff could do to alter that fact. into acts which were connected to plausible ends and other activities. The Uses o the Code in Sta -Sta Interactions f ff ff 'Telling the code' among staff occurred with greatest regularity when residents were doing something troublesome or unusual. explain it. and into acts whose occurrence was not dependent on the specifics of any given staff-resident encounter or relationship. because of the social-fact character (in Durkheim's sense) of the regularities made available by 'telling the code' which were none of anybody's specific doing or respon sibility. into acts which were rational or reasonable. . For example. in the sense of generating plausible strategies for dealing with residents and plausible justifications for their own actions. the code was frequently invoked to account for the source of the trouble. 'Telling the code ' provided staff with a useful way of talking about residents and themselves which portrayed both teams as more or less reasonable and more or less heIRless to change the character of the relation ship between the team&. a staff meeting was held in which the staff members who led committees reported on what their committee had done. The most common trouble staff was called on to explain was the lack of progress in committees and groups.
nalyze occurrences in groups in which there was no question about that particUlar group's productivity. leaving the single staff member alone in defending the administration policies. a staff member's explanation for non-productivity which was based on resident refusal to participate was accepted and obtained the acknowledgment of others that the staff member was properly doing his job. For example. On some occasions a number of residents would join forces in arguing against the way the house was being administered. if one were around) in a 'rump session' after group had been held. While 'telling the code' was available as an excuse for relieving staff of responsibility for the productiyity of a committee or group. "They think it's square to participate in committees". showing that they understood that the men would not participate and that they were deliberately motivated not to participate. a number of residents had argued that it was difficult for them to find jobs. When those in charge attempted to reject these accounts. "They say going to a pool tour nament at halfway house is for kids"). and staff did not have enough time. the code was also employed to !\. It was a group in which troubles in the house. The code was prominent in the analyses. In many cases. Monday night's house management group had no concrete product that was reported to the rest of the staff. "They regard group as a crock of shit". yet the code was employed to account for events there.1 58 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY Therefore. The residents were invited to talk about anything they wished. Frequently other staff members would join in with sympathetic remarks (such as. because after the first few . whatever the committee could accomplish had to be done by staff. and complaints and suggestions about the house and its administration were discussed between a staff member and · all the residents. but by arguing against the claim that staff did not have enough time to do what residents would not do. The single staff member sometimes analyzed what had gone on in this group with me (and another staff member. On one such occasion. they did so not by arguing against the claim that residents refused to cooperate. this week's agendum. even though his committee had not accomplished anything.
(b) when he balked at taking actions to interfere with a p9. The single staff member argued that each resident who came from prison had approximately $40. and 'delinquent' not only to the men. Even residents who were employed joined in the argument in support of the unemployed. I heard the same analysis applied to another incident in which residents joined each other in arguing against payment of the bill before they were released from the house. but to each other as well. when he refused to 'snitch ' . etc. An agent would be called delinquent or delinquently oriented (a) when he refused to give other staff information about a resident. (c) when he refused to take seriously someone's rule violating behavior. House staff was urging the agent to lecture the resident about it: Staff applied the terms 'delinquency'. and he was supposed to save that money for things like transportation. as for example.00 in release funds. Staff not only explained troubles to each other in terms of the code. the parole agents had funds that they could release in small amounts for transportation. but they also advised each other about the effects of the code and urged strategies upon one another for coping with the code. an agent was being told that one of his parolees had missed group. For example.rolee's illicit pleasure.. shrugging it off as nothing much . that parole agents were often not around. In another rump session. 'delinquent orientation'. (d) when he took the residents' side in an argument against other staff.e. At every turn the residents would argue against the staff member's claim by saying that not all residents entered halfway house directly from prison. That it meant action in compliance with the code is most clearly seen in the ways they applied these labels to each other. What the other residents were doing by joining in was sanctioning that attack. which was his way of saying that the line that the residents were arguing was a deliberate attack on the program. in one instance in which I sat in on a case conference.THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 1 59 days they had exhausted their funds and had no money for transportation. 2 . In the rump session. All of these matters are provided for by maxims of the code. the staff member interpreted this occurrence as 'a clear example of delinquency2 reinforcing itself'. most often that a resident was using. If a man's money were exhausted. They argued that the halfway house should regularly supply transportation money. in actively prohibiting a man from persisting in a common-law marital relationship . i.
one staff member advised another that the code extended to the kind of men you find in pool rooms.160 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY "You always have guys like this testing the limits. because he could not appear to his fellows as voluntarily complying with staff's mere requests to attend group. He was advised by the supervisor that men in a pool hall. since no charges were pressed. staff identified actual or anticipated actions and events as instances of the same kinds of troublesome occurrences they had seen before and already knew how to deal . and to the extent it suggested action. describing. You are telling him it's okay to miss group. "These people don't press charges. In another case conference. assuming that nothing had actually happened. On the occasions in which the code. 'telling the code' was unquestioned. That is. However. its categories. but also in dealings between themselves. He was further advised that. because it develops into a family feud. If you let him miss a meeting without confronting him with it. Through these accounts. so the agent should not assume that nothing had happened. and strategizing about resident behavior. You had better ask the police what they think happened in this case. the agent was going to disregard the incident. it can be seen that the code was usable by staff in explaining. would not snitch on one another. before you decide you don't need to write a report on it. it was clear in the context that the absentee would continue missing meetings. just like those in the halfway house. An agent reported a case to his supervisor in which one of his parolees had been arrested with his brother for hitting a man in a bar with a pool cue. you are giving him a pass. it was usable as the socially sanctioned grounds of action. not only in talking with the researcher. they were accepted as factual. and analogues of the code were offered by staff to staff. so he's gonna continue doing it until you check him. They are just delinquents." Telling the Code as a Method of Managing Sta ff's Circumstances Through these examples." From other remarks the advising staff member had made.
but that any group of new residents would 'test the limits'. It accounted for the relative lack of productivity in those aspects of the program which called for staff and residents to work together. and the substance of resident complaints . It served to relieve staff members of some of their responsibilities for motivating residents to participate in the program. By 'telling the code'. they could interpret that talk and action as compelled by the residents' code-required need to show their loyalty to each other and to show their lack of trust in staff. staff could discount resident talk and action as not 'really' substantive complaints and resistance to something in particular. Instead. a.bout staff and staff programs. It served to defend staff and staff ideas against the complaints of residents. that those particular ten new residents were 'testing the limits'. As a mode of giving advice among staff.g. The occurrences that were accounted for by use of the code and its analogues were also thereby seen as independent of the staff member who was involved. That is. or disputes with staff over transportation were independent of residents' actual needs for transportation money. e. 'telling the code' typically served as a warning that residents could not be trusted and that residents often 'needed' to be ordered to take action . etc. The trans-situational and non-situation specific character of 'telling the code' made it llseful f staff in managing their relation or ships with each other. it was not that this particular staff member had done something to the residents that obtained hostility or resistance in response.THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 161 with. It did these things by focusing attention away f rom the substance of the interactions. the substance of staff-resident work. resident resistance to a committee was independent of the particular work of that committee. The occurrences were also thereby characterized as independent of the particular issues over which they had occurred... e. the code account provided that residents would behave that way toward any staff member. Couching the accounts in the language of the code portrays the occurrences as independent of the particular resident personnel that were involved.g. it was not simply. Instead.
W : Why ? PA : Because I have a concern for him. 'telling the code' served to justify staff's control over residents.requesting something of them was not enough. one staff member said : PA : If Gonzales [one of his cases] came in here and started blabbing about somebody in · such a way that other people would know about it. I'd be concerned for him. on s ome occas ions. Finally. They said that he was a bit stupid and did not see that it looked like he was being disloyal to the other residents. They proposed that they should tell the resident to be less cooperative. In general. so that he would not get himself into trouble. It served in a similar way when it was used to devise strategies for dealing with residents. since the code provided for prohibitions against a resident's confessing to staff and against a resident's informing staff about the affairs of other residents. Although I saw only limited direct evidence of it. for example. I would try to prevent him from doing that. staff's actively promoting the story of the code to the residents. . In one case that I observed. 'telling the code' also relieved staff members of much of their responsibility to be knowledgeable about the affairs of specific residents. Sta Use o the Code in Sta ff f ff-Resident Interactions The code was also employed by staff in talking to the residents. staff apparently intervened to prevent (what appeared to them to be) violations of the code. In telling me about his concern for snitches and snitching. being mostly employed by residents in explaining themselves to staff. It went full circle. because it tended to portray residents as unable to freely cooperate with staff. staff were consulting each other about a resident who was taking their side in group. and finally. I wouldn't want anybody killing him.1 62 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOQY . then in staff's explaining residents to other staff.
Thus. They did this by telling the man that he must stop his use of drugs and must demonstrate that fact by taking a nalline test in four days. How could I tell her that her son was in a special section for his own protection because he had snitched ?" Copping out (confessing). instead of jailing the man and reporting his relapse to the Adult Authority. In these cases. It showed that the resident was becoming square. he explained the incident to me and to two other parole agents in the room who had over heard his end of the phone call : "I told her her son was sick. It was merely regarded as a bit square and stupid. They were much more likely to treat drug use uncovered by confession more gently than drug use uncovered by other means. They discouraged 'snitching' and 'ass kissing'. but also employed code accounts in their dealings with residents in such a way that they sanctioned the code for residents. he told her that her son was sick. They did not encourage shows of friendliness or 'excessive ' . When parolees did cop out (typically. when one mother called a parole agent to find out why she could not see her son in jail. staff not only accepted resident accounts of the code and employed them in dealing with their own troubles. for example. so that. It was a good sign. Staff warned residents about snitches in the community that they had learned about from police and from other parolees. Staff showed their understanding of the moral meanings and the threatened sanction of the code.THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 1 63 Staff openly talked about their low regard for snitches in the presence of residents. was not a matter which parolees said would result in physical punishment or ostracism. Staff treated the matter of snitching as recognizably immoral in the community from which the residents came. After hanging up the phone. It showed that he had good will. agents treated it as something special. on the other hand. confess to having used drugs). Agents said that 'copping out' was a particularly difficult and rewardable act because of the code prohibition against 'copping out'. staff treated the code as a real object in their environment and acknowledged its force in their dealings with residents by rewarding the code's violation.
It would appear that one could speak of the code as an 'oral tradition' which was employed to instruct outsiders (like myself and staff) as to the organized character of what they had seen. one could say that residents employed this narrative to point out that an event.. Indeed. the receipt of which could be pointed to as the understandable motive for resident participation. participate) by ordering them to do it or by openly offering rewards. so that residents could continuously show their loyalty to each other. For example. Staff made it possible for residents to do 'what they really wanted to do after all ' (i. This was so in the ways that the reciting of the code 'formulated' a particular occurrence being presently talked about as an instance of a typical occurrence. or the behavior of that other resident. THE CODE AS ABOUT AND A PART OF THE SETTING One could say that the 'telling of the code' was a formulation of the organized character of resident life which residents and staff provided as a narrative which accompanied their affairs. as I have indicated.164 THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY voluntary compliance from residents. or 'our relation ship'. staff recognized or acknowledged the idea of the code as a legiti mate moral order in the setting. In these ways. One would also then say that residents were 'telling the code ' . the staff-aide's resistance to going to a neighborhood bar with parole agents was a show of his loyalty to the residents and was analyzed by him as an instance of avoiding the possibility of being seen as a snitch or other kind of turncoat. That is. and which would be seen again. The fact that the code was titled would make it appear to be some kind of 'oral tradition' which had the moral force to govern the affairs of contemporary residents. It was also the case that the code was 'told' in showing the organized character of resident life. 'what-I-was-taught-as-a-child' character of the code. which had been seen before. or the resident' s own behavior were instances o f patterns which were long-standing.e. were seeing. residents spoke ofthe long-standing. or would see.
While one could propose such an analysis of the code as an exegetical organizing narrative. One hears the narrative as an outside commentary on the events depicted visually. Whatever talk comes over the loud speaker. the code was employed to explain why someone had acted as they had and that that way of acting was necessary under the circumstances. and all of that which comes over the loud speaker. Whoever speaks on the sound track is doing narration. particular occurrences as instances of regular-patterns-of-action-which-are-produced-bY compliance-to-a-normative-order. and descriptions of the narrative heard over a loud speaker as discreet occurrences . Such an analysis. Typically. one listens to the narration and sees the film passively as a depicted scene for one's enjoyment or edification. Coupled with the feature of the passive audience. is narrative. That is. that the particular event under consideration would have been enacted by 'any resident'. because persons who were residents were morally constrained to act in that fashion. explanations are temporally juxtaposed to the scenic occurrences they explain. Since I find the travelogue narrative helpful by contrast. if it simply left the matter here. not as an object that one must necessarily actively encounter and immediately deal with. one would be saying that the code was employed by residents to analyze for outsiders and perhaps for themselves for they the were 'social-fact' noting character of their circumstances. that would be something like a narrative which is offered by the tour guide of a museum or the narration for a travelogue film. would be mis leading in precisely the ways that a travelogue narrative differs from the 'telling of the code'. the sound track never cuts to ongoing conversation or other sounds of events shown visually. or perhaps to show.narrative and picture. The narrative begins with the beginning of the film and 'completes itself' by the end. In the case of 'purely narrative films'. or . Finally. explanations. In the travelogue story of a voyage. the narrator speaks f whomever listens. In brief. let me indicate what I understand as its features. to do so wou�d be misleading.THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY 1 65 in showing. one encounters the story shown on the screen and the identifications.
THE CODE AS FOLK SOCIOLOGY
The parties hearing him are unknown to him, do not act upon his fate, and indeed have no involvement with him beyond their li6t�ning. 'Telling the code' contrasts with each of the above enumerated features of the travelogue narration. The crucial difference is that the code was not encountered 'outside' the scene it was purportedly describing, but was told within that scene as a continuous, connected part of that scene by being manifested as an active consequential act within iL The talk occurring in the halfway house that invoked the code, referred to the code, or relied on the code for its intelligibility, then, was not simply or merely a description of life in a halfway house. Instead, this talk was at the same time part of life in the halfway house, and it was a part that was itself included within the scope of things over which the code had jurisdiction. It is in this sense that talk involving the code was reflexive within the setting of its occurrence.
PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION
We have just considered a variety of ways in which the code was 'about' the setting and a variety of ways in which its telling within the setting defined or described a real environment of events for the researcher and for the staff. But it has been suggested as well that 'telling the code' as an activity (the fact that 'telling the code' was done within the setting of the halfway house as a continuous, connected, and consequential part of that scene) must be directly examined in its own terms. Let us begin by considering the matter of 'the 'a"tive-consequential-act' aspect of 'telling the code' one of the two aspects of what ethnomethodologists call the reflexive properties of natural language accounts. We focus our attention first, then, on the ways in which natural language accounts (in this case, 'telling the code') are acts within the scene that they describe.
' Telling the Code' as Simultaneously Formulating Many Aspects of the Scene and Having Many Consequences Within That Formulated Scene
'Telling the code' was not heard as a 'disinterested' report delivered in the manner of a narrator who was speaking to unknown and distant perons about matters upon which they could not act. Instead, the code was being 'told' about matters which were critical to hearer and listener, because 'the telling' formulated ,and fed into their joint action. In contrast to that sort of narrative which is a description of the events displayed on a screen, the code
PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION
was often 'told' about the immediate behavior of the hearer and teller. It was multi-formulative and multi-consequential in the immediate interaction in which it was told and multi-formulative and multi-consequential in and for the occurrence of that inter action as an aspect of the social organization of the halfway house. As a first step in explicating this multi-consequential and multi formulative character of 'telling the code', let us examine the range of 'work' that a single utterance can accomplish. When talking
with residents, staff and I often had a relatively friendly
line of conversation terminated by a resident's saying, "You know I won't snitch." Hearing such an utterance f unctioned to re-crystalize the immediate interaction as the present center of one's experiential world. 'You know I won't snitch', multi-for mulated the immediate environment, its surrounding social structures, and the connections between this interaction and the surrounding social structures. It (a) told what had just happene� - e.g., 'You just asked me to snitch'. It (b) formulated what the resident was doing in saying that phrase - e.g., 'I am saying that this is my answer to your question. My answer is not to answer'. It (c) formulated the resident 's motives for saying what he was saying and doing what he was doing - e.g., 'I'm not answering in order to avoid snitching'. Since snitching was morally inap propriate for residents, the utterance, therefore, formulated the sensible and proper grounds of the refusal to answer the question. It (d) formulated (in the fashion of pointing to) the immediate relationship between the listener (staff or myself) and teller (resident) by re-Iocating the conversation in the context of the persisting role relationships between the parties - e.g., 'For
you to ask me that, would be asking me to snitch'. Thus
saying, "You know I won't snitch", operated as a renunciation, or a reminder of the role relationships involved and the appropriate relations between members of those categories. It placed the ongoing occasion in the context of what both parties knew about their overriding trans-situational relationships. It (e) was
formulation of the features of the persisting role relationship between hearer and teller - e.g., ' You are an agent [or state re-
PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION
searcher] and I am a resident-parolee. Some things you might ask me involve informing on my fellow residents. Residents do not inform on their fellows. We call that snitching'. Besides reminding the participants of a trans-situational role relationship, the features of that trans-situational role relationship were originally and continuously formulated through such utterances as, 'You know I won't snitch'. Beyond the multi-formulative character of this single utterance, it was also a consequential move in the very 'game' that it formulated. As a move in that field of action which it formulated, it pointed to the contingencies in that field as they were altered by
this move. Furthermore, the utterance as a move obtained its
sense !lnd impact from those altered contingencies. Much of the persuasiveness of 'telling the code' consisted in its. .character as a move in the field of action which it also defined. By saying, 'You know I won't snitch', (a) the resident negatively sanctioned the prior conduct of the staff member or myself. Saying that the question called for snitching was morally evaluating it and rebuffing me or the staff. The utterance (b) called for and almost always obtained a cessation of that line of the conversation.
It was, therefore, consequential in terminating that line of talk.
In terminating that line of talk, it (c) left me or staff ignorant of what we would have learned by the question had it been answered. And it (d) signaled the consequences of rejecting the resident's utterance or the course of action it suggested. By saying, 'You
know I won't snitch', the resident pointed to what he would do if
the staff persisted. He 'said' he would not comply, irrespective of the staff's wishes. He thereby warned that the conversation would turn nasty if staff or I did not retreat from the question. He also pointed to the staff's obligation (or my obligation) to be competent in the affairs of residents. To refuse to acknowledge the sense and appropriateness of the resident's response was to risk being seen as incompetent in the eyes of all other residents and staff. Finally, by noting that what was being requested was
snitching, a resident pointed to the consequences for himself if he
were to go ahead and answer the question. The potential conse-
'cause it would look like I'm joining your side. "I don't think that I had better tell you any more about the marijuana market. "It's not safe for me to interfere with someone's life . while I often saw staff question other kinds of replies in just those terms. The potential consequences of refusing to accept the credibility of the resident's response made that response persuasive. When a resident proposed that he did not -want to do something because it was an inefficient use of his time. for example. and why they could not do what staff had asked of them by 'telling the code'. Residents explained why they had done something." Or." Replies to staff's suggestions and questions Which were phrased in this way were interactionally sufficient to terminate the request. . this fate was also consequential for them. what they would 'have to do' under various circumstances.1 70 PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION quences for him could include beatings and even death. when several agents and I were discussing street prices of marij uana with a resident. or factual character of the reply.. because it would look like I'm kissing ass. The Details of the Consequential Persuasive Character of 'Telling the Code' Staff regularly encountered residents' 'telling the code' as a way in which their questions and suggestions were answered. he stopped the conversation by saying. staff did not pursue the matter further. or that he preferred to do something else. Since staff was obliged to protect residents. etc. staff was told by residents that. On the many occasions in which 1 heard residents make replies of this sort. legitimacy. when one resident was asked to find another (his friend) who was absent from the house. staff often challenged the relevance and/or truthfulness of the resident' s story." And. I can't be my brother's keeper.. he replied. for example. "I can't tell you that." When a staff member suggested that a resident organize a pool tournament. 1 never saw staff question the relevance. or that he had some other obligation which he had to meet instead. i.e. the resident answered. In group and in private encounters. that would be snitching. "You know I can't organize the pool tournament.
i. staff not only 'heard the code' and accepted it. On many occasions. In Chapter Five. i. it effectively countered a request or demand in such a way that the resident was not required by staff to further justify his refusal. Other residents argued that they could get a job more quickly if they Hved with their relatives. They complained that they found it difficult to abstain from using drugs when others around them were using. Whenever 'telling the code' occurred.. but also acceded to residents ' requests when the code was offerred as grounds for action.e. he did so as a method of managing his relationships with his colleagues. it was consequential. stemming from an incident some years before.e. he insisted that we understand that Pablo was not really a snitch. the agent had Pablo released from halfway house in light of Pablo's fears about what the other resident would do. we saw that when a staff member 'told the code' to other staff members. who would lend assistance and supply transportation in finding a job. Residents told their agents and house staff that they could save money by living elsewhere. Some black residents complained that the chicanos would have nothing to do with them and that they were.. a resident's naming o f a proposed act (such as the act of telling staff something or the act of participating in something) as a code-relevant event was a practically adequate answer to staff's requests. However. before they had obtained a job and paid their bill. very uncomfortable at the house. This is illustrated in the following observations. when the resident Pablo (mentioned in Chapter Four) told his agent that he was afraid that another resident thought that he was a snitch. therefore. It tempered staff's obligation to be . I saw residents attempt to obtain release from the halfway house before they had met the conditions for release. Moreover. on many occasions. Staff did not acknowledge these grounds as acceptable. When the agent spoke about the incident with other staff members and 'Yith me. It served to relieve staff members of some of their responsibilities for motivating residents to participate in the program.PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION 171 Thus. even though he had no job and had not yet paid his bill.
It was also consequential in justifying staff's control over residents and staff's unwillingness to trust or give responsibilities to residents. 1 Even the consequences have consequences. 'Telling the code ' served to defend staff and staff ideas against the complaints of residents. These accounts effectively dealt with staff demands that residents willingly participate in staff sponsored activities and that they become involved in planning and carrying out the program.1 In each of these cases. it had a similar conse quentiality. since they could explain their ignorance by referring to residents' unwillingness to cop out or snitch. and 'plainly' the consequences occasioned the f act of the telling. A resident might have alluded to the code's prohibition against snitching in terminating a conversation with me in a bar. When residents 'told the code' to staff. one resident avoided looking for his friend. For example. the specifics of the 'telling of the code' could have been motivated by the anticipated consequences. but because he had pressing business with others there and wanted to be rid of me. A staff member could defeat a proposal for the program by 'telling the code' to show that the proposal was 'unrealistic'. This was so to such an extent that the actual round of activities at halfway house only vaguely resembled the program plan. the resident who told staff that organizing the pool tournament would have been an act of 'joining their side' might have elaborated. not because I had inadvertently asked him to snitch. perhaps even invented.1 72 PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION knowledgeable about the affairs of residents. .. and Pablo obtained release from the halfway house without getting a job and without paying his bilI. By offering such accounts of their behavior and their circumstances to staff. a provision of the code to deal with the contingency of being asked by staff to do something for other residents. In general. In the cases we have just examined. residents effectively dealt with staff demands that they say more about what they and their fellows were really doing. another avoided organizing a pool tournament. the accumulation of incidents in which 'telling the code' defeated staff's plans and staff's tendency to foresee such defeats meant that staff's actual demands for resident partici pation were reduced well below the level called for in the program pll\D. when he 'actually' chose not to organize the pool tournament because he believed that that activity would be personally unrewarding. many avoided answering staff's questions.
Furthermore. as we have seen. in Garfinkel's terms. had an etcetera clause. had an open. the fact of the telling was itself an event which. Even when the code was being told 'neutrally' in a situation in which what was being talked about was not an issue. Nevertheless. Etcetera and other 'ad hoeing' practices have been an important theme of ethnometho- .. we made a judgment about the story as told and its 'fit' with what we had learned about the code thus far. was special and meant that the parolee was being friendly by 'telling the code'.e. nor did any given maxim (i. the visible consequentiality and the 'open. the fact that they were confronted by a request and wanted or 'needed' to turn it down occasioned 'telling the code' in the fashion that it was actually told. This suggestion might be countered with the argument that neither the staff nor I were so naive as not to suspect that possibility and would not have permitted ourselves to be 'led down the primrose path' quite so easily. as was the case when I or a novice agent probed a parolee about the code in general. the telling was of generalized consequentiality in the ways that it informed me or the agent of the proper limits of our action.PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION 173 One might imagine that these contingencies were so standardized as to have been well 'codifie d' and required the residents to turn down the requests. 'telling the code'. flexible . stated 2 The etcetera clause refers to an unspecified condition of rules-in-use wherein present occurrences which were 'unforeseen in' or 'unpledicted by' some prior formulation of a rule or agreement are none the less brought under the auspices of that rule or agreement and are seen by witnesses to the occurrence as being in compliance with that rule or agreement. flexible structure' of 'telling the code' invite the free invention of the specifics of a given instance of 'telling the code' in order to bring about some set of consequences. when understood in terms of the code. From the sta!1dpoint of the teller. Yet.2 It did not consist of a fixed set of maxims. structure' (which gives it the capacity to explain a very wide range of events) raises the possibility that what was being told in 'telling the code' was manufactured by the teller for the occasion in order to bring about just those consequences. At the very least. like every other collection of rules in use. The visible consequentiality of 'telling the code' and its 'open. flexible structure or.
This is not to suggest that any proposal whatsoever would have been acceptable. it would have a parallel consequentiality. the teller may . 1967. Moreover. the hearer was in the position of having to depend on this same telling and others of no more definite character to tell him of what the code consisted in the first place. Bittner. Sacks. 1 970. In every case in which the code was mentioned (literally 'heard to have been mentioned'. 1963. Wieder. since the mentioning was not usually named as such). The ways in which residents learned the code may well be of the same character as the ways in which staff and researcher learned that code. open to considerable manip ulation. have been motivated to formulate it so that it furthered his imme diate interactional interests. The thesis that residents actively manipulated staff's under standing of what was going on around them cannot be easily defeated. but just how such judgments would have been rendered is. What c�n be supposed about such matters on the basis of what has been observed suggests · that this would be precisely the case. . 1963 . 1969. 1 970. when inmates or criminals do 'tell the code' to each other. flexible structure of the code precludes the possibility of comparing some present story with what is definitely known about what a 'telling of the code' should consist of. since the open. strategies. (See Garfinkel. dological research. In every case of 'telling the code'. Leiter. or proposals is subject to the same kind of argument. at the least.1 74 PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION at a given time) have a definite scope of application. Zimmerman.) 3 The thesis that staff members manipulated each others' understanding in the attempt to justify their own actions.3 It does not require that we imagine that the residents told one 'line' to the staff and the researcher while holding in reserve some hidden knowledge of what the code 'really' after all consisted. Moreover. it was up to the hearer to identify the 'telling of the code' as 'telling the code' and to search out and discover the linkages between 'this telling' and what he understood to be the code. The hearer was not in a position to make 'harsh judgments' about the relevance of any specific telling to what he understood as a proper 'telling of the code' . Chapters One and Three .
Guided perception through description has the character of being subject to 'interests' in this way. is much more a method of moral persuasion and justification than it is a substantive account of an organized way of life. The code. . then. It was a device for legitimately declining a suggestion or order. and constrainedly organized. e.. because the same explanatory and descriptive utterances often are. or set of ways. but was as well a way in which residents (and staff. and explain the environment. resonable. It was a device for accounting for why one should feel or act in the way that one did as an expectable. The code operated as a device for stopping or changing the topic of a conversation. justifications. the fact that a resident's activity appears to a parole agent as a more or less clear instance of 'refusing to participate as a means of showing other residents that one is trust worthy ' depends on the talk that this or other residents have done.PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION 1 75 Since 'telling the code' was taken seriously (by me and by staff) as an active part of the environment. It was. a way of managing a course of conversation in such a way as to present the teller (or his colleague) as a reasonable. sanctions. It is a way. and always can be. ego's sense for what alter is doing is contingent upon whatever 'goals'. therefore. 'projects'. and above all else acceptable way of acting or feeling. or 'interests' alter attempts to realize in or through his interaction with ego. moral. or urgings of some course of action in the relation ship between hearer and speaker. repetitively.g. understandable. it did not simply describe. when they 'told the code ') guided conduct through effective persuasion. analyze. This means that inasmuch as the way that alter's activity appears to ego as coherently organized and meaningful is dependent on the ways alter talks about what he is doing. It was a device for urging or defeating a proposed course of action. trying to avoid participation or present themselves as 'good parolees '. That they talked in the way they did and in turn caused the agent to have that impression was dependent on what they were trying to accomplish in their interaction with the agent. of causing activities to be seen as morally. For example. and competent fellow.
Number one. By accepting and supporting (residents') 'telling of the code' as the real grounds of resident action. because he never knows when he's going to walk in the yard at San Quentin. This [reporting it] is going to be in conflict with his code. In general. however. whether that effort is directed toward more description or is preparatory to mundane goal accomplishment. This does not mean. when I asked Pablo's agent in a tape-recorded interview what he thought a resident should do if he discovered that his jeweled watch had been stolen. he replied : PA : I think he should do the same thing I should do. it depends as well upon the active searching for coherent sense and meaning that listeners do as a necessary step in their own efforts to deal rationally with their environment. But first let us consider the persuasiveness of 'telling the code' and the character of staff's acceptance of it. and meaningful sense of the environment is contingent upon the · 'describing' that members do. It will be shown that the coherent. i. is continuously contingent upon the particular goals or projects of the participants in the particular here-and-now occasion.e. that the staff 'agreed with' or 'liked' the code. Just how these and other contingencies operate will be analyzed in a later section.report it. but I don't approve of this code anyway. For example. but it's necessary. However. If there is a possibility that it can be recovered by reporting it .1 76 PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION This would further mean that what a scene appears to be in general. organized. staff thereby acknowledged that the code was enforced and that residents were acti ng reasonably when they were responsive to the meanings of events which resulted from formulating those events in terms of the code. staff treated these accounts as persuasive by accepting them at the time (in the interaction itself). he's liable to find a shiv [knife] in his gut. It merely means that staff openly recognized that the code was operative. appears to be beyond the immediate here-and-now one-sided perception of it. and if it comes to light that he snitched on some guy stealing his gold watch. I think this code is kind of stupid. see if he can recover it himself.. and staff effectively acted on these accounts by taking or proposing action and then .
It was always possible that an individual staff member not only 'disagreed' with the code. but that the telling itself was a potent act in that formulated and described relationship. given that what kind of event it was. I say staff treated the accounts as persuasive and that ff act that the obser they e ectively acted on them to emphasize the f vables consist of what staff did and not what they 'really' thought. The dependence of its acceptance on the possibility of the negative consequences which would follow from its rejection made 'telling the code' effectively persuasive. By being recognized as an instance of 'telling the code'. the utterance 'identified itself' as an act with those possible negative consequences.either with respect to the code or with respect to some particular of the concrete circumstance the resident described. 'telling the code'. Thus. By being a critical event within the order of affairs it formulated. as we have seen. the consequences of refusing to accept the utterance were framed within the utterance itself.PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION 177 offering these same accounts as 'good grounds' for their (staff's) actions. 'Telling the code' as an act by residents directed toward staff was emphatically persuasive in the ways that it capitalized on the reflexivity of talk. By . in a particular case. but that he also did not think that what a resident was telling him. There were several features of 'telling the code' that made residents' accounts which invoked the code difficult for staff and for me to ignore. and by having its persuasive potency depend upon that order-as-formulated. That is. staff did act in the observed fashion and were thereby 'effectively' persuaded when 'telling the code' occurred. was factual . but by virtue of the kind of interactional event that 'telling the code' was between staff and resident. an act of 'telling the code' made much of the fact that it not only was formulative and descriptive of the relationship between staff and residents. 'telling the code' was persuasive not by virtue of what was merely said as such. a resident confronted staff with certain negative consequences of refusing to credit or accept the account. 'telling the code ' . In some cases. even in the face of these possibilities. Nevertheless. was (sometimes implicitly) formulated or signaled in that very same utterance.
and in light of the fact that it is not possible to differentiate between true and false alarms before responding to them. in fact. This feature of the code was so cogent that it would have been difficult for staff to discount an event formulated by 'telling the code'. By direct statement or allusion. Staff's circumstances were like those of a fire department responding to a street comer alarm. each signal must be responded to as if it were valid. in light of the serious consequences of not responding to a real alarm. there was no choice but to count it as 'good grounds' for their taking some type of action which accepted the proposals of the story. precluded rather than opened the possibility of verifying the truthfulness of the account. E ective Persuasion in 'Telling the Code' by Stating ff or Alluding to Matters o Staff's Responsibility f It has been previously noted that when residents explained their behavior in terms of the code. however. Staff's response to a 'telling of the code ' as a truthful account. this feature of 'telling the code' could be and often was cited by staff or residents to render the residents' stories relevant to staff's prof essional obligations. Since staff were prof essionally responsible for the residents' 'fate' and since they professed at least concern for the residents. false. they either directly said or alluded to the fact that if they were to behave differently. The very .178 PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION was persuasive by capitalizing on the reflexivity of talk. they might be beaten or killed. even if they strongly suspected that the formulation in this particular case was. from staff's point of view. If a resident's story were believed true. He also told or signaled the consequences of the staff member's loss of perceived competence in the eyes of other staff and residents and the consequence of the conversation 'turning nasty' if the staff member were to refuse to accept the resident's account. Even if the officials know that three out of four alarms are false. a resident told staff in 'telling the code' of the awful consequences which would befall the resident (which staff was obliged to avoid) if the staff member did not accept this instance of 'telling the code' as a credible account and act.
and some staff treated these considerations as irrelevant. as we shall see in considering other features of 'telling the code' which made it persuasive. if they were seen as humane and supportive. but in most cases. Staff sanctioned each other about looking like a fool in front of the residents (not being 'in the know' about the 'real' cir cumstances and 'real' relationships of residents) on the one hand. and they sanctioned each other about being taken in by resident manipulations on the other. a resident's explanation employing the code was accompanied by a thleat which. and seen as competent. was told in circum stances that made its test impossible.PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION 1 79 action that staff would take by accepting a resident's story would preclude the calamitous consequences portended by the resident's account. Seeing that 1 regularly talked with residents. staff interrogated me about how they were seen by residents. Staff spoke with each other and with me about gaining and sustaining the respect of residents. They also wanted to know . as E ective Persuasion by ' Telling the Code' ff a Threat to Sta ff's Competence in the Organization The possibility of a staff member's loss of perceived competence in the eyes of other staff and residents was a vocalized concern in the setting. staff treated these matters as secondary. Even if staff had attempted to test the veracity of a resident's 'telling the code'. out of sight of staff. the calamitous event portended by the resident's story would likely have been car ried out in such a way that staff would never have seen it. In this fashion. and done in such a way that the question of why it was done and who did it could not be discovered. However. For ex ample. the potential consequence of a resident's being beaten or killed would most likely occur much later. staff's refusal to accept an account was quite unlikely to have the con sequence of the resident's complying with the request of staff which prompted the resident to 'tell the code' in the first place. Staff asked me if they were respected. taken seriously. Residents spoke to me and to some . ifit were a bluff.
While staff members could also lose competence in the eyes of other staff and residents by being manipulated (being taken in by residents ' stories).' Staff members ranked each other in terms of their apparent know ledgeability of resident affairs. they said. he was confronted by an expert in the ways of residents. However. because he knew little about resident life ways. the staff member risked looking like a novice who could not see what was being talked about.1 80 PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION staff in my presence about some staff members who. fools. accompanied by demeaning stories about the competence of the staff member in question. They were described by those residents as stupid. residents of halfway house. square. Residents coined derogatory nicknames for some staff members and passed these names on to other staff. He thought he could get these guys to help him make the arrangements for resident entertainment. When a staff member was confronted with a resident's 'telling of the code'. and. had little knowledge of the affairs of hypes. and criminals in general. You should hear what the residents have to say about him. Residents displayed respect for staff members in rough correspondence to these informal staff rankings. 'John is really square. they could not be respected. and naive. The prototypical cases of manipulation involved . that possible outcome was unlikely to be seen by other staff in the case of accepting a story which involved 'telling the code'. If the resident's story could be seen as compatible with the kinds of accounts of resident mores that reputably knowledge able staff told. then acceptance of the story avoided the possibility that the staff member would find himself portrayed as naive. The other staff then circulated these names and stories by saying things like. By refusing to acknowledge what the tale proposed. Residents were the acknowledged experts on those matters about which staff were supposed to be knowledgeable. When residents elaborated their grounds for viewing some staff members in this way. they did so by pointing to the 'stupid' expectations that some staff members held which were contrary to the provisions of the convict code. they were 'stingy' experts who only occasionally shared their knowledge with staff. therefore.
When staff questioned a resident's account wl. Furthermore. The acceptance of a 'telling of the code' acknowledged the fact that the resident was still living in a society of criminals. rather than promising or indicating compliance. the kinds of stories that came to be identified as manipulations involved deceptions which could ultimately be uncovered. because they involved assertions of fact which were open to verification. was offering a statement. For example. These circumstances meant that an acceptance of a false version of 'telling the code' was unlikely to be visible to other staff. statements of the code were characteristically unverifiable. could not b e established as either true o r false. "1 wasn't here · because I worked overtime". The circumstances of accepting a story based on 'telling the code' differed in that the resident. a staff member who doubted the story could respond by demanding proof. As previously noted. if he did not believe the story. even if he were not a criminal himself. though perhaps not until some future time. Manipulation typically involved a lie or false promise which made the resident appear to be more acceptant of staff's goals and the standards of law-abiding society than he 'actually' was. when in fact he was not trust worthy. When a story did deal with concrete details whose factuality or falsity could be established. The unverifiability of statements involving the code further enhanced its acceptance by reason of the conversational position in which a staff member was placed when he attempted to reject an account that could not be verified by staff or proven by the most well-meaning resident. the acceptance of which would exempt him from complying with staff's requests or answering staff's questions. however. he could demand immediate proof by phoning the resident's employer in the resident's presence or he could wait for proof by examining the size of the resident's paycheck at a later time. staff ran the ri sk of being openly ridiculed. To question such a story and .PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION 181 a form of deception in which a staff member was led to believe that a resident could be trusted.llch did not deal with verifiable matters. while a rejection of any 'telling of the code' was likely to make the staff member appear to be naive. Some stories.
1 82 PERSUASION AND REFLEXIVE FORMULATION nevertheless demand something more f rom the resident typically rom the resident. We have seen that staff could utilize the code to explain a wide range of events and to structure and make sensible their own environment. dramatic halt in such a way as to likely leave the staff member's reputation damaged for all those that were there to hear and for all those to whom the story might be told. there's nothing that can be done for you". because he could say or do no more. that 'telling the code' was unpersuasive in the ordinary sense of persuasiveness." Replies of this sort would bring the conversation to an abrupt. or. the code was useful to staff as a method of dealing with each other in explaining and justifying their own conduct and positions. "Have it any way you like then . Staff's attempt to pursue the matter f urther meant facing the possibility of hearing a reply such as. resulted in sharp and negative responses f The use of the code as an explanation signaled the fact that the resident had said or done all that he was going to say or do. that's all I 've got to say. however. . The fact that 'telling the code' was effectively persuasive because of the negative consequences which would follow f rom attempts to ignore its f orce and credibility does not mean. Furthermore. "If you can't see what I'm talking about.
That is. We turn to my own experiences as such (in contrast to the scenes. requires a closer look at experience than ethno graphic reportage as ordinarily practiced can provide. It requires a description of how some participant at the halfway house went about the task of understanding what he heard and saw as he was hearing and seeing it.7 'TELLING THE CODE' AS A GUIDE TO PERCEPTION : THE INNER STRUCTURE OF SOCIAL REALITY That form of detailed ethnographic reportage upon which chapters Five "and Six were based shows that 'telling the code' created a social reality for persons who heard it and shows some of the ways in which 'telling the code' was persuasive and consequential. a ret1. because there is no other place to go if we need access to an on going course of direct experience. objects. and persons that I experienced). THE CODE AS A REFLEXIVE SELF AND SETTING-ELABORATIVE DEVICE To further the discussion of the properties of each instance of 'telling the code'.ll'n to a contrast between 'telling the code' and the travelogue narrative will be helpful. it requires a turn f rom a description of those objects which were. how 'telling the code' was productive of a social world of real events and to show how talk could be heard as 'telling the code'. is quickly recognizable . experienced by the ethnographer to a description of the course of experiencing those occurrences To show as objects. Unlike the travelogue narrative which. as the sound track of a film. however.
'The Code '. as I found it. the recognition that some utterance was a 'telling of the code' often required active discovery on the part of the hearer. The discovery of the organized and coherent sense of the residents ' behavior. describing it in the following terms : The method consists of treating an actual appearance as 'the document of'. The code. were for the listener to discover. The fact that one sometimes heard a title (The Code) only promised that there was a code to be discovered and that somehow it would have general patterns of behavior associated with it. and several maxims). i. following Mannheim. calls this kind of procedure "the documentary method of interpretation". was told 'piece meal'. and was not necessarily temporally j uxtaposed with the objects that it was purportedly about. in several ways. I saw that other pronouncements of residents were untitled extensions of this same line of talk..e. was the task of finding particulars or instances for a title. though even persuasively assisted by the residents' talking. they also explicitly said or implied that there was more to it than was being told at that time. what the talk was 'about' and what further instances of that talk were. came from many sources. I used whatever 'pieces' of the code I had collected at that point as a scheme for interpreting further talk as extensions of what I had heard 'up to now'. More over. Only occasionally was an eligible utterance explicitly identified by the teller as 'telling the code'. Thus. Showing just how this is the case requires an even more detailed consideration of the way in which I. as 'standing on behalf of' a presupposed under- .1 84 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY as a commentary on that film. The Documentary Method o Interpretation f Equipped with what I understood to be a preliminary and partial version of the residents ' definition of their situation (which was contained in the title. Garfinkel (1967 : 78). as 'pointing to'. general patterns in contrast to the particular concrete event the teller was describing or explaining. formulated my description of the convict code. as a sociologist. when residents were self-announcedly 'telling the code '.
Each is used to elaborate the other. He said to staff and all others within hearing." The program director nodded. 'You know that the code forbids me to participate in your program in that way. He answered. I understood him to be saying. are interpreted on the basis of 'what is known' about the underlying pattern. 'Show your loyalty to the residents'. you might think otherwise. I employed my collection of 'pieces' as a self elaborating schema. when I attended a Monday night group. "You know I can't organize a baseball team. An example of the use of this method is provided by the inter pretation of a remark I overheard during my first week at halfway house. and the matter was settled. in their turn. though without hearing this (reference to an overnight pass). ' I thereby collected another 'piece' of talk which. I 'm going to that meeting just because I would like to collect the reward of an overnight pass and for no other reason. was employed by me to formulate the general maxim.THE CODE · AS SOCIAL REALITY 1 85 lying pattern. So why ask me ?' In this fashion. "Where can I find that meeting where I can get an overnight pass ?" On the basis of what I had already learned. Using my ethnography of the code as a scheme of interpretation. The scope of the maxim concerning loyalty was further elaborated a month or so later. A resident had suggested that a baseball team be formed. I heard him say. and you know that rm not going to violate the code. My behavior really is in conformity with the code. Everyone who is in hearing distance should understand that I'm not kissing up to staff. He was then asked by the group leader (the program director) to organize the team himself. 'I'm not going to that meeting because I'm interested in participating in the program of halfway house. but the individual documentary evi dences. I passed a resident who was wandering through the halls after the committee meetings on Wednesday night. Not only is the underlying pattern derived from its indi vidual documentary evidences. I'm not a kiss-ass. Each newly encountered 'piece' of talk was simultaneously rendered sensible by interpreting it in terms of the . when put together with utterances I had heard up to that point (which permitted me to see the 'sense' of this remark) and used with utterances I had yet to collect.
'The Code'. If I had not had the general idea of the code as an inter pretive device for translating utterances into maxims of a Illoral order. This tentative schema 'elaborated itself' as I used it to identify and elaborate the sense of objects and events in the setting. Seeing an utterance as an expression of an underlying moral order depended on knowing the elaborated schema itself and was used in the interpretation of still further 'pieces' some of the particulars of that underlying order to begin with. The selfsame perceptual-analytic procedure simultaneously elaborated the code and the setting as the code was employed by me as a schema.1 86 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY developing relevancies of the code and was. the code is an occasioned cor pus stable set of itemizable elements which reoccur in. I could not have collected those utterances together as expressions of the same underlying pattern. (1 970) terms. a collection of Code Events and Code Accounts as Indexical Expressions which Operate as 'Parts' o a Gestalt-Contexture f A further feature of this method of 'fact gathering' or 'reality production' is the fact that the 'pieces ' collected by means of this method were indexical expressions (Garfinkel.and setting-elab orative. rather than as a set of stable elements of culture which endure through time. also supplied by residents. the code was self. Gar 1970). it is much more appropriate to think of the code as a continuous. At each step. the interpretation was based on what was known thus far. To say that the pieces were indexical . ongoing process. more evidence of the existence of that code. having the title. finkel and Sacks. at the same time. In Zimmer man and PoUner's of 'cultural elements '. the inter preted 'piece' then functioned as part of of talk. 1967 : 4-7 . Furthermore. In the case of the convict code. Since the use-of-the-code-as-a schema was the procedure. In this sense. provided enough material to initially formulate a tentative schema. or endure through. as supplied by residents and a statement of several maxims. rather than a successive occasions.
This means.. in the halfway house) ..e. but this matter will be taken up after these initial determinations are clarified. (e) the social relationship between teller and hearer (e. My understanding of these utterances depended as well on their association with behaviors that were seen as referents of this talk.g.' Had it been a case-carrying parole agent who was on the recreation committee speaking to the program director. that it was a resident) . (d) on what kind of occasion it was being said (e. I couldn't possibly do more. the remark could easily have been heard as. I would have heard the remark as something else entirely. I would have heard (and presume that the program director would have heard) the remark as.. e. (c) where it was being said (e.g. myself being treated as an auxiliary of the staff) . .THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY 187 expressions is to say that their meaning was relative to such contextual matters as (a) who was saying it (i. had been uttered by one staff member vis-a-vis another staff member. 'You know that it is your job. that they have no self-evident or self-explanatory sense. had the remark been uttered by a resident to a staff member outside the context of their staff-resident relationship (as might be the case if both belonged to some other organization and were talking to each other as members of that organization). Depending on � which staff member was talking and which staff member was listening. ' Or. to a staff member or.g. and so forth...' If I had known nothing about the code. the remark might well have been heard in just the same way it would have been heard 'outside the context of the setting' . the remark could have been heard as. 'You know that I am already putting more time into the program than I can afford as it is . These hypothetical examples show that each and every one of the utterances upon which the code (or any code) was based has no single sense.. in a meeting attended by both staff and residents) . 'I don't know enough about baseball or organizing to organize the baseball team. If the remark. in turn.g.g. Instead. since you are on the recreation committee and I am not. a parolee speaking to his parole agent) . (b) to whom it was being said (e. 'You know I can't organize the baseball team'.
a constitu<lnt must exist at a certain locus within..g. the right-hand member) while giving those other members their sense through their perceived relation to it. . . Each utterance gave sense to the context and obtained sense from its place in that context in exactly the same way that a part of a gestalt-contexture (e. . while obtaining . there prevails the particular relationship of Gestalt-coherence · defined as the determining and conditioning o the constituents upon each other f [with respect to the meaning of each constituent]. the constituents may be said to exist through each other. Between the parts or constituents of a Gestalt-contexture. and have a certain function for.188 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY the utterances as 'pieces' have a sense as constituent parts of the setting in the manner that a constituent part of a gestalt-contexture has functional significance. the left-hand member of a pair of dots) obtains its sense (e. The existence of any constituent of a Gestalt-contexture relies upon other constituents or. each constituent has its existence only within a system o f f unctional significances which all complement and fit with one another . the constituents assign to. To be integrated into a contexture of Gestalt-character.g.. it follows that if a part is extracted from its contex ture and transformed into an element. In this sense. and since the functional significance of each part essentially refers to those of other parts.g. the part may undergo most radical modifications. and derive f rom. Each utterance upon which my analysis of the code was based was meaningful in the ways that it was said-socially-in-a-context. We have already seen that an instance of 'telling the code' (e. . the extracted part may cease to be what it phenomenally was. each retaining its qualified existence only if and as long as the others have theirs. there is a thoroughgoing interdependence among all parts or constituents of a Gestalt-contexture. as a left-hand member rather than as an isolated dot) by its perceived relationship to the other parts of the contexture (e. Gurwitsch (1964 : 1 34-1 35) writes : Since each part of a Gestalt-contexture is defined and qualified by its functional significance. to put it differ ently.. Since its functional significance is no longer determined by references to other constituents. . . 'You know I won't snitch') in being uttered defined the present phase of the relationship between staff and residents.g.. one another the f unctional si gnificance [meaning] which gives to each one its qualification in a concrete case. In thoroughgoing reciprocity. From the interdependence and interdetermination o f the parts o f a Gestalt-contexture. the contexture .
and · an instance. The embedded character of members' talk and the embedded character of in structions or guides to perception can be most clearly seen in the analysis of this 'ref erential' gestalt-contexture. the most interesting determining and conditioning of constituents upon each other exists between the 'behavior patterns ' that the code was understood to be describing. One could argue that order and meaning in the social world is always dependent on the observability of motivated action. Here we can see that our perception or analysis that members are acting in patterned and motivationally coherent ways is dependent on an instructed seeing of those ways of behaving. The mutual dependencies and determination of the parts of a gestalt-contexture are apparent in the ways that attending to someone's talk as 'instruction' is itself dependent on seeing. the referential objects of their talk for that talk to be identified as a 'course of instruction' and identified for its specific sense. . analyzing.THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY 1 89 its clear sense (for each participant) from its place in that same relationship as it had developed. or formulation of 'telling the code'. an understanding of which was partially formulated through prior similar utterances and acts and further elaborated and fulfilled by the present utterance. For the present argument. Motives are necessarily hidden in ways that no element of the physical world is hidden. on the one hand. In this context it should be noted that the mutual elaboration of 'under lying pattern' and 'documentary evidence' within the documentary method of interpretation has the same formal structure as the mutual determination of meaning (the functional significance) of parts of a gestalt-contexture. on the other. This means that the ostensive showing of a motive cannot extend beyond the plausible connection between some kind of statement of a goal and a visible . It is in the analysis of this referential contexture that the full potency of the reflexive character of accounts can be most clearly seen.l 1 It may well be the case that the f ull circle of dependencies of talk and its objects is a characteristic of the social world in ways that are not the case for what we typically regard as the physical world. and explaining.action. in actual perception. The 'instruction' is accomplished from within a setting for an observer who attends to the ways that members talk about their affairs.
embedded character of accounts (upon which I based my formulation of the code). By use of this adaptation of the phenomenological method. right ?) In the pare-. We shall see that (a) had I attempted to formulate the code on the basis of resident talk alone. listening to what the conversationalists are talking about and excluding from his attention the varieties of ways that the same talk can be understood as inter ashion that Bales might treat it. the observer might find the 'referents' of the talk in the transcript itself. In such cases. (b) If I had obsCfYed the same setting. actional acts. in the f .2 it will be seen that had I been unable to rely on the reflexive. what those objects are that the talk is about depends in tum on the ways that one is 'instructed' to see them. many unresolvable problems of analysis would have been encountered. but was deprived of the talk within it. I could not have seen which behaviors went together as 'instances' of the same pattern of behavior and which were being produced by compliance to the 2 The procedure is referred to in the phenomenological literature as the method of free variation (see Spiegelberg. 2] : 655-701). not telling us to leave. This would not always be the case. f The Relative Determinacy of Sense o Code Events and Code Accounts The ways a course of observation is involved in and relies upon these mutually determining dependencies can be seen in a detailed consideration of the way in which I arrived at portions of my formulation of the convict code and by hypothetically 'extracting' the data (utterances and behaviors) from their contexture and transforming them into elements.3 I could not have deci�ed which parts of their talk iwere 'telling the code'. Garfinkel and Sacks (1970: 346) provide an example : JH: Isn't it nice there's such a crowd of you in the office ? SM : (You're asking us to leave.. since conversationalists attend to each other's utterances as actions and sometimes 'formulate' what they are doing in talking in those terms. the 'referent' is in the previous conversationaIist's utterance. 3 The proposal has a potentially unclear sense if it is interpreted as meaning that an observer with a transcript would fit the conditions of the proposal.g.nthesized sentence. I mean to exclude such cases in the proposal such that the observer examines a transcript or hears a tape in only a 'referential' way.1 90 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY On the other hand. e. 1960 [vol.
' The rule. in fact. With overwhelming typicality. it was seeable as an expression of the underlying rule. residents did not volunteer or even agree to take part in the organizational work that any additions to the program would imply. but otherwise was ignorant of the setting. and the rule it was seen to express. These circumstances can be examined by returning to the remark.THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY 191 same rule. I could not have deduced or derived a description of a single set of behavioral outcomes that would be the product of complying with those maxims. 'Show your loyalty to the residents . 'doing distance' or 'doing passive compliance '). I had tentatively assembled the rule before this point and had already observed that it seemed to prohibit residents from helping staff with their work. was uttered in a Monday night group in which residents did respond. I could not have seen which behaviors went together as 'instances' of the same pattern of behavior and which were being produced by compliance to the same rule. but instead would have produced many such competitive sets. i. (d) If I had somehow developed all of the maxims of the code. In this particular case. (e) If I had somehow developed a description of all of the behaviors analyzed as to types of behavior (e. when asked. When the remark in question was uttered in that behavioral context. 'You know I can't organize the baseball team'. but instead would have produced many competitive sets of rules. with suggestions for program modifications and additions..g. volunteering to assist in resident-oriented programs and even resident-initiated programs . I still could not have inferred a single set of rules which would analyze those behaviors as the outcome of complying with that set of rules. however. In this instance. behaviors which can be understood as complying with the rule that the remark expresses. ' The remark is seeable as 'telling the code' in its discovered juxta position with some fulfilling. not only accounted for the refusal of this particular resident to volunteer at this time. the remark. but also accounted for the general pattern of not volunteering.. but otherwise was deprived of the talk within it. (c) If I had somehow developed all of the maxims of the code. 'Show your loyalty to the residents. thereby. associated behaviors.e.
THE CODE AS SO CIAL REALITY
was seen to fall under the auspices of the general rule. That is, hearing the remark served to specify some of the applications of the rule, 'Show your loyalty . . . ' Had I not witnessed a series of Monday night group sessions, however, I could have alternatively imagined that residents typically did volunteer to organize recreational activities, or at least tJ,leir own recreational activities. Such a possibility could not have been dismisseq by merely attending to what the residents were talking about on the particular Monday night in question. In light of this possible and plausible context of volunteering, the remark could be heard as a statement of a personal exemption, rather than as an expression of a rule, e.g., 'You know that I cannot volunteer to organize the baseball team. ' In the latter interpretation, the expression implies that the person spoken to (but not neces sarily other persons hearing the remark) knows something about the speaker which makes it inappropriate for him to organize the baseball team. In the absence of the prior observations about volunteering, either understanding of the remark is equally plausible. Equipped with a collection of prior observations, however, the hearer is led or guided to hear the remark as a statement of a rule. The observer's work of transforming remarks into statements of rules, or the task of simply hearing talk as expressions of rules, depends on the observer's discovery of some set of behaviors which are the fulfillment of those rules.4 In that juxtaposition, utterance and behavior obtain their sense as a statement-of-a-rule and an instance-of-a-pattern-of-behavior. That is, one can see an utterance as a rule with a determinate sense by locating those
4 The discovery of the behaviors which give an utterance its rule-like character need not occur simultaneously with the utterance itself. In the example that I propose, the utterance was retrospectively used, i.e., the behaviors had occurred before the utterance. It could just as well have occurred prospectively such that the observer would find that he had previously uncovered a remark that was a rule on the occasion of observing behaviors which could be seen as that remark-as-a-rule's fulfillment. The temporal features of this kind of discovery are treated in Garfinkel's discussion of the documentary method of interpretation (Garfinkel, 1967: 89-90). Further empirical investigation o f these features may be found in McHugh (1968) and Leiter (1969).
THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY
behaviors which would be the outcome of complying with such a rule. The observer's collection of actual instances of behavior into categorized types of behavior is dependent on hearing members' talk. Through the residents' talk, I was able to tentatively for mulate what their 'rules' might be. The preformulated or ten tatively formulated rules which were based on residents' talk permitted me to see what motives any particular behavioral display was likely to be 'expressing'. This permitted me (and would permit any other observer) to organize particular behaviors into coherent, classifiable types of behavior. That is, knowing something of the rules by means of resident talk would tell an observer something of the kinds of motives he would encounter in the setting. On knowing what kind of motives he might find, an observer would then be able to see the meanings of behaviors he had encountered. Without supposing something about typical motives, the particular concrete behaviors are equivocal in their sense, i.e., any particular display could be cogently depicted as contrastive kinds of acts. If one motivational scheme is replaced with a.nother, the perceptual field is potentially altered in such a way as to radically recompose the perceived organization of the scene. Two disparate behaviors which had heretofore been seen as going together as instances of the same behavior, because they were both expressions of the same underlying motive, might no longer have a 'perceptual affinity' for one another and be seen as expressing two different motives. Similarly, two disparate behaviors which were heretofore seen as instances of two different patterns might now be seen as instances of the same pattern. For example, the behavioral particulars accounted for by the rule, 'Show your loyalty to the residents', were analyzed in my description as doing 'distance', 'disinterest and disrespect', 'passive compliance', and 'demands and requests'. Without the organizing motivational scheme of the rule, 'Show your loyalty to the residents', the particular observed behaviors organized under the named titles (e.g., 'doing disinterest and disrespect') would not
THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY
have been collected under those titles and would, in turn, have been seen by me and anyone else (e.g., the staff) as meaning something different than they were seen to mean.
If the resident behavior were 'extracted' from its surrounding
context of talk, the observer would be 'unguided' in his tentative formulations of resident rules. Without resident talk to appeal to, he could propose that residents operated under rules of strict economic rationality and maximization of democratically organized therapy just as cogently as he could propose the rule of showing loyalty toward one's fellows. That is, he could cogently propose that residents oriented their behavior to maximize their advantages and that they were also 'playing a g'lme' in which receiving a particular type of therapy was their goal. Under these rules, the behavioral particulars which were organized under the title of 'disinterest and disrespect' (such as the mode of residents' appearance at group - the slouch, facially displayed inattention, unresponsiveness to staff questions and invitations to talk, non-group-directed talk, eating in group, denouncing the ideals of the group) would then be organized under different headings. Some of these items woultl form a contextural relation with behaviors I had seen as 'instances' of another class of behavior, e.g., some behaviors portrayed previously under
the title of 'passive compliance' (which included being unresponsive
to requests for volunteers, being particularly responsive to sanc tioned demands, leaving the room immediately after group, saying in so many words that one is complying because of a sanction, asking about what is required, and doing only what is required) would become part of this same 'type' of behavior. Under the schema of the therapy 'game' and the rule of economic rationality, behavior that had been depicted as slouching, facially displayed inattentiveness, and extremely casual dress might well be seen and portrayed as appropriate therapeutic permissiveness, comfort, and relaxation that is sometimes recounted as essential to therapeutic contemplation. Being unresponsive to staff talk (from 'disinterest and disrespect') and being unresponsive to staff pleas for volunteers (from 'passive compliance'), as well as showing
THE COnE AS SOCIAL REALITY
up for only those activities that were required, would be organized under a title which indicated that residents would negatively sanction forms of therapy that they did not think beneficial (and they did, in fact, argue that much of what staff did in group could not be beneficial, because it supposed that as a group they would attempt to control each other's behavior, rather than each member's being singly responsible for his own acts). In that titling of the behavioral particulars, the observer would call attention to the supposition that residents did not dislike therapy programs guided by staff but, instead, simply did not approve of much of what staff put forth as therapy. Similarly, their denun ciation of group ideals could be seen as a straightforward assertion by residents that the way the staff was running group did not permit the democratic participation of residents in decisions relevant to the group. Residents' tardiness in paying bills (described in my analysis as an instance of 'passive compliance ') and residents' drinking wine in the house (from 'patterns of violations') would be organized under a title like 'minimizing monetary expenditures ' (residents often justified drinking in the house as a cheaper way to get 'high ' or stay 'high' than drinking in a bar). Behaviors which minimize monetary expenditures would be accounted for under the rule of strict economic rationality as would behaviors classified as 'minimizing expended effort'. Minimizing expended effort would be a general pattern of behavior which would include such sub patterns of behavior as resident attention to sanctions (which thereby reduces 'hassle'), the continuous attempt to detect what was required (both from 'passivt; compliance'), and the quick departure from the room as soon as group was over (from 'dis interest and disrespect'). It would also be the case that some behaviors would simply go by unnoticed under this hypothetical schema, e.g., eating in group might be such a 'non-event'. Thus, how the behaviors are seen as motivated conduct is dependent on some supposed motivational scheme (in cases like this, one supplied by rule) which is itself dependent for its determinacy on hearing talk.
(b) take every opportunity to show their distaste for staff through. impoliteness . inasmuch as residents dressed like other working class Mexican-Americans in the neighborhood and staff dressed in coat and tie. but would not be correct with respect to stealing from one another. one (I) could not theoretically generate a set of behaviors which matched the observed behaviors and justify not generating others that were. (d) not engage in attacks on one another either verbally or physically. not observed. as in stealing . either chosen alternative While it was the case that staff and residents did dress differently. or would they undertake no action unless they were 'forced ' to do so ? In both of these instances.1 96 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY If the list of maxims which made up the code were 'extracted' from their contextural juxtaposition with the behaviors they explain. From the rule.5 If some of the behaviors actually proposedly encompassed by this rule are examined. the nonpredictability of the behaviors is even more dramatic. 5 .g. These plausible 'predictions ' would be correct with respect to informing. or attack one another's property. If one simply knew that residents were supposed to show their loyalty to other residents as an 'in-group' opposed to the 'out-group' of staff. in fact. he could plausibly 'predict' that they would thereby (a) assume a distinctive style of dress and talk which set them apart from staff and any others . when residents had occasion to 'dress up' as they did for Mexican Independence Day. e. or would they be so relaxed as to appear disinterested ? How should he expect them to respond to requests put forth by the staff? Would they be very resistant to direct orders and less resistant to permissively given suggestions that they do something. (c) never talk to staff.. would be partially correct with respect to 'not attacking one another' in terms of verbal and physical abuse. they did not dress in ways that distinguished them from staff. The other plausible pre dictions would be wrong. and a (2) could not generate single complementary set of behaviors and justify this 'pre diction'. how should an analyst propose that residents would sit at group ? Would they be 'tense and hostile' in their posture. and (e) not inform on one another. 'Show your loyalty to the residents'.
In my analysis. Instead. is a consequence of the 'open. the resident group is demonstrated by a rejection of the staff group by 'doing disinterest and disrespect' toward staff programs and proposals. It is employed by an observer to render any behavior he encounters intelligible. which renders unforeseen behaviors familiar. However.. and verbally degrading the goals of the group. moving in and out of the group. Conversely. 'Show your loyalty to the residents. even though the alternatives propose opposite actions. This can be seen by considering the behaviors I have classified as 'doing disinterest and disrespect'. dressing for group with extreme casualness. Instead of 'predicting' behavior. directing one's attention away from the topic of the group by eye movements. the rule is actually employed as an interpretive device. one's loyalty to. shining one's shoes. being unresponsive to inquiries and suggestions of the group leader. This means that while one could take the rule and a set of actually occurring concrete behaviors and see that those behaviors could have been produced as outcomes of compliance with that rule. I explained these behaviors as a means to realizing the code's injunction. as coherent in terms of patterned motivation. This experienced predictiveness of the rule.THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY 1 97 would be equally plausible interpretations in terms of the same rule. holding side conversations. a single set of rules which would analyze and explain these behaviors could not be inferred. by depriving ourselves of the guidance of resident talk . rules are ex perienced as predictive. This collection of behaviors included the typical patterns of slouching at group. flexible structure' of (or the etcetera clause of) codes of conduct. ' In that analysis. the analyst would find that he could produce a variety of plausible and competitive sets of rules. i. However. if the description of resident behaviors which were already analyzed and clasSified as to types were 'extracted' from the context of surrounding talk.e. in their 'natural' contextural location among the behaviors they explain. the rule in itself does not tell the investigator what to expect. Perceived behaviors are immediately rendered intelligible and f amiliar in their seen juxtaposition with an already known rule.
that without the guidance of resident talk. . their occupational prospects were not bright . however. in contrast to motivations to obtain the 'Show your loyalty to the residents. . Compliance with the maxim. among a variety of possibilities. an analyst who was open to other kinds of expla nations of the described and classified behaviors besides their possible contra-cultural production could easily discover and portray those aspects of the halfway house regime which would produce apathy or depression in the residents. requires that one show his dominance over his cir cumstances by suppressing any show of affect and interest in occurrences in his situation. in fact. and other doings of the residents. He would find. when extracted (in imagination) from their juxtaThis idea and some of the ideas leading up to it are related but not identical 8 to Garfinkel's formulation of "production accounts as a collection of embedded . which is the motivation to comply with the maxim. the situated talk. THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF SOCIALLY DESCRIPTIVE AND EXPLANATORY TALK (ACCOUNTS) AS OPEN-ENDED COLLECTIONS OF EMBEDDED INSTRUCTIONS8 respect and admiration of trust of their fellows. that 'doing disinterest and disrespect' was action in compliance with the stylistic maxim. the residents' material circumstances were degrading when compared to those of their non-parolee friends . we could just as plausibly propose. The elements of the setting. and he would have no way of arguing which single set among the many were. operative in the setting. For example. an analyst faced with the task of inspecting an array of classified behaviors of residents in order to theoretically generate a set of rules or conditions which would produce those patterned behaviors could easily do so. ' Moreover. etc. 'be cool '. Persons complying with such a rule do so out of motivations to obtain the their f ellows.198 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY in formulating plausible rules (in this case. 'Show your loyalty . the program could be represented as dull and uninteresting. To reiterate. he could have many competitive sets of rules and conditions. 'be cool'. ').
For example. the same display of behavior can be described as several different kinds of motivated actions. all we are given in direct sense-experience is a body movement.an act.THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY 199 position with one another. a repetition of the same utterance. Any particular display can be described and explained in a variety of competing terms. a set of acts collected under the rubric of the same type. goal.is equivocal in sense. an utterance. become radically equivocal in meaning. Yet. 1 964 : 234-247). while not showing the backside. when we observe an event of conduct.. or intention of the actor. none the less makes necessary reference to a backside for the appearance to be a perception of a house. or intention itself is not given in direct sense-experience but is situated within a horizon of greater or lesser determination. In Gurwitsch and HusserI's terms (Gurwitsch. what is called the 'inner horizon' of each (isolated) element or part-whole frames a range of open possibilities within which the observer can find no grounds for choosing one possibility over the others. the ideas arrived at here were the results of a different course of reasoning. involving the use of extensive menological methods and concepts. It appears to me that although there is considerable comparability between the two sets of ideas and that r was undoubtedly very influenced by what I came to learn of what was said in that lecture. The backside of the house is thus an aspect of the inner horizon of the perceptual appearance of the house-viewed-from-the-front and is co-constitutive and co-determinative of that perceptual appearance. any particular display . for example. a repetition of acts (e. The inner horizon is that collection of references of a perception which are not given in the present direct sense experience but which are none the less co-constitutive of and co-determinative of the perceptual appearance as such. repetitively seen 'slouches '). The appearance of a house from the front.g. For a human body movement to be seen as an event of conduct involves necessary reference to some form of motive. goal. The necessary reference to motive. the naming of a collection of utterances . In isolation. ethnographic observation as well as the explicit employment of pheno . Within the open instructions" that he proposed in a talk given in Berkeley in May of 1966.
inner horizon. and would function as potential embedded instructions in the same way as rules. The range of possible events of conduct that are the potentialities of a single body movement become narrowed and specified when observed from the vantage point provided by embedded instruction . the behaviors and talk mutually fulfill and determine one another.7 The formulation of talk as 'telling the code' and the formulation of behaviors as code-relevantly-described and code-produced. etc. and behavior formulated as code relevantly-described and code-produced. values. make the variety of 'expressions' of the scene through talk and other conduct assume a relatively unequivocal. attitudes. we must understand that the transformation of talk into 'telling the code'.200 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY possibilities of the range which is framed by the goals. historical and ongoing course of experience of the 7 In other contexts.the talk of members about their affairs when heard as rules. The range of the open possibilities of meaning of each element is narrowed by mutual specification. and mutually elucidating form. well-ordered. The setting is ordered in perception and description in a way paralleling that of a good gestalt. . It must be stressed at this point that the ordering of the setting and the definite sense the elements of the setting achieve in their contextural location is contingent and relative. members' talk would be heard as role titles and pre scriptions. itself depends on the contextural location of those events in juxtaposition with one another such that they mutually fulfill and partially specify one another. when employed with interpretive work on the visible scenes of the halfway house. motives. What talk refers to becomes specified in its trans fOl mation into 'rules' or 'instructions' wherein it is seen as sensibly related to behaviors which could fulfill it after the fashion of action in compliance with a rule. the same body movement may be compatible with a variety of But when the elements of a setting occur in their natural position and are juxtaposed with one another. The clear sense that the elements achieve in their contexture is contingent upon the concrete. coherent. understandable. or intentions. But by this.
It might be noted. That element whose functional significance now becomes clear and which supplies a clarifying context for the present display may have been given in direct sense-experience at some prior time. They are given within the ongoing. treated as understandable. each participant had a demonstration that his understanding of what he had seen was for-all-practical-purposes equivalent to the observations of others. that in this context . Part of the contexture of any present display is located within the accumulated experience of the observer. Unlike the gestalt-contextures typically described in textbooks. i. given their mobility in ever-changing concrete scenes. Such reassurances are.>n sees the elements or part-wholes as juxtaposed in his search for structure. however. as we have seen. the experienced specificity of each successive display is relative to the concrete prior experiences of each observer. From the standpoint of the listeners. both 'hearing and telling the code' involved active search for meaning on the part of both speaker and listener. In the setting of the halfway house. hardly passive or mechanical for.. even though we experience an object or event as known-in-common with others present. the part-wholes under analysis here are neither given simultaneously nor are they necessarily given within spatial proximity to one another. 8 8 The full complexities of the problem of intersubjectlvity are beyond the scope of the present work. and acted upon or responded to by others.e. however.THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY 201 observer. By formulating and describing actions and scenes in the language of the code and in having that talk accepted. While the experiences of two or more observers may be 'similar'. the fact that they could find that talk a cogent description was similarly 'reassuring'. concrete course of experience of some mobile observer whose focused 'attenti(. the expe riences of two or more observers cannot be identical. We must 'work' at the preservation of our presupposition that we observe the selfsame objects and events. that sense is our managed accomplishment. some of the 'work' involved in preserving each participant's sense that he lived in a world-known-in-common-with-others was carried out by 'hearing and telling the code'. TI1US.
Much of Garfinkel's (1967: 1-103) and PoUner's (1970) work has been directed to showing the variety of ways in which (or methods whereby) societal members constantly manage to sustain their sense that these necessary presuppositions are viable. f or-all-practical poses. and present concerns are irrelevant. While it is the case that the range of the open possibilities of the inner horizon of a perceived event is narrowed by its location within a contexture . can have no more than relative specificity at any given time. and Pollner (1970) have 'argued that the sense an event has for us as the same for each of us is dependent �n the skillful usage of the idealization of 'the reciprocity of perspectives'. They argue further that we take it for granted that differences in our prior experiences. They argue that we take it for granted that were we to exchange positions with someone else that they would see what we had seen and vice versa. to the sense that some object or event before us now has to each 'Pur (Of us and that. Nor does it preclude the possibility of encountering new and startling displays which totally alter the meaning of the original experience such that what that original appearance was an appearance has o becomes altered. the event or object means the same thing to each of us. . Displays of the sort under analysis situated talk and behavior .are always open to further disclosure or obtain new meaning in the context of future events (or the new uncovering of prior events) and. The original appearance now f functional signification within a new gestalt another contexture. At any given moment. they and their prospective Schutz (1962). The original perception with its inner horizon is 'destroyed' and replaced by another. they may become further specified or even totally altered. even though the original sense-experience is woven into the newly perceived object as one of its possible appearances.the functional signification it obtains in its juxtaposition with other elements or part-wholes . interests.this does not mean that the inner horizon is fully specified. They argue that our sense that the world we know is 'known-in common-with-others' is a constantly managed accomplishment. Garfinkel (1967).202 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY Besides the relativity of the observer's sense that objects within the setting have a definite meaning (which is contingent upon the observer's actual prior experiences). therefore. f or-all-practical-purposes. Within the course of new experience. however. there is another sense in which that specificity is relative. Cicourel (1970).
on the other. and organizes the uncovering and employment of embedded instructions. recognized and employed ? The name 'convict code'. reflexive : . .10 9 The idea of indexical particulars has been developed by Garfinkel in largely unpublished writings. converts overheard remarks into em bedded instructions for perceiving action. . See also PolJner (1970). after all. experienced as having relative specificity of meaning. Novice staff members and I strove to make the scenes of the halfway house familiar to us in such a way that they were progressively . In carrying out the search. members accounts. they are also a f eature or aspect of that same organizatio n In this embeddedness they are. in Garfinkel's terms (1 967 : 8). and what residents. or at least may be. on the one hand. in so doing. motivates a search for the code 's component maxims and its related behaviors. and think. are 'really doing '. in all their logical modes. with all their uses.THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY 203 references are. But how are the embedded instructions. and for every method for their assembly are constituent features of the settings they make observable. The 'convict code '. which the code title suggests. the code's com ponent maxims and the 'causally' related behaviors are uncovered and identified through efforts to analyze (or merely understand) and explain what residents see. While those instructions are about the organization of resident affairs. of every sort. . as features of the settings they make observable. What we ordinarily think of as the convict code. The activation of the search. appears to be little more than a suggestive title. 0 1 Pursuing such a search is never-ending for one who makes it his business to bring resident and staff affairs within what Schutz (1964: 93) ref erred to as a 'field of domination'. or a statement of any of its potential maxims. then. the use of which motivates. feel. Pursuit of the search and what it uncovers constitutes the setting as an ordered setting that the observer can live in and with. consists of a collection of embedded instructions for perception. in this context. names. is achieved by an observer who actively interprets the indexical particulars (the embedded 'bits and pieces' whose sense is determined by their seen relevance to some context9) of talk and action and.
The relationships between displayed behaviors or talk. and within our control so that we finally developed a sense that we 'knew' what to expect and experienced resident talk and action as 'expectable enough for-all-practical-purposes'. rather than hearing them talk about their loyalty to one another. That is. this initial experienced as mOle and more complex. . their inner horizons.F. and names particular concretely encountered displays as typical displays in the setting and as patterns of the setting. the cook or a casual observer). In keeping with the description and analysis that has preceded it. Encountered behaviors which were initially puzzling to a novice staff member or researcher and unlike the familiar responses of others (such as a resident's reluctance to carry out a conversation in public) became trans formed by the explicit or tacit employment of the developing scheme of interpretation. For such interested parties to the setting. for example. Before proceeding.. in that he did not 'need ' to respond to and be responded to by residents (e. we experienced resident action as within our field of domination. elaborate. the visible forms of talk and action are continuously constituted with growing embellishment and deter mination. definite.204 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY We have already considered a variety of examples of the ways in which relative definite sense for what would otherwise be equivocal and unrelated displays is achieved by the observer's 'employment' of a developing sense of the convict code to narrow the range of open possibilities of the inner horizon of some perceived action or utterance. and perhaps more plimitive. On the other hand. He might see body movements and talk as the more or less familiar patterns of persons doing such thin� as 'milling around after dinner!. some comments are required about the status of such procedural descriptions. for it was definite enough for us to gear our own actions into theirs. would encounter and experience the same scene as having a different. and the convict code can be represented as the achievement of an ensemble of 'procedures' whereby an observer (a) specifies particular ways that successively encountered displays are related to each other and (b) locates. however. I intend the notion of 'procedures' as an initial schematic for addressing the issue of 'how' one display achieves a relative definite sense and is seen to be related to other actions and utterances. rather than as instances of 'doing distance'. set of structures. identifies. and might. seeable-in-a glance. a participant who was indifferent to further under standing. hear persons talking about organizing a baseball team. Such events became transformed into actions which were seen in-a-glance as instances of familiar patterns.
we may say that the mi\mber of the in-group looks in a single glance through the normal social situations occurring to him and that he catches immediately the ready ':. myself in moments of preoccupied reflection after encountering a puzzling action or utterance) do explicitly employ 'procedures' such as those schematized below. The conception of pro cedure employed here is. and the place of a developing sense of the convict code in narrowing the inner horizon of some displayed action or utterance. In those situations his acting shows all the marks of habituality.made recipe appropriate to its solution.g. Therefore. as Schutz (1964: 101) writes : . . thus. and the notions of . the documentary method of interpretation. 'procedure' are motivated by those experiences. In developing further evidence bearing upon the nature and organization of 'members' methods' for accomplishing a sense of order. we will have to go beyond the observation of natural settings to more systematic and controlled observations. . and depicts · perceptual or cognitive acts as definite in their se quential structure. while the procedures are congruent with those courses of displayed reasoning which are revealed in accounts of scenes. and half-consciousness. a recommendation for an initial orientation to this further task. Nevertheless. it remains to be seen what kind of description can ultimately be assigned to the process of arriving at the relative definite sense of a code-organized setting (and by extension. Furthermore. the notion of 'procedure' is not literally descriptive of actual perceptual or cognitive processes.. automatism. While it is possible that some observers (e. the relative definite sense of any setting's organization). the reflexivity of accounts. These conceptions are congruent with my own experience in coming to see the socially structured character of the halfway house. The language of procedures is quasi-deductive in tone. .THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY 205 schematization of 'procedures' is prompted by the concepts of functional signification and indexicality. implies deliberateness and reflection. demonstrating their status as necessary elements of socially acceptable reasoning requires data that cannot be (or at least is unlikely to be) obtained by observations of natural settings.
In this context. The sense of an utterance and the sense of some behavior or plishing some goal. relative definite sense may be conceived of as achieved through With these qualifications in mind. A relative definite sense by the following 'procedures' (among unknown others) for relating linkages. but it is.206 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY the development and employment of an 'apparatus' for describing Weber's rule of adequate causal analysis is not simply a rule for deciding the adequacy of the match between a rule and some set of behaviors. the sense of 'causal relation further specification of the sense of the code. Behaviors of two different actors can obtain a definite sense developing sense of the code is employed and further elaborated party B that would obtain a response 'like that' from party B. particular outcome of an act (from its many outcomes) as the by using the developing sense of a code for selecting some 3. as well as a observer's act of reflecting on their production as role-bound 5. The goal itself is suggested partially by the as it is developed as a texture of motivations. discovery of such relatable behaviors and partially by the code observer by his imagining them as alteptative means of accom 2. t he In such a course of imaginative work. 4. 'party A's act'. behaviors is achieved by juxtaposing each element in imagination 1 . the accomplishment of for what would otherwise be equivocal displays is accomplished one display to another : that can meet the criterion of 'adequacy'. Behaviors can be posed as related to an intended outcome by identifying party A's action as the cause of party B's action. Behaviors and utterances obtain a definite sense by the . an operation of searching for such and explaining behaviors by reference to rules. rather. thus determining the meaning of the act. and that in that search one discovers rules and behaviors such that the utterance is a rule for producing that behavior. ship'. Several different behaviors can obtain a specific sense for an intended one. and 'party B's act' are obtained. by its use in imagining what sort of act party A could do to In doing that kind of immediate or concrete causal analysis.
and that they were f ormula table in terms of the convict code. then. the formulation was offered as a formulation of the 'social facts' of the setting. ardized. It 'provides for' which occurrences are to be counted as particular-to-the-organization (?f halfway house) or part-of-the-organization-as-an-event-within it. Thus. or meaningful . 'matters in which we as individuals have no alternative'. 'our behavior'. This 'instance-formulating' work (typification) is essential to the seeing of patterns . (It was in this way that staff was able to interpret curfew violation as an act directed against themselves. The sense of these occurrences. The sense that encountered appearances were typical.THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY 207 behaviors in which the developing sense of the code is employed as a prescription for interactions between the actor whose behavior is in question and the party toward whom he is visibly or imaginatively acting. and 'Telling the code' which were explicitly formulated specific occurrences in the setting as typical. The particular talk of residents which was being understood by me and by the staff as the embedded instruction of 'telling the code' formulated concrete events in the setting as typical occur rences such that manifestly diverse behaviors could be seen as instances of the same pattern. facts of life about 'our ways'.e.) In all these ways of achieving a relative definite sense of acts and talk. 'something about which we have no choice '. i. stands in contrast to the sense they would obtain if they were primarily understood in the context of events which made up that particular resident's day. and 'matters which you and I cannot change '. the residents' occasional (though explicit) advice that such structures were to be found. stand repetitive occurrences independent of the particular personnel in the setting at the time. or meaningful in their place in the particular historical relationship between that resident and a particular staff member. That is. it was proposed and seen that what happened would have happened regardless of who-in-particular was doing it.. functioned as a guide for the imagination. patterned appearances was also guided by residents ' formulations .both patterns of recurrent events and patterns of sequentially related events.
that it was an open-ended collection of embedded instructions whose recognition and employment depended upon an active search for structure). Yet. let us review briefly some of its steps. The code was not offered as merely about the setting. other guided searches would relate the particulars in other ways and with another sense. It was proposed that a setting becomes constituted for a new party through the common interactive efforts of all active participants .. In light of what the code consists (i. That is. there are known and unknown ways in which the setting could be constituted as the observer's structured life-world through the use of other guides or interpretive schemes over the same set of particulars.e. 'telling the code' formulates what is part of a pattern and what is accidental to it..e. i. the persuasiveness of 'telling the code' and the consequentiality of 'telling the code' cannot refer to anything more definite than a persuasive promise that structure and relative definite sense will be found and a threatening insistence that the hearer must strive to discover that relative definite sense which includes the code's consequentiality. the code was not obtained as merely one alternative guide or scheme of interpretation among possible others. Before assessing the status of that argument. etc. consequential scheme of interpretation for operating within the setting. as was noted in Chapter Six. stable organization of the halfway house is the attainment of a guided imagination which searches for sense through concretely experienced scenes.208 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY only as the unintended outcome of something else the resident was doing. RECONSIDERATION OF THE PERSUASIVE AND CONSEQUENTIAL CHARACTER OF ACCOUNTS The fact that social accounts are open-ended collections of a reconsideration of their per embedded instructions forces suasive and consequential character. but was offered within the setting to the researcher and to the staff as a persuasive. While the real (experientially real).
and it was in their interest to do so. In such cases. when understood as embedded instruction. I see no cogent grounds for supposing that such residents even explicitly knew that they had a specific 'reason' for refusing. for whatever 'reason' a particular resident did not want to go to my office at the time I invited him. Or. the setting becomes known and experienced as a coherent. The important consequentiality of 'telling the code' coupled with its flexible and open structure (i. 'telling the code' could serve to manage the request. They may well have vaguely sensed that the prospect of talking or organizing would not be an inviting thing to do. telling me that he could not be friends with me was an effective way of cutting off my invitation. there is no way of ascertaining whether or not the code spoke to the 'actual' motives of the residents. Thus. The persuasive talk of 'old hands' becomes embedded instruction for the novice. A resident's 'telling the code' about his own behavior. was an effective way of refusing without getting into trouble. interpretive search for structure and meaning. had the effect of making his conduct appear as motivated by an enforceable.. for whatever reason a resident did not want to organize the baseball team. Occasions for 'teillng the code' most frequently occurred when accounts which justified something were 'requested'. An effective 'telling of the code' accomplished this relative specification of the appearance of his conduct irrespective of what the resident thought he was 'really doing'. Given . Since meeting the demand for justification could have been the single goal of 'telling the code' in every particular case in which it was told.THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY 209 in the setting. nor did any given maxim have a definite scope of application) means. telling the staff. meaningful round of activities by the work of 'old hands' and novices. Furthermore. that the residents were in a position to manipulate my understanding and staff's under standing of the code. impersonal (in the sense of 'not his choice') order. at the least. which he uses as a scheme of interpretation in his active.e. For example. its capacity to explain a very wide range of events and the fact that it did not consist of a fixed set of maxims. 'You know I can't organize the baseball team'.
the potential consequences for the future perceptions of the hearer extend well beyond the interests encompassed by the speaker's present project. flexible structure. can manipulate the . in light of the character of 'embedded instructions'. For example. While it is the case that members. actors delib erately or inadvertently manipulate each other's general and continuous perceptions of the scene in their attempt to manage specific interactions. Now in Chapter Six. and even with his fellow residents. it was suggested that. then what the scene in general appeared to be was continuously contingent upon the particular goals and projects of participants in successive interactional occasions. In developing a 'good case' for the speaker in the present (or f or some presently entertained project). what a resident says to the agent to excuse himself may effect the way the agent sees many features of resident life in general. self-serving method of moral justification. if each (or even any) particular instance of 'telling the code' were developed as a more or less deliberate. such an argument would apply to all talk which becomes employed in a scheme of interpretation in any scene.210 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY the open. flexible structure of 'telling the code'. While some of the arguments proposed earlier in this chapter might now require us to say that a resident could never know just what impact his 'telling the code' had on the perceptual world of the staff and researcher. Given this open. even the resident himself could not be certain about the extent to which his account qn any particular occasion was invented to promote his own interests in that situation. in the interest of avoiding going to a bar with a parole agent. given the uses of instances of 'telling the code' in my (and staff's) developing scheme of interpretation for understanding any particular present and succeeding incidents (and for reinterpreting prior incidents). there is no way of knowing whether or not any particular utterance which came to be identified as 'telling the code' was an ad hoc. Moreover. with the staff. for example residents and staff.11 the possibility 11 That is. the kind of impact persuasion can have is unknowable to the speaker. free invention of a maxim (or an application of a maxim) that was developed by the resident in his attempt to manage his circumstances with me. In brief.
and that we understand what the other said in approximately the same way that they meant it. Let us. then. character of each other's perceptual world by what they say .and hence. nevertheless. no amount of 'fixing' or qualification can make any specific 'theory of interests' stronger than the 'theory of the convict code' which it might replace.. ". . but. While it might now appear to us that a 'teller of the code' cannot know what he means by what he says . one could say that the suppositions that everyone employs within everyday life require that we treat what we say as understandable by others in approximately the same way that we meant it. However. he may not. In a rather different context. . flexible structure of 'telling the code' invited residents to attempt to pursue their own interests by fabricating accounts which deceived me and the staff.e. .they cannot quite know what impact that embedded instruction will have on the other's perceptual world. differently than they can say in just so many words . the open. The facts that the accounting work of 'telling the code' defined the immediate environment of hearer and teller. be effective in pursuing his interests by 'telling the code'. In the terms of the argument just developed here. After all. It could be argued. Garfinkel and Sacks (1970: 344) have argued that "speakers mean .THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY 211 remains that a 'theory of interests ' might serve as a strong substantive replacement for the traditional 'theory of the convict code'. then. is precisely what persons are attempting t9 do by 'telling the code'.that they can guide and instruct each other's perception of the social world in which they both live . consider such a possibility. . flexible structure invited its manipulation by the teller. Garfinkel (1967 : 24-31 . it would appear that speakers mean differently than they can know. i. The present embedded instruction obtains its relative specific sense in its juxtaposition with events the hearer has previously witnessed such that this present talk and those prior witnessed events mutually fulfill and determine one another. the suppositions are sanctionable. that even though staff and researcher's under standing of the code differed from the way in which it was understood by residents. 38-65) has found that (except for particular instances of doubt which could occur at any time. and that it had an open. as will be apparent in the argument which follows. he cannot know precisely what the other understands on the basis of what he (the speaker) says. but never globally) persons not only take it for granted that these suppositions are viable. . in actual conversations. A 'theory of interests' would be argued in the following way. for what the embedded instruction means depends on just what scheme of interpretation the other has developed up to that point in time and the specific events he has witnessed. this state of affairs does not prevent us from arguing that this. they are insistent that they under stand and are understandable. that it was inter actionally consequential in that environment. also.in the sense that he cannot know what a listener will hear as meant . in fact. Since the speaker cannot know specifically what the other has witnessed.
some assertion specifying the under lying 'interests ' or underlying maxim of the code could be discovered .what was 'really going on' was residents' pursuing their immediate interests by fabricating instances of 'telling the code' which deceived me and the staff.212 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY He could. after all. flexible structure of the code' permits the possibility that in any particular case. methods. We encounter them. the staff (or an observer) could have been manipulatively taken in by a 'false' statement of the code. These stubborn equivocalities do not arise from the substance of 'interests' or the 'maxims of the code'. and findings. Just as it is so that in every particular case of 'telling the code' it can be shown that 'te1ling the code' in one way or another advances a resident's interests. 'Telling the code' masked what was 'really going on' at the halfway house . i.e. While the 'theory of interests' may be appealing in its potential for debunking sociological theory. The crucial point is that while the 'open. as I shall now argue.. For. flexible structure as well.limited only by the inventiveness of the observer. it can be shown as well that he was merely speaking consistently with what had been said by others about the code 'thus far'. any specific 'theory of interests' cannot be stronger than the 'theory of the convict code '. rather. This means that in every particular case of 'telling the code'. any attempt to specify interests is subject to the same equivocalities as specifying the maxims (or a maxim) of the code and would be accompJished through the same formal apparatus as employed in specifying the convict code. The way in which we see that someone is acting or speaking consistently with the code has many formal properties in common with the way in which we see that someone is acting or speaking consistently with his . by reason of the character of our use of embedded instructions (or any other scheme of interpretation employed within the documentary method of interpretation). pursue his immediate interests in the inter action by freely inventing a clause to. or a particular interpretation of. 'interests' have an open. by reason of our methods of understanding talk and action. the code in a specific 'telling' .
I have proposed. . codified.e. for example. its own meaning would be fulfilled. the resident statement. analyzing action by reference to 'interests' is formaVy identical to an analysis which is accomplished by reference to 'telling the code'. Let us consider the ways i n which interests would be specified. Thus. I make it appear that wanting to change the topic of a conversation without getting into trouble motivated the resident to say what he said. a resident could change the topic of a conversation with staff without appearing devious. That kind of analysis is accomplished by use of the same devices that are used in giving code-explanations. can serve as an embedded instruction for seeing resident conduct as an effort to avoid participation in the program. one has a method of depicting the interests which 'stand behind' each formulation of the code. By simply replacing 'developing sense of the code' with 'overt interactional consequences which fit together with any previously observed interactional consequences'. inter ac£ onal consequences can be observed as 'fitting together' by interpreting them in the light of some resident comment. 'The program is pointless and a bore'. By de scribing the resident's action in this way. such a theory would have the same properties. 'theory of interests' generated either within or outside the setting could serve the same interpretive functions. In this case. For example.. As in the ca�e of the interpretation of the intended consequences of action taken in compliance with the code. rather than as an expression of 'disinterest and disrespect' which shows his loyalty to other residents. It would be employed to identif y instances of some type of conduct and to connect one form of conduct to another. and elaborated as well. The character and adequacy of explanations having this form is the ti. i. specifying the meaning of the act. hence. modified. In its use as a scheme of interpretation.THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY 213 interests. that by alluding to the prohibition against snitching. all that is required is the modification of the following device : a behavior may be posited as related to an intended outcome by using the developing sense of a code for selecting one outcome of an act f rom its many outcomes and. and in that use. Any explicit.
. even though each is 'demonstrable-for-all-practical-purposes'. a vision of social reality like that entailed in the 'theory of interests' is subject to all the same considerations as soon as someone conceives of and verbalizes it. for. unavailable. in principle. Though the argument there concerns verbalized moral orders such as the convict code. as we shall see.214 THE CODE AS SOCIAL REALITY topic of the next chapter. Choosing between the two theories finally becomes a matter of preference. empirically based choice between them is. a strong.
this chapter is based and draws heavily upon the ideas and language of that paper. but rather talk of the code was consequential within the setting in which it occurred . The conceptual apparatus that sociology employs in approaching the explanation of human action has been recently formalized by Wilson ( 1970b) in his formulation of the "normative paradigm". it was treated in a very nearly conventional sociological manner. we consider in more detail some of the implications of these findings for the study of social inter action. Then in Part II. . a rule is a stable 1 An early version of this chapter served as the basis for a paper that I co authored with Don H. rather than the code 's being an objective description of those events. which was delivered to the 1 971 meetings of the American Sociological Association. In this second treatment. Zimmerman. He observed that the assumption that social interaction (and social action) is rule-governed is central to most sociological explanations of patterned conduct. the formulations of the code and the events in the setting it referred to were mutually determinative in their sense. I would like to specifically acknow ledge Professor Zimmerman's contribution to this chapter. In Part I. the code was not merely a narrative about the setting.8 'TELLING THE CODE' AS AN EXHIBITION OF ORDERl We have considered the convict code in the halfway house in two different ways. In his terms.entitled "The Competent Recognition of Social Action". we have examined the actual interactional uses of talk involving the code in more minute detail from an ethnomethodological perspective. . Pn this chapter. second. In turn. we found that the code exhibited certain features that raised important issues for the conventional sociological approach : first.
we may think of the well-defined class S (a situation) which classifies and treats as equivalent an array of concrete occasions distributed in time and space.g. In set theoretic terms. a rule assumes the status of an instruction to the theorist's actor to (1) attend his environment in order to detect the occurrence of specified situations and. attitudes. the class A (an action) which classifies concrete behaviors similarly distributed.e. motives. i. to (2) enact a prescribed behavior. In actual practice. mutatis mutandi. Thus. upon encountering an occasion which he perceives as an instance of S is disposed (mo tivated). and furnishes the same resource to the theorist and his colleagues. The features selected by the theorist (by whatever method) to define S are the perceptual criteria required by the theorist's model of the actor and the theorist to discriminate among occasions. or is expected under pain of sanction. Obviously norms.216 THE CODE AS EXHIBITION OF ORDER linkage between a situation on the one hand and an action on the other. Since sociologists are not concerned with unique situations and actions per se. the meaning of his conduct. it links S with A. principally role expectations. . in fact.e. his own or others '. one might theorize that a particular kind of actor.) or expectations.. is a response by an actor to a situation. in these terms. An action. the terms 'situation' and 'action' refer to classes in terms of which particular instances of each may be classified. to enact a behavior which is an instance of A. are definable within this framework. i. etc. his 'reason' for behaving as he does or. Within such a framework. The theorist's rule is an objective repre sentation of the actor's ground of conduct. and. values. The definition of A similarly equips the actor to recognize the appropriateness of behaviors on given occasions.. in other words. etc. the theorist would either demonstrate or assume (1) a source of socialization whereby the actual actor as the subject of his theory acquired the requisite dispositions or learned the relevant expectations or that he does.. upon encountering them. The linkage of S and A (the rule) may be in the form of dispositions (e. 'possess' them and (2) the conditions under which the actor will comply with the rule.
Instead.e classes. That is. For a rule to function as a term in a deductive theory (in other than a metaphorical sense). other members".THE CODE AS EXHffiITION OF ORDER 217 The logical requirements imposed by this scheme are of particular interest: (1) The class S and the class A must be de fined independently o each other. is inadmissable. . an examination of how observation actually takes place shows neither 'independence between situations and actions' nor 'literal description of situations and actions'. It must be possible for the predicted action not to occur. in the logical sense. we find active-constitutive dependence after the fashion of 'pieces' of a gestalt-contexture in their mutual determination of one another's sense. or reconstructed. if their recognition is a matter for negotiation. Rather than inde pendence. . However. In Wilson's terms (1970b : 72). given the action. Moreover. and if the classification is altered by context. the identification of an occasion as an f instance of S must not depend in principle upon the identification of behavior on that occasion as an instance of class A and conversely. the correct identification of such features must warrant classification independentlY" of other features. Rather than literal classification of elements of a set. the sense · in which disparate instances of occasions and behaviors are appearances of the same situations and actions becomes problematic. the classes S and A must be defined in terms of explicit features that are. (2) S and A must be literally described. If the defining features are not explicitly stated. and obviously the post hoc classification of the situation. the identified features must be "demonstrably recognizable by any competent member ofthe relevant scientific community independently of. co-present. sufficient conditions for classifying occasions or behaviors as members of· the respecth:. sub sequently observed. we find a contextuaJIy based interpretation of what . or by the additional features present over the developing course of a situation or an action. the very process or competent observation requires that the observer actively constitute his objects of observation out of the reflexive and indexical features of his research setting.
Moreover. and staff's duties (especially the control of resident conduct). like the staff of prisons. In the terms of a traditional ethnographic description and analysis (as in Chapter Four). as described in Chapter Two. These. situation-rule-action. The behavior of residents of halfway hQuse parallels the behavior of inmates reported by other researchers in a number of respects. the code operates as a potent organizing device for interactions between residents and staff and explains the various patterns of resident behavior.g. residents and staff also employed these same explanations in their daily inter- . and the specific findings are congruent with the traditional studies of inmate organization. The staff. an ensemble of rules. let us reexamine some of my work on observation and accounting. residents had a code of proper conduct which was indistinguishable from the 'convict code' that has been reported in the classical prison studies. In Chapter Three. The relationships between residents and staff in the halfway house revealed an organization having many of the features portrayed in previous studies of prisons.. are the elements of a typical sociological explanation of a pattern of action. Instead. we saw that like the actions of prison inmates. To give these remarks some substance. The situation aspect of the generalized formulation. recognized the behavior of their charges as deviant and treated it as a matter of chronic concern. this explanation of conduct in the halfway house was not confined to the researcher. consisted of those general organizational forms such as the rules. and an accompanying ensemble of actions which appeared to be proper candidates f or explanation within the normative paradigm. However. and also included concrete staff action preceding some resident action in question as all of these matters are defined from the standpoint of the resident.218 THE CODE AS EXIDBmON OF ORDER Garfinkel has called indexical particulars. the behaviors of residents appeared to be directed against the stated aims of the organization. organizational goals (e. then. routines. rehabilitation). I observed a recurrent collection of situa tions. as we saw in Chapter Five. In the halfway house.
were features that were made available through interactions between members of the halfway house. ongoing achievements'. The formal structure and social-fact properties of the convict code and the behavior it 'explained' . we saw that those features of the setting which furnished the basis for describing a set of rules (the convict code). the various parties. using them both to say why a given event happened the way it did and to justify their own courses of action. reproducibility. and which made it usable for analyzing situations and patterns of action in the setting. instructed one another on how to 'see' the behavior of residents by citing the relevance of the convict code to any resident's circumstances and by noting the ways that the behavior under question was motivated by it. typicality. repetitiveness. between residents and researcher. In conversations (described in Chapter Five) which occurred between residents and staff. in effect. but also to be the sort of explanation that individuals in 'real' social interaction use to make sense of and to justify events in their social world. By naming. but also for its potential for clarifying the nature of moral codes as phenomena.the formal structure prop erties of uniformity. then. because of what residents taught by 'telling the code ' . Our question. residents taught both staff and researcher how to see the sense of residents' circumstances and residents' conduct 'f rom the standpoint of the resident'. normative explanations appear to be not only the common form of professional sociological explanations. This suggests that an examination of the way in which normative explanations of conduct are developed is of interest. standardization. justifying. and the social-fact property of normative requirement . Further. 'How are normative explanations ac co mplished ?' In the halfway house. Thus. . not only for its bearing on the logical status of such explanations. in the sense meant by Garfinkel and Sacks ( 1 970 : 346).are available for analysis as 'practical. explaining. it is clear that the explanations employed by residents and staff dis pJayed the basic features of the normative paradigm.THE CODE AS EXHIBITION OF ORDER 219 actions. and between staff and researcher. is. and the property of being independent of particular production cohorts. and even requesting to do an act.
chosen because it provided the least unpleasant consequences. residents used what staff and researcher understood as portions of the code and its language to show the rational and reasonable character of their conduct and the conduct of their fellows. standardized. In the ways that residents portrayed their conduct as goal-directed. Through inter actions with me and staff. as was seen in Chapter Seven. The specific sense of the utterance was found by hearing it as juxtaposed with (remembered) behaviors which that talk would motivate if it were. . coherent appearance was the ongoing. To be heard as a possible statement of a rule.220 THE CODE AS EXHIBITION OF ORDER Residents not only showed that they recognized these formal structure and social-fact properties. ' Hearing resident talk as 'telling the code' required that the listener have some initial idea of a code in the first place. a statement of a rule for doing those behaviors. In particular. The code was available in only occasionally identified bits and pieces. 'You know I can 't do that. repetitive. e. it might be visible in the phrase. in fact. practical accompJishment of residents who interactionally provided staff and researcher with 'embedded instructions' for seeing the environment of the halfway house from 'the standpoint of the residents' by 'telling the code'. and required by others. taking 'the standpoint of the residents' required much more than merely repeating what one heard. residents made it happen that their activity would be seen as regular. Thus. residents provided staff and researcher with the understanding that conduct of the sort being discussed would have been done by any resident. and that one could find similar kinds of action that had been seen before and would be seen again and which would be motivated in an identical fashion.g. independent of their particular doing. In presenting the grounds of moral requiredness by their peers. the specific utterance had to be interpreted in light of whatever understanding of the code the listener had assembled up to that point. However. the fact that the conduct of residents had an orderly. uniform. and done as a matter of normative requirement. but also showed me and staff that the code and their actions had these properties. they also thereby pointed to the particular action in question as an 'instance' of a pattern..
rather than as a set of stable elements of culture which endure through time. . it is much more appro priate to think of the code or any other moral order as a continuous ongoing process. on each occasion of its use. The selfsame perceptual-analytic procedure simultaneously elaborated the set of rules (the code) and objects and actions in the setting as it was employed as a scheme of interpretation. This means that every formulation of the code is another instance of it. i. when some behaviors occurred that made previously heard talk now understandable as a rule.. behaviors. seeing that some behavior is analyzable by the code instructs the observer to 'discover' or 'recover' the antecedent occasion which motivated it.e. The self same procedure rendered occasions and behaviors sensible and definite. and the code provides for the sense of each of them by ref erence to the other in the fashion of the mutual determination of aspects of a gestalt-contexture. it acquires its specific sense as a matter of socially arguable fact. talk could become heard as a rule retrospectively. behavior instructs the observer (staff or researcher) to analyze subsequent behavior as a response to that occasion. self-elaborative while elaborative of objects in the setting.. rather than an overriding description of it. it made them specifically classified instances of a general and recurring situation and a type of action. In these same attempts at establishing the sense of talk as possible rules. The juxta position of occasions. the independence of S and A is questionable not by the necessities of theory or definition. motivate certain unspecified.e. the behavior that is observed and has been observed acquires its specific sense as an instance of some repetitive pattern. In this juxtaposition. Seeing that some occasion would. but none the less expectable.THE CODE AS EXHIBITION OF ORDER 221 Of course. but as a finding concerning their character as interpersonally accountable objects. behavior and talk become transformed into conduct and rules. Thus. in terms of the code. i. Seeing and describing the behaviors of residents as coherently and more or less stably motivated requires the work of actively interpreting the pieces of talk and action that one hears and sees. Similarly. Inasmuch as the scheme of interpretation was.
parties to the setting inter actionally identif the sense of a particular event as an inter y subjectively recognized occurrence by effectively asserting that the event stems from adherence to the convict code. provided social-fact properties (or properties of a normative order) in their accounts. an observer constitutes the well organized character of the setting for his report and action. even though the observable behavior may have just appeared 'for the first time'. It is in this fashion that the ideal of 'literal description' is managed by any researcher by collaborating with his informants. actions. As a sanctioned method of interpretation. situations. Chapter Six).222 THE CODE AS EXIDBITION OF ORDER In so doing. This process is identical to the use of the 'etcetera property' of rules as described by ethnomethodologists (see footnote two. The code.. In using the code as an explanation. that the act of identification also portrays itself as not ad hoc by naming the identified action as 'something we have seen before'.e. i. and researcher explicitly. though only occasionally. because it can be explained as stemming from constantly operating motivational sources. Most important of these properties for the present argument is the precedented character of any action when analyzed in this fashion. staff. but. In using the code as an underlying motivational scheme to assign similar or identical meanings to diverse events. This means that employing a fragment of the code to describe or point to a behavior not only identifies the behavior as an instance of a class of actions. and rules are not independent elements. he arrives at a literal-for-all-practical-purposes description negotiated among the parties concerned. the code differs from a 'scientific' explanation of actual patterns of resident conduct in several important respects. cannot be an adequate explanation of patterns of action under the requirements of a deductive theory. The particular occurrence has its sense as part of a pattern. and by extension any other normative order. The utterances and behaviors upon which the code (or any other . Its employment simultaneously identifies and 'explains' the particular events it renders observable. because in its explanatory uses. the residents.
because the clear sense that each achieves in its contexture is contingent upon the concrete. Also in this connection. Such accounts have the same logical status that 'telling the code' has in the very settings in which the code is told. situations. the requirement of literal description for deductive theory cannot be met. has the features that Garfinkel has elaborated at length in his unpublished discussions of "a collection of instructions" and their properties. been read in this way. and that Zimmerman and PolIner (1970: 93-99) describe as an "occasioned corpus". to the extent that social scientists' accounts are read and treated as a source of advice or justification by persons in those settings. and ongoing course of experience of some particular observer. concrete setting in the way that each is a constituent within a system of functional significances. in fact. 3 2 The code. actions. are offered as illustrative of the kinds of maxims and kinds of behaviors that the code explains. Gill (1965). writing as a prison administrator. historical. That is. as well as every 'explained' behavior and every list of 'explained' behaviors. Instead. and ru1es determine one another's sense as constituent parts of a gestalt-contexture. situations. 3 It seems likely that many sociologists' accounts of prison culture and the convict code have. With respect to descriptions of the convict code and the behaviors it 'explains'. actions. Further. Part of the contexture of any present display is located within the accumulated prior experience of the observer and is known by him in a largely implicit and indefinite fashion. their accounts have the same phenomenal status as well.THE CODE AS EXHIBITION OF ORDER 223 normative order) are based have no self-evident or self-explanatory sense in isolation from one another. This fact would undercut any effort to definitively specify the explicit features that are sufficient conditions for classifying occasions or behaviors as members of the classes of situations and actions. Thus. they have a relative definite sense as constituent parts of an actually witnessed. thus. P.2 What sociologists describe as the convict code in their writings is one further instance of the product which results from the practices of 'telling the code'. every maxim and every list of maxims. It is clear that Clemmer's The Prison Community has been. . and rules cannot be literally described.
a social action. e. and more critically the work of 'telling the code'. .. the necessity of literal description. 'Telling the code' . orderly. and any particular instance of for mulating the code.224 THE CODE AS EXIDBITION OF ORDER Thus. in the context of science. the behaviors in it. 'telling the code'. and the like. recurrent. The interpersonal existence of social orders and their availability to perception and description is the achievement of the various methods entailed in an ac counting-of-social-action. rather than describes or explains. or an accounting-of-social-action. exhibits.which is an instance of the subject-object dualism . cites Clemmer as providing a cogent formuletion of what prison life is really like and employs that formulation to argue with his colleagues for changes in prison organization which might alter that way of life.g. makes that occasion. and connected instances of motivated actions in socially standardized situations. on the occasion of con structing the account.generates the issue of the veridicality of the description and. Accountings-of-social-action. another event which is the description of that action and the method of pro ducing that description. The abandonment of the dualism leads to the single phenomenon. is in this view a course of accounting which yields an account-of-resident-behavior which. 'telling and hearing the code'. and the normative order 'behind it' observable and reportable as patterned. are methods of giving and receiving embedded instructions for seeing and describing a social order. The problems encountered in describing and explaining social action hinge in part on the notion that on the one hand there is an event in the world. regular. the order that members achieve through their practices of showing and telling each other that particular encountered features are typical. coherent. and on the other. an account-of-social-action. motivated out of considerations of normative constraint. This dualism .
/ Mass. American Sociological Review 28. Burke. Kenneth 1936 Permanence and Change (New Republic. N. Boston. Daniel 1963 So F air a House (Prentice-Hall. Berk. Harry E. 648-657. e. 1972 Language t. Human Behavior and Social Process: An I nteractionist Approach. New Jersey).). Casriel. Cambridge. Cicourel.Y.). 47-52. Press.. American Journal 0/ Sociology LXXI. 522-534. Chicago. Aaron V. New York. Journal 0/ Research in Crime and and Delinquency I. Englewood Cliffs. K. Morris G. 179-192.).. in Understanding Everyday Lif Jack D..). Teeters 1959 New H orizons in Criminology. Walter R. Herbert 1 962 "Society as Symbolic Interaction". Chomsky. 1 36-168. Caldwell. Third Edition (Prentice-Hall Inc.. Bittner. .) (Houghton MifHin.Y. Enlarged Edition (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.I. Bernard 1966 "Organizational Goals and Inmate Organization". Douglas (ed.BIBLIOGRAPHY Barnes. 928-940.) (Aldine Publishing Co. Criminology. 1956 "Group Dynamics in the Prison Community".T. Journal 0/ Criminal Law. 1970 ''The Acquisition of Social Structure : Toward a Developmental Sociology of Language and Meaning". New Jersey). Egon 1963 "Radicalism and the Organization of Radical Movements". and Arthw· Sathmary 1964 "An Evaluation of a Treatment Control Project for Narcotic Offenders : Phases I and II". New York. Ill. Burkhart. Mass. N.nd Mind. Englewood Cliffs. Blumer. Noam 1965 Aspects 0 the Theory 0/ Syntax (The M. and N.). and Police Science 46. Arnold Rose (ed.
Krassowski 1959 "Inmate Organization and Anomie in American Prisons and Soviet Labor Camps". New Jersey). California). Donald BmLIOGRAPHY 1940 The Prison Community (Christopher PublishingHouse.) (Appleton-Century-Crofts. Richard A. Solovay and f J. 190-196. by Richard Cloward et al (Social Science f Research Council. Mueller (The Free Press. Fisher.Y. Social Problems 1 1. Harold 1959 "Parsons Primer". Oaltung. 1961 Narcotics in Calif ornia: A Program Review (= S pecial Report Series Number 62) (Los Angeles Welfare Planning Council). Ohlin 1961 Delinquency and O pportunity (The Free Press. Garabedian. Los Angeles. Clowar d. 111.. and Lloyd H. Criminology. Gilbert 1966 The East Los Angeles Hal/ way H ouse f Narcotic Addicts (The or Institute for the Study of Crime and Delinquency. Glencoe . Albert C. · 1964 "Social Roles in a Correctional Community". Sethard 1965 "The Rehabilitative Effectiveness of a Community Correctional Residence for Narcotic USt.). Topics in the Problem of Social Order : The Writings of Talcott Parsons. Englewood Cliffs. 128-140. H. Cloward. 20-48. Peter 1 963 "Social Roles and Processes of Socialization in the Prison Com munity". Harold.).rs"... Geis. Journal o Criminal f Law. Harold 1 957 "Cats. Richard A. 139-152. 338-366. New York. Mass. A. McKinney and ciology: Pers Edward Tiryakian (eds.). Emile The Rules o Sociological Method. Glencoe. Cohen. Criminology. Social Problems 6. Social Problems 5. and Harvey Sacks 1970 "On Formal Structures of Practical Actions". Durkheim.226 Clemmer. in Theoretical So pectives and Development. and Police Science 55. D. Boston. Johan 1958 "The Social Functions of a Prison". New York. Cressey. Spring. Sacramento. R. Kicks. translated by S.). in Theoretical Studies in Social Organization o the Prison. 1960 "Social Control in the Prison". Ill). 1955 Delinquent Boys (The Free Press. and Color". N. an unpUblished draft of a manuscript based on notes f rom Garfinkel's course Sociology 251. Glencoe. 1967 Studies in Ethnomethodology (Prentice-Hall. .). Finestone. American Journal of Sociology 65. which was given at the University of California. Journal of Criminal Law.Y. Ill. 3-13. Adele K. GarfUlkel. 1959. John C. 338-347. 59-67. Davidson. N. GarfUlkel. and W. 1938 and Police Science 56.
University of California. Homans. The Hague). 362-369. Aron 1964 The Field o Consciousness (Duquesne University Press.BIBLIOGRAPHY 227 Gill. The State ofthe Art ( Janua Linguarum. Alex 1964 W hat Is Sociology ? An Introduction to the Discipline and Prof ession (Prentice-Hall. 1964 "East Los Angeles Halfway House. Los Angeles Unit). Charles F. = The Hague). Hockett. Series Minor. Criminology. Norman S.. Stanley E. 60) (Mouton. Gurwitsch. HusserI. George 1964 "Bringing Men Back In". ff New YOlk. Mathematics..). Santa Barbara). American Sociological Review 29. and Linguistics 1968 = ( Janua Linguarum. Inkles. dittoed manuscript (California Department of Corrections Research Division. N. The Hague). and Police Science 51. Grusky. and Ellis Asch 1 939 "The Prison As a Social Group". First Session. Hearings of the United States Senate Sub-Committee on Improvements of the Federal Criminal Code. F ederal Probation 29. New Jersey). Hayner. 1 943 "Washington State Correctional Institutions as Communities". "Illicit Nalcotics Traffic". . Grupp. Englewood Cliffs. Alfred N.). Norman S. 1967 Language. 1-1 1 . Social F orces 21. the testimony of Harris Isbell. Elmer 1961 "Sociology of Confinement : Assimilation of the Prison Rat". Oscar 1 959 "Organizational Goals and the Behavior of Informal Leaders". Handel. 59-67. 809-818. Howard 1965 "What Is a Prison Community". 1461-1538. unpublished doctoral dissel·tation (Department of Sociology. 1 940 "The Prison As a Community". Program Report Number One". Series Minor. 1965 "Work Release and the Misdemeanant". 73) (Mouton. American Sociological Review 4. Pittsburgh. 1 5-18. 528-533. Warren 1972 "Perception As a Constructive Process". 84th Congress.Y. Edmund 1 960 Cartesian Meditations (Martinus Ni jhoff. Journal of Criminal Law. Federal Probation 29. f Pa. Hayner. Daniel 1964 The E ectiveness of a Prison and Parole System (Bobbs-Merrill Co. Johnson. Glaser. Himmelson. Committee of the Judiciary. 3 1 6-322. 577-583. American Sociological Review 5. American Journal of Sociology 65.
260-308. Report Number 3". 1969 "'Getting It Done' : An Ethnography of Coding".I. Chicago. N.). Mon-is.. C. and Winston. Donald E. Jerrod 1966 T he Philosophy of Language (Harper and Row. in T he Prison: Studies in I nstitutional Organization and Change. R.). 1964 Signification and Significance : A Study of the Relationship o Signs f and V alues (The M. Robert K. McLeery. University of California. Los Angeles Research Unit 1966 "Halfway House. New York. 1961a "The Governmental Process and Informal Social Control". Santa Barbara).Y. 149-188. 1965 "A Halfway House for Parolees". Neisser. Maurice The Primacy ofPerce ption (Northwestern University Press. Journal of Social I ssues 14. Merleau-Ponty. American Socio logical Review 5. Charles W. and Winston. Cognitive Psychalogy (Appleton-Century-Crofts. Press. McHugh. New York. unpublished master's thesis (Department of Sociology. Robert G. Ulric 1967 . New York. (California Department of Corrections Research Division). N.) . Report Number Two". New York. dittoed manuscript (California Department of Corrections Research Division.). New York. N. III. Mass. Miller. Los Angeles Unit). Rinehart. Ill. WaIter B. N. Federal Probation 29.228 BIBLIOGRAPHY Jones. Ill.) (Holt. New York. 904-913. Mills. 47-53. 1958 "Lower Class Culture as a Generating Milieu of Gang Delinquency". New York. . in The Prison: Studies in Institutional Organization and Change. Katz.T. Peter 1968 De fining the Situation: The Organization o Meaning in Social Inter f 1962 The Structure o Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago Press f action (The Bobbs-Merrill Company. N. Miller. Cressey (ed. Thomas [Phoenix Books). Kuhn. Glencoe. N. 1955 Signs.). 5-19.). Kenneth C.Y. Cambridge.Y. Maxwell 1953 The Therapeutic Community (Basic Books. Rinehart. D. Wright 1940 "Situated Actions and Vocabularies of Motive".). Leiter.Y. 1964 1 965 "East Los Angeles Halfway House Program.).) (Holt. 1961b "Authoritarianism and the Belief System of Incorrigibles".).Y. 1 957 Social T heory and Social Structure (The Free Press.Y. Merton. Meiners. N.Y.). R. Cressey (ed . D. Inc. Language and Behavior (George BraziIIer. Evanston. Richard H.).
dittoed manuscript. Pearl. 1-16. Sellin.. Mono. 1962). as quoted in Geis. Inc. Berkeley Journal o Sociology 8. April 7.). Melvin 1970 "On the Foundations of Mundane Reasoning". 1954 "Leadership Among Prison Inmates". 1964.).Y. An official Halfway House document. University of Washington..Y. Jersey) . The East Los Angeles Hal way House f N f or arcotic Addicts (The Institute for the Study of Crime and Delinquency. Lloyd 1956 Sociology and the Field o Corrections (Russell Sage Foundation. Sacramento. New Culture Conflict and Crime ( Bulletin 41) (New York. New f York. 24-36. Thorsten 1938 = Social Science Research Council. dittoed manuscript. 37-42. Scott. President's Advisory Commission on Narcotics and Drug Abuse 1963 F inal Report. Proceedings of Halfway House Seminar.BIBLIOGRAPHY 229 Ohlin. dittoed manuscript. N. Alf red 1962 1964 Collected Papers I: T Problem o Social Reality (Martinus Nijhoff. Pollner. Seattle). Washington. he f The Hague). f New York.Y. dittoed manuscript.). . N. Annual Report f 1964. Santa Barbara).lewood Cllifs. Parsons. U.C. February 15. Calif. Program Revision of the HaU:way House. 1965. Progress Report o an Ad Hoc Panel on Drug Abuse (The White House. undated. f Washington.). D. f Saint Leonard's House. Glencoe. American Sociological Review 19. 1965. Sacks. written in late 1965. Gilbert. 1966 A letter to Gilbert Geis. State Board f of Corrections. 1953 The Social System (The Free Press. John Finley 1971 The Internalization of Norms (Prentice-Hall. or Schragg. The Hague). Government Printing Office. En. unpublished master's thesis (Department of Sociology. Sacramento. Arthur 1960 "The Narcotic Treatment Control Program". Program Statement of the Halfway House.. D. Harvey 1963 "Sociological Descriptions".S. Collected Papers II: Studies in Social Theory (Martinus Nijhoff.). Calif. University of California."raph Number 1. . unpublished doctoral dissertation (Department of Sociology. in The Treatment o Deli1UJuents in the Community. Talcott 1937 The Structure o Social Action (McGraw-Hili Book Co. Clarence 1944 "Social Types in a Prison Community". Ill. N. 30-32. Schutz.C. dated August 9.
Conformity".). Cressey 1955 Principles 0 Criminology. / i th N. and DroUene P. by Alfred Tarski (Clarendon. Spiegelberg.). New York.Y. 216-221. New York. or Studt. Edwin H. and Sheldon Messinger 1960 "The Inmate Social System". and Charles Perrow 1966 Organiziltion / Treatment (The Free Press. in H uman Behavior and .Y. Street. 1 52-278 in Logic. N.. Mathematics. Herbert 1960 The Phenomenological Movement. David. Robert D. 1 956). in T heoretical Studies in Social Organization a the Prison. Vintner.Unit: Search f Community in Prison (Russell Sage Foundation. Vol. 5-19..230 1942 BffiLIOGRAPHY Shaw. Charles R. W. S pecial Study Commission on Narcotics Report (State of California. The Hague).). Skolnick. and Donald R. New York. Criminology. Tittle 1964 "Social Organization of Prisoners : An Empirical Test". and Toughs : A Study of Reactions to Imprison ment". Alfred 1936 "The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages" (translated as pp. 1967 Justice W ithout Trial (Science Editions. Tarski. 40-56. by Richard Cloward et af (Socipl Science / Research Council. T he Society 0/ Captives (Princeton University Press. 130-138. Sacra mento. Merchants. Social Problems 4. Gresham. Ill. F/ Edition (Lippincott. David 1965 "Inmates in Custodial and Treatment Settings". Oxford. Crime and Chaos : A W orld Report on Juvenile Delinquency (Harper and Row. Sykes.). Sternberg. A Historical Introduction. and Thomas P. Social F orces 43. Roul 1962 Kids. New Jersey). 1961). American Socio logical Review 30. Chicago.. Tittle. Sykes. New York. New York.). N. I. 1928 The Child in America (Knopf. Street. N.Y. Thomas. Clifford R. Tunley. David 1963 "Synanon . N.).Y. 447-455. Turner. Princeton.Y. New York.). N. June.). Sheldon Messinger.Y. Journal 0/ Criminal Law. Semantics. Sutherland. Gresham 1956 1958 "Men. N. 2 (Martinus Nijhoff. or New York. and Police Science 54.A Consideration of Its Implication for American Corrections". Jerome H.Y. McCay Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas (University of Chicago Press. Elliot. Wilson 1968 C. Ralph 1962 "Role Taking : Process vs. and Henry D.
Law Md Contemporary Problems 22. 282-294. Chicago. in Understanding Everyday Lif e. III. III.. Douglas (ed.) (Aldine Publishing Co. Federal Probation 26. 697-710. Douglas (ed. Dennis 1961 "The Over-Socialized Conception of Man". . Don H. Harry A.). 1 970 "The Practicalities of Rule Use". and Gene G. American Sociological Review 26. 699-712. Federal Probation 29. Robin 1960 American Society: A Sociological I nterpretation.). Boston. Ward. Yablonsky. Zimmerman 1971 "The Problem of the Competent Recognition of Social Action and the Phenomenon of Accounting". in Understanding Everyday Life. Mass. e. 1 85-193. Wieder. in Under stc. 20-40. Williams. Lewis 1 962 "The Anticriminal Society : Synanon". 107-135. Henderson and Talcott Parsons (The Free Press. Wilmer. American Sociological Review 35 (August). Arnold Rose (ed. Jack D. D. Kassebaum 1965 Women's Prison (Aldine Publishing Co.). Lawrence.BIBLIOGRAPHY 23 1 Social Process : An Interactionist Approach.) (Aldine Publishing Co. Stewart 1 960 "Nalline as an Aid in the Detection and Control of Users of Narcotics". Weber. Wilson.. Wrong.Y. � Wieder. N. Lawrence 1 969 "The Convict Code: A Study of a Moral Order as a Persuasive Activity". 7 1 7-726. Charles 1957 "Narcotics Addiction and Its Treatment". Winick. August. unpublished doctoral dissertation (Department of Sociology. f translated by A. D. 24-28. Thomas P. S. 57-79. University of California. 44-49. 1965 "The Role of the 'Rat' in Prison". 1970b "Normative and Interpretive Paradigms in Sociology".nding Everyday Lif Jack D. Max 1947 Max W eber: The Theory o Social and Economic Organization. Glencoe. Chicago. and Don H. Weinberg. Chicago. presented at the American Socio logical Association Annual Meetings (Denver. Los Angeles). 1 970 "On Meaning by Rule". Kirson 1 942 "Aspects of Prison Social Structure".).). American Journal o Sociology f 47. American Sociological Review 26. Wheeler. Stanton 1961 "Soci ization in Correctional Communities". Ill. Colorado). Zimmerman. New York. Ill. David.) (Houghton Mifflin. 1 970a "Conceptions of Interaction and Forms of Sociological Explanation". M. Calif ornia Law Review 48. Weinberg. 57-62. Revised Edition (Knopf.)..
Don H. Zimmerman..) (Aldine Publishing Co" 238.. and D. Zimmerman.).).) (Aldine Publishing Co. Chicago. (Aldine Publishing Co. Lawrence Wieder 1 970 "Ethnomethodology and the Problem of Order : Comment on Denzin". 80-103. IlL).232 BIBLIOGRAPH Y Chicago. Don H. 221· Jack D. 287·295. Douglas (ed .. III.. . e. Douglas (ed. III. in Understanding Everyday Lif Jack D. in Understanding Everyday Lif Jack D. and Melvin Pollner 1970 "The Everyday World as a Phenomenon".) e. Douglas (ed. Chicago.
34.. 193. 210 fn. 1 1 1 . 212. ISS. 222.. 1 1 1 . 130. 125. 192 fn. 125... 30. 120. Richard A. Blumer. 33-34. Deviant Subculture. 219-20.. 211. See Contra-Norma tive Culture. East Los Angeles Halfway House [papers]. Oppositional Subculture). 120. 22324 fn. 48.. Ellis. 213. 83-88. 38-39. Donald. Albert C. 137. Cloward. 21 fn. 1 54. 1 89-90. 157. 131. 30-31.INDEX Accounts (Accounting). Cicourel. 74. Attitude of Everyday Life. 48-49. Emile. Doing Disinterest and Disrespect. 201-02 fn. Egon. 49. Doing Unreliability as Informants. 1 13. Asch. 32. Definition of the Situation. 25-26. 22. 32 fn. 149-50. 49 rn. 46. 207. Cohen. 212-13. 17 fn. 121-22. 189. Ad hoc Panel on Drug Abuse. Constitution (Constitutive Features). 203. 173-74 fn. 33-36. 125. 195. (see olso Explanation). See Contra Normative Culture. Barnes. Clemmer. 96-111. (see also Trans personality).. Bernard.. Daniel.. 130. Durkheim. 142. 93-96. See Cor rect Causal Interpretation of Action. 206.. Walter R. 208.. 1 84-86. 199. Burke. 38-39. 132. 198-209. 205.. 1 1 1 . 121. 36. Noam. Bittner. Harry E. 33. 40. 197-98. See Second Order Constructs. Herbert. 133. 193-95. 198-99 fn. 1 54-55. 42. Contra-Normative Culture or Order (Contra Culture. 21 fn. Berk. 59-60. Caldwell. 120-25. 44. 1 11. 36. . Doing Violations. 38-39. Cressey. Constructs of the Second Degree. Adele K. Adequate Causal Analysis. Doing Demands and Requests. 219-20. Correct Causal Interpretation of Action (Adequate Causal Analy sis). 142. See Formu lating. Kenneth. Cohort Independence. Morris G.. Burkhart. Donald R. Casriel. Collection of Instructions. 224. 76-83. Embedded Instructions. Chomsky. 193. 223 fn.. Doing Distance. 217. Documentary Method of Interpre tation. 92-93. 73. Davidson. Deviant Subcul ture. Aaron V. 38-39. Contra Culture. 1516. 74.
74. 217. Inner Horizon. 34 fn. (see also Open Flexible Structure)... Free Variation. 16. 125. 38-39. Indexicality (Indexical Expressions. 46. Stanley E. Daniel. 207. fn. 209-10. 33 fn. 40-47.. George. 192 fn. 212-13. 186-88. 170-71. 199-200.. 48. 219. Elmer. 25. 223-24. 223 f n. 10. 218. 175. 1 74-78. 210-11 fn. Johan. 1 74 f n.. Formal Structures. Alf red. 160. 162. Himmelson. 199. 57 fn. . 143-45. 200-02. 125. 18-19. 203 fn. Sethard.S. Jones. 121. 222. 12l. 21 f n. Field of Domination. 221. 54 fn.. Gene G. 223 fn. 36-38. 21 fn. 54 fn. Problem of. Gurwitsch. Gill. Warren. 189. 22. 182. (see also Embedded Instructions). See Justifying.. Geis. 29-45. 149. 20102 fn. W. Observing and Reporting. 201-02. 24. 173 fa. 202-05.. 131. (see also Typification). 20. 1 88-90. Garfinkel. (see also Correct Causal Interpretation of Action). 125-26. 174 fn. 219. 219-20. (see also the related Explanation). 1 61-62. 124. 92-97. 174-75.. See Contra Normative Culture.234 INDEX Etcetera. Galtung. Grusky. Handel. 208. 133. Functional Signification (Functional Significance). 222-24. 43-45. Guide to Imagination. 1 12-13. Goffman. Krasowski. Idealization. Grupp. 186.. 1 18-20. 88. Maxwell. 53. 190 fn. 57 fn. 210-11 fn. 1 64-68. Formulating (Accounts. Haynor. 157-58. 190-98.. 9-26. 188-89. 190-94. 125. Kassbaum. 137-38. Norman S. Interpretive Procedures. Isbell. 74. 58 fn. 173.. 17 fn. 129-32. Johnson. 1 53-60.. Aaron. Hearings of the U. Indexical Features. 3940. 217-18. 173 fn. 1 80-81. 198-99 fn. Erving. Garabedian. Indexical Par ticulars).. 83. 210-1 1 fn. 215. Howard. Charac terizing. Glaser. InkJes. 205. 47 fn. 206. 154. Harold. 223.. 165. 190 fn. Charles F. 20-24. 63-71. Hockett. Excuse). Ethnomethodology. 121. and See formulating. 1 67. 203. 49. HusserI. 23 fn. Senate. Thomas. 192-94. 198-201. 32. 201. 188. 222. 199.. 172 fn. 175.. 203. 189-90. 1 84. Explanation.. Fisher. 193-94. Intersubjectivity. 57 fn. Peter. Guide to Perception. See Mem bers' Methods. 223. 30-31. 149. Method of. 201-02 fn. 10. 6. 22-26. 54 fn. 129. Homans. Justifying (Justification. Jerrod.. 196-97. 201-02 fn. Excuse (Excusing). 186.. 157. 32. 171. 73-74.. Alex. Harris. 40. 203-05. Observing and Describing). Katz. Gestalt Contexture. 223. SO-51. 42-43.. 149. Edmund. Kuhn. 20-23. Accounting. 22-23. 130. 47 fn. Oscar. 197. 146.. 30-32. 9 fn. Harold. Inmate Social System. 203. Finestone. and See Scheme of Interpretation. 131. Gilbert. 182. 30-31. Instantiation. 32. S. 221. 45. 173. 120. 203-04 fn. 44-45. 205.. 207-14. 215-19. 40-41 . 142-45..
200.. Reflexive Fea tures. . 201-02 fn.. 155. 206-07. 32-33. Open Possibilities. and See Rules. Program Revision of the Halfway House.. Miller.. Talcott. 44. 47. 198-204. Walter. Programmatic Ideals. Prison Culture. 209-12. 45. 45 . 208. 121. 37. 39-42. 190-98. 120-25. 74. Mannheim. Norms). Melvin. 143-44. 3 1 . Peter. Occasioned Corpus. Charles. 62-63. Perrow. 1 23-24. . 1 37-38. Problem of Order. 13. 49. 12. 121. 22. 223 fn. Pearl. 212.. 130. 3 4 fn. Parsons. 1 54-57. 87-88. Maxims. Natural Language [Account. 214. Reciprocity of Perspectives. 203 fn. 192 fn. Plurisituationality.. 24-25. 92. . 1 50. 186. 173-74. 120-22. 190 fn. Normative Order (Moral Order. McCay. n. 219. 184. 37-39. 1 86. 173-74 fn. 32. 1 38. 143. Max ims. 204-08. 169-83. 23. 75. 17-19. 206. 12-13. Arthur. Don. 210-11 fn. Reflexive Relationship). 9 fn. 40. Sheldon. Proceedings of Halfway House Semi nar. 190. 33 fn. 10. Maurice. (see also Etcetera. Robert. 199-200. 1 5-19. 34. Merton. 41. 54.. 124-25. Saint Leonard's House Annual Re- . 186.. 34. Event. Persuasion (Persuasive Explanation). Kenneth C. 19395. 130. 222-24. 223 fn. 38.. 42. 1 89-90. Mills. 217. 1 1 3.. 58 fn. 191-98. 9 fn. 21519. 25. 1 64-67. Phenomenology. 65-7 1 . 223. 1 7 19. 1 1 1 . 180. Phenomenological Method. (see a/so Transitu ationality). 1 55-56.INDEX 235 Leiter. 146.. �8-39. 17 f . 40. Harvey. 202. 88-92. 1 5.. Reflexivity (Reflexive. Mores. 209.. 190 fn. Robert K. 203. 10-19. 215-19. 145-46. 5. 208. Norms. Nor mative Culture). 1 14-18. . 1 1 1 . 205. 132. See Rules. 48. Miller. 83. 197. Pollner.. Charles. 130. 173 fn. Vehicle]. 9-30. Open Flexible Structure [of Rules and Telling Rules]. Oblin. 49. 1 92 fn. Karl. 130. 177. 96-97. 73. 1 68.. McLeery. Merleau-Ponty. 122-24. Ulric. 96. 23 fn. 184-86. Henry D. Passive Compliance. 29-30. Members' Methods. 22. 203. 120-21. See Rules. 9. 1 68-73. (see a/so Contra Normative Order). 71. 31-34. 43-44.. Nei�ser. 164-65. 14 Fig. 173-74 fn. Messinger. 13 fn. Progress report on Ad Hoc Panel on Drug Abuse. 51 -52. 210-1 1 fn. 1 1 -14. 124 fn. 54. 1 1 1 . 220-21 . 32. 23. 1 87. 32. Meiners. 41. 159 fn. 13 3-34. 1 34-35. 49 fn. 209-10. Lloyd H. 1 67-68. 156. McHugh. 130. 56. Rules (Rule-Governed Action. See Contra-Norma tive Culture. 73. Richard H. 48. Program Statement of the Halfway House. 59-61 . 39. 38. 22-23. 32.. 62. Role. President's Advisory Commission on Narcotics and Drug Abuse. 1 77-78. 201-02 fn. 161-63. Wright. Sacks. C. Normative Paradigm. Morris. 89.
32. 213. 130. Tarski. 22. Scott. Wilson. 1 55. 22-23. 1 49 fn. 32. Yablonsky. 58 fn. 14... Charles R... Schragg. 1 5-16. Weinberg.K. 194-95... 22. 186. 125.L. Vintner. 215 fn. 203-04 fn. Harry A. Eliot. 121. 96. Weinberg. 49. 121. DroUene. 208. 121.. 1 61 .. W. Skolnick. Max. 33 fn. Social Types. 157. 34 fn. 1 1 . 121.. 19. Robert D. Wheeler.. (see also Cohort Independence). 223 fn. 100 fn. 207. Alfred. 49. 49-50.236 port. Tittle. Tittle. 46. Thorstein. Scheme of Interpretation. 149.I. 161. 125. 125. Edwin H. 222.. Special Study Commission on Narcotics.. 121. 19. 186. Spiegelberg. 224. 165. INDEX Theory 2 1 1 -14. Don H. 29. 22-23. Second Order Constructs (Second Order Phenomena. 1 97.. Self-Conception. John E. Social Reality. Social Facts (Social Fact Features. Studt. T. 17374 fn. 20. Wilmer. 215.. 29-30. 105. 9. 214. Clifford. 201-02 fn. 34-36. 32 fn. 1 37. 130. 1 90-94. 73. Transituationality. 101 . Ralph. 186.. Sternberg. 11 Fig. Sellin. 48. 33.. 23-25. 120. Charles.. Wieder. 204. of Interests. Dennis.. 49 fn. 38.P. 26. 73. 74 fn. 1 84-86. . Robin. Teeters. N. 1 30-32. . 36.. 32 fn. 33 fn. 206. 156.. 48. 1 54. (see also Instantiation).. Street. 173-74 fn... 38. 19. Schutz. 168. 48. 210-1 1 fn. Tunley. Roul. 208-10. 101-04. Turner. 1 20. Zimmerman. Clarence. 1 22. Winick. 203 fn.. Vocabulary of Motives. 142. 21 fn. 22. 190 fn. 210-11 fn. 122-24. Kirson. 121. Stanton. 29-30. 22-23. 1 14. 1 1 . David. 215. 30-3 1 . 48. 21 9-20. Wrong. Stewart. Social Fact Properties). Sathmary. 36.. Thomas. 212-13. 121. Weber.. 3 1 . 1 30-3 1 . 13. Sutherland. 32. 25. Semiotics (Semiosis). S. 1 2 fn. 37 fn. 40. Jerome. D.. 33-34. Shaw.. 157. Alfred. David. 13-16. TYpification. 146.. 205. 146. Herbert. 38-39. Sykes. 168. Lewis. 70. 121. Williams. 1 54. David. 122-24. 1 77. 9 fn. 197. 33 fD. Arthur.. 120. 40. Gresham. Constructs of the Second Degree). Scheme of Interrogation. 142.. 3 1 . 45. 155. 183. 1 3 fn. 125. 130. 24. Ward. 207. Transpersonality. 14 Fig. 120. 221-22.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.