Lena Jayyusi

Plenary Address: Tuesday, July 11 – 6:30pm

The “natural facts of life:” looking into moral accountability

I start from Garfinkel’s remarks (which deeply informed his early work) that the everyday scenes of familiar activities are treated by members as “the natural facts of life” and that these are, for them, “through and through moral facts of life”. According to him these furnish the “points of departure and return for every modification of the world of daily life.” (1967:35). I explore this in relation to specific kinds of setting that constitute lived courses of serious trouble or conflict for members, such as a shooting, or crossing a military checkpoint. How are “modifications” of the familiar and the everyday in such contexts made accountable by members, and what features of practico-moral reasoning does this make visible?

About Lena Jayyusi

lena-picLena Jayyusi is Professor of Communications and Media Sciences at Zayed University, U.A.E.  She has taught at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, the University of Connecticut at Storrs and Cedar Crest College in Pennsylvania.  An Annenberg Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and an SSRC Fellow, she has been a visiting researcher and Visiting Professor at the Ecole Haute D’Etudes de Science Sociale in Paris. She served as Senior TOKTEN consultant on media and culture for the United Nations Development Program in Jerusalem, as Director of Academic Programs at al-Quds University in Jerusalem, and as Director of the Oral History Program at The Palestinian Diaspora and Refugee Center, in Ramallah, Palestine. She has also been, for the last 15 years, a non-resident Senior Research Fellow at Muwatin: The Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy, in Ramallah. Her publications address topics in media, film, and cultural studies, narrative, practical reasoning and everyday communication, national identity, and international law. Her Categorization and the Moral Order (1984), widely cited in our field, was re-issued as a Routledge Revival in 2014. Her edited book Jerusalem Interrupted: Modernity and Colonial Transformation 1917– the Present (2015) received a MEMO Palestine Book Award.   She is currently working on a book entitled ‘Praxiologies: Categorization, Mediation, and the Logic of Social Practices’.