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The Turn from “What” to “How”: Garfinkel's Reach Beyond Description

Symbolic Interaction

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John Heritage described Harold Garfinkel's central question as “how do social actors come to know, and know in common what they are doing and the circumstances in which they are doing it.” The case of Agnes illuminates the methods by which members produce intelligible actions and recognizable—even “natural”—gender orderliness. With this central interest as a starting point, this article offers some observations about transgender women in prison and their creative adaptation to life behind bars.