Inequality in action

This paper highlights some of the issues that arise when focusing on inequality (and similar notions) as participants’ concerns. It emphasises the value of understanding constructions of inequality in terms of how they are (a) oriented to action; (b) situated (sequentially, institutionally, rhetorically); and (c) constructed from discursive resources and constructive of social and mental worlds. These points are illustrated with an example from a call to a child protection helpline. This illustrates how a particular description of inequality can be oriented to action, constructed and situated. This is the basis for some more general observations on the nature of inequality as an object in interaction.