Extraordinary emergencies : Reproducing moral discourses of the child in institutional interaction

Pragmatics and Society 11 (1):45-69 (2020)


This report uses audio recorded telephone calls and textual data from an emergency medical services call center to examine the interactional practices through which speakers produce what we call “extraordinary emergencies”, treating the events concerned as requiring moral, as well as medical, attention. Since one of the overarching institutional aims of emergency call centers is to facilitate the efficient provision of medical services, call-takers typically treat reported emergencies as routine events. However, in some instances speakers produce practices that do not contribute toward the institutional agenda of providing medical assistance, thereby treating them as extraordinary cases. These practices occurred recurrently in calls involving reports of emergencies relating to child sexuality, including sexual assaults against children and obstetric emergencies where the mother was particularly young. We discuss the implications of these findings for the situated reproduction of particular moral norms, especially with respect to the category of the child in society.

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,660

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

3 (#1,367,333)

6 months
1 (#388,311)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Similar books and articles

The Moral Black Hole.Per Sandin & Misse Wester - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (3):291-301.
Morality and Emergency.Tom Sorell - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1):21–37.
Morality and Emergency.Tom Sorell - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1):21-37.
Propositions on Emergency.Richard Polt - 2015 - Philosophy Today 59 (4):587-597.
Making Sense of 'Public' Emergencies.François Tanguay-Renaud - 2009 - Philosophy of Management (formerly Reason in Practice) 8 (2):31-53.
Supreme Emergencies and the Continuum Problem.Daniel Statman - 2012 - Journal of Military Ethics 11 (4):287-298.
Human Rights in Emergencies.Harvey C. Mansfield - 1992 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 6 (4):575-585.

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations