Exceptions to the Rule

Karen A. Cerulo

in Never Saw It Coming

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780226100326
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226100296 | DOI:
Exceptions to the Rule

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This chapter discusses the concept of the so-called negative asymmetry, the tendency to focus on worst-case scenarios. It identifies medical practitioners and computer information technicians as examples of groups that seemed especially tied to these perceptual inversions. This chapter analyzes the sense of daily action that is guided by visions of the worst and examines the similarities among communities that approach quality evaluation in this way. The analysis indicates that negative asymmetry may not be a product of any specific profession per se but rather is a way of seeing that emerges in social fields defined by very particular combinations of social relationships, resources, and patterns of action.

Keywords: negative asymmetry; worst-case scenarios; medical practitioners; computer information technicians; perceptual inversions; quality evaluation; social relationships; patterns of action

Chapter.  11306 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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