Credibility work and moral evaluation at the ED

Marius Wamsiedel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper contributes to the understanding of triage decision making by analyzing the credibility work jointly performed by patients and staff and its contribution to the non-clinical evaluation of clientele. I argue that the assessment of credibility occurs at the intersection between staff-devised typifications and patients' interactional performance, and is mediated by staff's experiential knowledge. In ordinary circumstances, patients can achieve credibility through three interactional strategies: embodying distress, limiting the voice of the lifeworld, and conveying narrative frankness. Patients belonging to groups associate by triage workers with disreputable characteristics, such as dishonesty, have the additional task of establishing themselves as trustworthy interlocutors by mobilizing worth claims. Embodying distress and limiting the voice of the lifeworld are instrumental to asserting legitimacy, whereas narrative frankness is an interactional prerequisite for manufacturing reasonableness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112845
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Credibility
  • Decision-making
  • Ethnography
  • Moral evaluation
  • Sixth sense
  • Social categorization
  • Triage
  • Trustworthiness

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