What is Ethnomethodology?(3)
Sociology versus common sense (or sociology as commonsense)
Accounts, Accounting, and Accounting Practices (see this)
"Harold Garfinkel (1917- ) is the founder of a field of study called ethnomethodology. Ethnomethodology is a theory that describes the variety of techniques that people use to understand, and make their way through, everyday life. One of the ways that people make sense of their lives and relationships to others is through accounting practices. These are the various ways in which people justify or make sense of their actions to themselves and others. Ethnomethodologists argue that accounts are reflexive, which means that by offering accounts of ourselves to others, we also change the situation and the possibility for interaction within that situation. Ethnomethodologists have also used breaching experiments to understand the way that people construct social reality. In these studies, ethnomethodologists engage in activities that violate the taken-for-granted assumptions of everyday life, and watch to see how other social actors repair or reconstruct the breach in the social fabric. These studies show how people order their everyday lives and how they cope with challenges to that everyday order. Garfinkel has also shown how the presumably natural category of gender is socially constructed. In his interviews with Agnes, Garfinkel learned that gender is a social accomplishment that requires constant attention to the commonplace practices that allow people to pass as men or women."(1)Exercise(1)
"Ethnomethodologists study the way that taken-for-granted activities are accomplished in everyday life. In an attempt to better integrate electronic technologies into the family home, researchers at the University of Nottingham Mixed Reality Laboratory have studied the way that families coordinate activities in the home. Go to: http://www.crg.cs.nott.ac.uk/~axc/ethnography/case_studies/organizations_of_coordination_in_the_home.htm. Read the introductory paragraph entitled "Organizations of coordination in the home." What is the purpose of the studies described in this report? Scroll down to the study on "Calendar use in the home" and read the report. What are some of the purposes of notations on calendars? What are the similarities and differences between a calendar and a diary? According to this report, what is "the point" of a calendar?" (appears this site is no longer available, but the http://www.crg.cs.nott.ac.uk is pretty cool). See also, Andy Crabtree's collection of papers and presentations on ethnomethodology: http://web.mac.com/andy.crabtree/_Mac/Publications.html
The International Institute for Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis: http://www.iiemca.org/
Ethno/CA News: http://www.pscw.uva.nl/emca/index.htm
Much of this page comes from the "Instructor's Manual" to accompany Contemporary
Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots: The Basics, Second Edition,
George Ritzer, Mcgraw-Hill, 2007. The Instructor's Manual was prepared by James
Murphy, University of Maryland, College Park and Todd Stillman, Fayetteville
State University. These excerpts are from chapter 6.
2. Ritzer, George. 2007/2010/2013. Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots: The Basics. 2nd/3rd/4th editions. St. Louis: McGraw-Hill
3. Student Presentation from Iowa State University, http://www.soc.iastate.edu/sapp/soc401gp.html, Spring 2008 Sociology 401, taught by: Dr. Steve Sapp, accessed 10/15/08)
4. Ritzer, George. 2008. Modern Sociological Theory, Chapter 7. St. Louis: McGraw-Hill.
5. Liska, Allen and Messner, Steven. 1999. Perspectives on Crime and Devinace, 3rd edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
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