Ethnomethodology is a partial offshoot of phenomenological sociology with deep concepts and laws of marginal utility from the definition of the human person. Even though ethnomethodology has been characterised as ethnomethodological findings as examples of applied phenomenology; Garfinkel speaks of phenomenological texts and findings as. phenomenology into a practical research strategy. The chapter concludes with a nursing example of the use of ethnomethod- ology; in the form of Len Bowers'.
Schutz believed such knowledge was essential to accomplish practical tasks in everyday life. For example, he described the way in which a simple act such as posting a letter rests upon common-sense knowledge and the existence of shared typifications. The person posting the letter assumes another person a postal worker whom they may never have met will be able to recognize the piece of paper with writing on it as a letter, and will deliver it to the address on the envelope.
The person who also assumes the recipient of the letter — again someone they might not have met - will have common-sense knowledge similar to their own, and will therefore be able to understand the message, and react in an appropriate way. Although Schutz stresses that knowledge is shared, he does not think that it is fixed and unchanging. Indeed, common-sense knowledge is constantly modified in the course of human interaction and how this knowledge is modified in society has been the interest of sociologist towards the use of phenomenology is sociological analysis.
Ethnomethodology - Wikipedia
Sociological Analysis Sociological analysis is akined to ordinary reasoning, at the same time different because of the systematization of the process of sociological analysis through adoption and application of the rules of disciplined analysis.
Sociological analysis is mostly done by sociologists who try to develop their perspective of the social life by giving more time and energy than the social analyst. Therefore sociological analysis calls for rigorous skills and techniques towards understanding, explaining, predicting and changing of social phenomenon.
Doing sociological analysis requires vision or perspective, which could make the researcher to imagine that at home or far places things happen. Sociological analysis is distinct from social analysis, this is because social analysis only makes conscious of a social problem but sociological analysis go far by using scientific tools like 3 perspectives, theories, models and laws in understanding and explaining social problem by proffering concrete solutions to such social problem.
Ethnomethodology posits that the social world consists of nothing more than the constructs, interpretations and accounts of its members. Phenomenology stresses that knowledge is shared, and does not think that it is fixed and unchanging. Rather common-sense knowledge is constantly modified in the course of human interaction and how this knowledge is modified in society has been the interest of sociologist. Ethnomethodology and phenomenology performs and occupy a crucial and important place in sociological analysis.
It role can be summarized below; 1. It provides general background needed by researchers in sociological analysis: Ethnomethodology and phenomenology suggests the potential problem and the necessary hypothesis needed for the study. It specifies the elements of social behavior and delimits proposed cause and effect relationship; it states clearly and concisely operationalises the terms and variables to make it testable.
Phenomenology and Ethnomethodology (Useful Notes)
The object of such an analysis is the meaningful lived world of everyday life: That which makes such a description different from the "naive" subjective descriptions of the man in the street, or those of the traditional social scientist, both operating in the natural attitude of everyday life, is the utilization of phenomenological methods. Furthermore, phenomenology explains or talks about the social construction of reality.
They view social order as a creation of everyday interaction, often looking at conversations to find the methods that people use to maintain social relations. Phenomenology aims at revealing what role human awareness plays in the production of social action, social situations and social worlds. In essence, phenomenology is the belief that society is a human construction. It assists the researcher in the development of concepts: It specifies the forms and content of the variables.
Concepts provide the researcher a better idea of what observations to make. Their place in sociological analysis is to explain the methods and accounting procedures that members employ to construct their social world.
It helps in organizing and systematization of empirical findings: It summarizes observed uniformity of relationship between variables and synthesizes them with a reference to existing conceptual schemes: Both ethnomethodology and phenomenology helps in the formulations of other theories: According to their analysis, marriage brings together two individuals, each from different lifeworlds, and puts them into such close proximity to each other that the lifeworld of each is brought into communication with the other.
Out of these two different realities emerges one marital reality, which then becomes the primary social context from which that individual engages in social interactions and functions in society.
Marriage provides a new social reality for people, which is achieved mainly through conversations with their spouse in private. Over time a new marital reality will emerge that will contribute to the formation of new social worlds within which each spouse would function. Adding an interpretive dimension to phenomenological research, enabling it to be used as the basis for practical theory, allows it to inform, support or challenge policy and action.
The place of phenomenological research in sociological analysis can be robust in indicating the presence of factors and their effects in individual cases, but must be tentative in suggesting their extent in relation to the population from which the participants or cases were drawn.
A variety of methods can be used in phenomenologically-based research, including interviews, conversations, participant observation, action research, focus meetings and analysis of personal texts.
If there is a general principle involved it is that of minimum structure and maximum depth, in practice constrained by time and opportunities to strike a balance between keeping a focus on the research issues and avoiding undue influence by the researcher.
Durkheim 's aphorism Durkheim famously recommended: Garfinkel's alternative reading of Durkheim is that we should treat the objectivity of social facts as an achievement of society's members, and make the achievement process itself the focus of study. Both links involve a leap of faith on the part of the reader; that is, we don't believe that one method for this interpretation is necessarily better than the other, or that one form of justification for such an interpretation outweighs its competitor.
Accounts Accounts are the ways members signify, describe or explain the properties of a specific social situation. They can consist of both verbal and non-verbal objectifications.
They are always both indexical to the situation in which they occur see belowand, simultaneously reflexive—they serve to constitute that situation. An account can consist of something as simple as a wink of the eye, a material object evidencing a state of affairs documents, etc.
Phenomenology and Ethnomethodology
Indexicality The concept of indexicality is a key core concept for ethnomethodology. Garfinkel states that it was derived from the concept of indexical expressions appearing in ordinary language philosophywherein a statement is considered to be indexical insofar as it is dependent for its sense upon the context in which it is embedded Bar-Hillel The phenomenon is acknowledged in various forms of analytical philosophy, and sociological theory and methods, but is considered to be both limited in scope and remedied through specification operationalisation.
In ethnomethodology, the phenomenon is universalised to all forms of language and behavior, and is deemed to be beyond remedy for the purposes of establishing a scientific description and explanation of social behavior. Note that any serious development of the concept must eventually assume a theory of meaning as its foundation see Gurwitsch Without such a foundational underpinning, both the traditional social scientist and the ethnomethodologist are relegated to merely telling stories around the campfire Brooks Misreading a text Misreading a text, or fragments of a text, does not denote making an erroneous reading of a text in whole or in part.
As Garfinkel states, it means to denote an, "alternate reading", of a text or fragment of a text. As such, the original and its misreading do not, " Reflexivity Despite the fact that many sociologists use "reflexivity" as a synonym for " self-reflection ," the way the term is used in ethnomethodology is different: Documentary method of interpretation The documentary method is the method of understanding utilised by everyone engaged in trying to make sense of their social world—this includes the ethnomethodologist.
Garfinkel recovered the concept from the work of Karl Mannheim  and repeatedly demonstrates the use of the method in the case studies appearing in his central text, Studies in Ethnomethodology. Garfinkel states that the documentary method of interpretation consists of treating an actual appearance as the "document of", "as pointing to", as "standing on behalf of", a presupposed underlying pattern. This seeming paradox is quite familiar to hermeneuticians who understand this phenomenon as a version of the hermeneutic circle.
Methodologically, social order is made available for description in any specific social setting as an accounting of specific social orders: Social orders themselves are made available for both participants and researchers through phenomena of order: These appearances parts, adumbrates of social orders are embodied in specific accounts, and employed in a particular social setting by the members of the particular group of individuals party to that setting.
Specific social orders have the same formal properties as identified by A. Gurwitsch in his discussion of the constituent features of perceptual noema, and, by extension, the same relationships of meaning described in his account of Gestalt Contextures see Gurwitsch As such, it is little wonder that Garfinkel states: In essence the distinctive difference between sociological approaches and ethnomethodology is that the latter adopts a commonsense attitude towards knowledge.
For the ethnomethodologist, the methodic realisation of social scenes takes place within the actual setting under scrutiny, and is structured by the participants in that setting through the reflexive accounting of that setting's features. The job of the Ethnomethodologist is to describe the methodic character of these activities, not account for them in a way that transcends that which is made available in and through the actual accounting practices of the individual's party to those settings.
The differences can therefore be summed up as follows: While traditional sociology usually offers an analysis of society which takes the facticity factual character, objectivity of the social order for granted, ethnomethodology is concerned with the procedures practices, methods by which that social order is produced, and shared.
While traditional sociology usually provides descriptions of social settings which compete with the actual descriptions offered by the individuals who are party to those settings, ethnomethodology seeks to describe the procedures practices, methods these individuals use in their actual descriptions of those settings Links with phenomenology[ edit ] Main article: Phenomenology philosophy Even though ethnomethodology has been characterised as having a "phenomenological sensibility",  and reliable commentators have acknowledged that "there is a strong influence of phenomenology on ethnomethodology The confusion between the two disciplines stems, in part, from the practices of some ethnomethodologists including Garfinkelwho sift through phenomenological texts, recovering phenomenological concepts and findings relevant to their interests, and then transpose these concepts and findings to topics in the study of social order.
Such interpretive transpositions do not make the ethnomethodologist a phenomenologist, or ethnomethodology a form of phenomenology. To further muddy the waters, some phenomenological sociologists seize upon ethnomethodological findings as examples of applied phenomenology; this even when the results of these ethnomethodological investigations clearly do not make use of phenomenological methods, or formulate their findings in the language of phenomenology.
So called phenomenological analyses of social structures that do not have prima facie reference to any of the structures of intentional consciousness should raise questions as to the phenomenological status of such analyses.
Phenomenology and Ethnomethodology (Useful Notes)
Garfinkel speaks of phenomenological texts and findings as being "appropriated" and intentionally "misread" for the purposes of exploring topics in the study of social order. Even though ethnomethodology is not a form of phenomenology, the reading and understanding of phenomenological texts, and developing the capability of seeing phenomenologically is essential to the actual doing of ethnomethodological studies.
As Garfinkel states in regard to the work of the phenomenologist Aron Gurwitsch, especially his "Field of Consciousness" These may be characterised as: The organisation of practical actions and practical reasoning.
Including the earliest studies, such as those in Garfinkel's seminal Studies in Ethnomethodology. More recently known as conversation analysisHarvey Sacks established this approach in collaboration with his colleagues Emanuel Schegloff and Gail Jefferson.
Talk-in-interaction within institutional or organisational settings.