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Lecture 8


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Western University
Sociology 2271A/B
Lina Sunseri

January SOCIAL THEORY: LECTURE 8 30, 2013 ETHNOMETHODOLOGY - What does this mean to you? o Norms and value within people - What is ethnomethodology? o “the study of everyday methods that people use to live their daily lives”  What people do and why they do it  Daily activity that become routine to us  Ex) grocery shopping o What are the methods you use?  Grocery list  Aisle by aisle  Ex) someone asks “how are you” o Answer: good, you? o Ethnomethodology, given its Greek roots, literally means the methods of ordinary people that are used on a daily basis to accomplish their everyday needs o Ethno = relevant to your culture  Ex) lining up to pay for groceries you go to the shortest line and then you stand at the back and everyone does this (we value our space)  Other cultures may have people budding in line and this may not be unusual (don’t really value space) o Method = how you use this knowledge HAROLD GARFINKEL (1917 – present) - US sociologist - Ph.D. Harvard 1952 - Taught at U.C.L.A – has become main training centre for ethnomethodologists - “studies in Ethnomethodology” (1967) - Main intellectual influences: o Emile Durkheim (social facts) o Alfred Schutz (phenomenology) o And Symbolic interactionism GARFINKEL’S IDEAS - Studied jurors and common sense knowledge - Placed primary importance on meanings that people give to everyday situations and how define their own situations ACCOUNTING - Accounts = stories that people tell to explain how they make sense of a situation and figure out what to do - Accounting practices = entire process 1 January SOCIAL THEORY: LEC
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