Home >> Ethnomethodology


Ethno methodology is a recent development in sociology. Its existence as a publicly identified approach dates only from the publication of Harold Garfinkel's Studies in Ethno methodology in 1967.

Ethno methodology has attracted considerable attention and criticism within sociology. The impact of Ethno methodology has stemmed from the radical nature of its ideas. The ideas of ethno methodology are in a general similar to those of the Symbolic Interactionists.Both Symbolic Interactionists and ethnomethodologists are principally concerned with studying inter-personal social interaction. Both regard social interaction as consisting of meaningful communicative activity between persons, involving mutual interpretative work.

Ethnomethodology draws from and extends the concerns of interactionists such as Blumer and Goffman and the phenomenological projects of Husserl and Schutz.It emphasizes the process of interaction, the use of interpersonal techniques to create situational impressions and the importance of perceptions of consensus among actors. In extending interactionism and phenomenology, ethnomethodologists often think that they posit a different vision of the social world and an alternative orientation for understanding the question of how social organization is created, maintained and changed.

According to Mehan and Wood ethnomethodologists have chosen to ask not how order is possible but rather to ask how a sense of order is possible.