(noun) The study of how people make sense of and navigate their everyday world through orderly norms and rituals.
Example: Ethnomethodologists have studied behavior change by breaking a norm such as facing the back of an elevator and observing how other passengers react.
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- Plural: ethnomethodologies
- Term coined by Harold Garfinkel (1917–2011) in Studies in Ethnomethodology (1967).
- An (noun) ethnomethodologist studies society from the (adjective) ethnomethodologic or (adjective) ethnomethodological perspective to understand social interactions (adverb) ethnomethodologically.
- “[A] number of sociologists regard ethnomethodology as a frivolous approach to studying human behavior because it does not examine the impact of macrolevel social institutions—such as the economy and education—on people’s expectancies. Women’s studies scholars suggest that ethnomethodologists fail to do do what they claim to do: look at how social realities are created. Rather, they rake ascribed statuses (such as race, class, gender, and age) as ‘given,’ not as socially created realities” (Kendall 2006:129).
- Atkinson, J. Maxwell, and John Heritage. 1984. Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
- Bologh, Roslyn Wallach. 1992. “The Promise and Failure of Ethnomethodology from a Feminist Perspective: Comment on Rogers.” Gender and Society. 6(2): 199-206.
- Coulon, Alain. 1995. Ethnomethodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Garfinkel, Harold. 1967. Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
- Handel, Warren H. 1982. Ethnomethodology: How People Make Sense. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
- Have, Paul ten. 2004. Understanding Qualitative Research and Ethnomethodology. London: Sage.
- Livingston, Eric. 1987. Making Sense of Ethnomethodology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
- Lynch, Michael, and W. W. Sharrock. 2011. Ethnomethodology. London: SAGE.
- Scott, Susie. 2009. Making Sense of Everyday Life. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity.
- The International Institute for Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis: iiemca.org
- WiseGEEK – What is Ethnomethodology: wisegeek.org
Kendall, Diane. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.