The relationship between ethnomethodology and phenomenology of mind

George Psathas, Ethnomethodology and phenomenology - PhilPapers

Ethnomethodology is unusual among sociological research programs, because it .. thought” had a symbiotic relationship with official versions of methodology. . at the New School for Social Research, brought phenomenology to sociology. which draws heavily on phenomenological inspiration. This essay is an attempt to see the described connection as 'clearly' as Natanson seems to perceive. 6 Husserl attempted to reconstitute the bridge between thought and things inside . Although there is this difference between the two approaches, there is an im- .. In the development of ethnomethodology, influences from phenomenology . Rather, it is a transformed version of the reality in one's mind that consists of.

There are two expressions of this approach, which are constructivism and ethnomethodology.

Ethnomethodology - Wikipedia

Ethnomethodology integrates the Parsonian concern for social order into phenomenology and examines the means by which action make ordinary life possible. Ethnomethodology as a sociological perspective was founded by American sociologist Harold Garfinkel is early s.

The main ideas behind it are set out in his book Studies in Ethnomethodology. It differs from their sociological perspectives in the way that which all the perspectives pre-suppose that social world is orderly, ethnomethodologists start out with the assumption that social order is illusory. For them social order is constructed in the minds of social actors as society confront the individual as a series of sense impressions and experiences which she or he must somehow organise into a coherent pattern.

However, along with the changes in the broader perspectives in the development studies there can be seen another trend of changes in the approaches.

The development approach gradually started to be more specialised and specific.

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It has become more local and regional in orientation. The early and the modern thinkers of development have been fundamentally associated with theoretical orientation of structuralism but the later development thinking has rejected this view. This approach exhibits more diversities in theoretical orientation. The earlier groups are concerned with generalised theoretical orientation having world — wide application for development.

But the present development thinking does not believe in general application of generalised theories. 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. 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.

  • Ethnomethodology
  • Ethnomethodology and phenomenology
  • Phenomenology and Ethnomethodology (Useful Notes)

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 [22] 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", [13] 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. 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.

What is Ethnomethodology? Sociology A Level

Talk-in-interaction within institutional or organisational settings. While early studies focused on talk abstracted from the context in which it was produced usually using tape recordings of telephone conversations this approach seeks to identify interactional structures that are specific to particular settings.

The study of work. The analytic interest is in how that work is accomplished within the setting in which it is performed.