Ethnomethodology and sociology: an introduction

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Arising as a powerful challenge to programmatic views of sociology that sought to determine stable laws underpinning social order, ethnomethodology set out an alternative programme to reveal social order as a dynamic, contingent 'ongoing accomplishment'. This programme was neither micro nor macro, but was concerned with different contexts of accountability in which both individuals and institutions are given identity and reproduced. Recognising everyday life as an achievement, collective sense making, and the central importance of talk as a social process, ethnomethodology had an impact on all those arenas of sociology where ordinary interaction is an element. This introduction to the special section discusses the contributions of each of the papers - which cover mundane reasoning, social learning, the early acquisition of social competence, and the application of membership categorization analysis to gender - in relation to the continuing relevance of Garfinkel's legacy to contemporary sociological theory and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-404
Number of pages6
JournalThe Sociological Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006

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