In this concise introduction Alain Coulon demystifies the important qualitative research tradition of ethnomethodology. In terms accessible to students, he explains its history, its features and the major criticisms levelled at it. Both theoretical notions and main methodological practices are covered and examples of key ethnomethodological work are provided.

Major Concepts of Ethnomethodology

Garfinkel gave ethnomethodology a specific vocabulary. This vocabulary is not wholly new; ethnomethodology borrowed some of its terms from other fields: indexicality came from linguistics, reflexivity was taken from phenomenology, and the notion of “member” had been used by Parsons. Ethnomethodology has also given new meaning to terms taken from common language, like the notions of “practice” and “accountability.” ...

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