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.

Critiques and Convergences

The radical character of ethnomethodology did not fail to bring hostile response from established sociology. As Pharo (1984) wrote:

By insisting that “the professional sociological inquiries are practical through and through” [Garfinkel, 1967/1984, p. viii], ethnomethodology stands from the start in a delicate position…. It is as if, by claiming that ...

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