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Re: [xmca] Ethnomethodology genealogy

Also, and not to be underestimated, is the presence of Goffman and Sacks. It was an interesting time in sociology.


On Mar 11, 2009, at 6:22 PM, Mike Cole wrote:

The trailing messages were getting really long, so I have truncated them
using a slightly different
subject line. Hope this does not screw up the conversation.

I thought the genealogy that Martin traces below is really helpful.
Does everyone have Arne Raeithel's genealogy of CHAT which is somewhere on
xmca website? It would be great to add to it for the links back to LSV and

Martin's note:
Martin Packer to eXtended
show details 7:40 AM (7 hours ago)


I think you're right to see a connection between ethnomethodology and
continental philosophy. The standard story about Garfinkel is that there
were two main influences on his work. The first was Talcott Parsons,
director of his doctoral thesis, who considered people to act on the basis
of unconscious motivations that were the result of needs internalized
through socialization. This is what Garfinkel later referred to as the
'judgmental dope' model of action. The other influence was Alfred Schutz, a phenomenological sociologist who emphasized the continually active character
of human consciousness of the social world. Schutz proposed that each
individual is continually interpreting and typifying the events and actions they see around them. Social science, he insisted, should build its concepts on these first-level common-sense, everyday constructions. Very different from Parsons' view, but the activity that Schutz focused on was very much individual and cognitive. Starting there it was difficult for him to explain
how people can interact together to produce a shared, intersubjective,
reality. (His students Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann tried to fill this
gap in their famous book 'The Social Construction of Reality.') What
Garfinkel has done is locate the activity of interpretation and recognition
in action itself, as something practical and social.

Schutz was a student (and research assistant) of Edmund Husserl, and so Garfinkel would have been likely to explore other writing on phenomenology. I've heard he was found in his office with a copy of Being and Time, and one
can also see allusions to Merleau-Ponty in his writing.
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