Garfinkel’s What is Ethnomethodology- (Quick) Summary

Garfinkel’s What is Ethnomethodology? explains the ethnomethodology concept by focusing on how people interpret their social reality through their knowledge. People use conversation, gestures, or social interactions to retain their sense of reality in each situation. Ethnomethodology refers to how people reflect their activities through errors and examinations of their personal experiences as they become codified; the fragments of social reality become codified through past experiences. The ad hoc becomes part of ethnomethodology since ad hoc means something created for a particular goal that is subject to change or rejection. Garfinkel mentions that ethnomethodology refers to a study of practical actions prone to be problematic due to subjective rules. An example to explain ethnomethodology is the jury. The jury determines what decisions to go with on their actions to determine what may or may not work for desired results. The jury discourses on the evidence of the case and follows the rules they are given by society as a whole. The jury is looking for a rational approach that will function well enough to reach the case’s ultimate decision.

Ethnomethodology seems to focus on what is accountable as a method. This method helps people determine the goals they want to reach by whatever method seems to be accountable enough. The reasoning of the methodology is individualized, which means that it is subjective to each person using to study the social order. The common sense of ethnomethodology is by a person’s common sense of reality and their social reality compared to other people’s social reality. Each person’s social reality differs from personal upbringing and knowledge, by which Garfinkel seems to advocate scholars to recognize how their interpretation is subjective by nature.

One thought on “Garfinkel’s What is Ethnomethodology- (Quick) Summary

  1. K.A. Fuller May 28, 2022 / 9:19 am

    I am thinking of revisiting the topic of Ethnomethodology for further clarification.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s