Harold Garfinkel: The Creation and Development of by Dirk vom Lehn, Robert Dingwall

By Dirk vom Lehn, Robert Dingwall

This ebook is a concise highbrow biography of Harold Garfinkel, a key determine in 20th-century social technology. Garfinkel is virtually synonymous with ethnomethodology, an strategy that because the Nineteen Sixties has resulted in significant analytic and methodological advancements in sociology and different disciplines. This advent to Garfinkel explores how he constructed ethnomethodology lower than the impact of Talcott Parsons and Alfred Schutz, situates it inside sociology regularly, and demonstrates its very important impression on contemporary advancements in
the self-discipline, quite the sociology of technological know-how and expertise, gender stories, association reviews, and the pc sciences. The publication might be of large curiosity within the social sciences and an invaluable complement to classes on highbrow heritage and method.

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Extra resources for Harold Garfinkel: The Creation and Development of Ethnomethodology

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Garfinkel (2006 [1948]) suggested that the scientific and natural attitudes to the everyday were fundamentally different. 4 In Garfinkel’s view, Schutz was trying to use the analysis of the life-world to develop concepts that social scientists could use to interpret the actor’s perspective in situations. As far as Garfinkel was concerned, this concept of social scientific analyses was not radical enough because, like Parsons’ pattern variables, Schutz’s analysis of the life-world was based on generic categories that formed the basis for social scientific descriptions.

The court, therefore, could make fine distinctions when legitimizing charges and convictions. Because of the marginal status of African 35 Harold Garfinkel The Creation and Development of Ethnomethodology Americans and the contempt they faced in the white community (1949: 380), courts were not familiar with possible reasons and motives of the offenses that an African American had committed and the search for motives would be ridiculed (1949: 379). Therefore, when convicting a white person for an offense, his living conditions and possible motive were taken into consideration, while in the case of African Americans, a court convicted the offender for pragmatic reasons.

Garfinkel argued that social scientists could only overcome this problem by giving up the scientific idealization of the everyday (Garfinkel 2006 [1948]: 135– 137); the social scientist would need to look for the social order of the everyday in the actors’ practical actions, rather than in concepts of the order of actions. Garfinkel conducted his discussion of Parsons and Schutz in order to develop a specific sociological attitude that social scientists could use to describe social reality. He suggested avoiding scientific idealizations of the everyday and producing descriptions of the everyday that, at the same time, had a scientific character and were viewed as adequate by the participants.

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