Bringing together one of the most important bodies of research into people's working practices, this volume outlines the specific character of the ethnomethodological approach to work, providing an introduction to the key conceptual resources ethnomethodology has drawn upon in its studies, and a set of substantive chapters that examine how people work from a foundational perspective. With contributions from leading experts in the field, including Graham Button, John Hughes and Wes Sharrock, Ethnomethodology at Work explores the contribution that ethnomethodological studies continue to make to our understanding of the ways in which people actually accomplish work from day to day. As such, it will appeal not only to those working in the areas of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, but also to those with interests in the sociology of work and organisations.
'When students and other researchers ask me how to go about doing an ethnomethodological study of work, there is no simple answer to give. With this collection, what I can now do is help them see why there is no simple answer while, nevertheless, getting them started on pursuing their first studies in ethnomethodology.' Eric Laurier, University of Edinburgh, UK 'Ethnomethodology, unlike most of sociology, looks at social conduct and such things as how people use talk to organise workplaces and how the examination of code in software engineering entails particular types of reading. Because of its remarkable concern for the empirical, ethnomethodology has been widely used outside sociology, in computer science and related disciplines especially, which need such evidence to make better designs. Who the human is and what they do matters to these disciplines.' Richard Harper, Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK 'Pugnacious yet inviting, this book will be an invaluable guide for those interested in the ethnomethodological perspective on work, but also why it has proven to be so influential in the study and design of technology. The book expertly balances empirical study with theoretical sophistication.' Barry Brown, University of California, San Diego, USA 'This is an accessible, engaging and rather provocative introduction to ethnomethodological studies of work. Key topics in organisational sociology are artfully re-examined as practical concerns and achievements of engineers, bankers, and more. Mark Rouncefield and Peter Tolmie deserve thanks for crafting a collection that delivers such a distinctive contribution to the sociology of work.' Jon Hindmarsh, King's College London, UK 'Some sociologists may sigh "grow up" to the "grumpy old men" who put their unruly ethnomethodological orientation to work here. But their impatience with "conceptual", "visionary", "fictional" interpretive sociology is incisively productive for sociology today (as well as practical endeavo
Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis are cognate approaches to the study of social action that together comprise a major perspective within the contemporary human sciences. Ethnomethodology focuses upon the production of situated and ordered social action of all kinds, whilst Conversation Analysis has a more specific focus on the production and organisation of talk-in-interaction. Of course, given that so much social action is conducted in and through talk, there are substantive as well theoretical continuities between the two approaches. Focusing on social activities as situated human productions, these approaches seek to analyse the intelligibility and accountability of social activities ‘from within’ those activities themselves, using methods that can be analysed and described. Such methods amount to aptitudes, skills, knowledge and competencies that members of society use, rely upon and take for granted in conducting their affairs across the whole range of social life.
As a result of the methodological rewards consequent upon their unique analytic approach and attention to the detailed orderliness of social life, Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis have ramified across a wide range of human science disciplines throughout the world, including anthropology, social psychology, linguistics, communication studies and social studies of science and technology.
This series is dedicated to publishing the latest work in these two fields, including research monographs, edited collections and theoretical treatises. As such, its volumes are essential reading for those concerned with the study of human conduct and aptitudes, the (re)production of social orderliness and the methods and aspirations of the social sciences.