Presenting original research studies by leading scholars in the field, Orders of Ordinary Action considers how ethnomethodology provides for an 'alternate' sociology by respecifying sociological phenomena as locally accomplished members' activities. Following an introduction by the editors and a seminal statement of ethnomethodology's analytic stance by its founder, Harold Garfinkel, the book then comprises two parts. The first introduces studies of practical action and organization, whilst the second provides studies of practical reasoning and situated logic in various settings. By organizing the book in this way, the collection demonstrates the relevance of ethnomethodological investigations to established topics and issues and indicates the contribution that ethnomethodology can make to the understanding of human action in any and all social contexts. Both individually and collectively, these contributions illustrate how taking an ethnomethodological approach opens up for investigation phenomena that are taken for granted in conventional sociological theorizing.
Dr Stephen Hester is Professor of Sociology at the University of Wales - Bangor, UK. Dr David Francis is senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.
'This book answers the question: what have ethnomethodology's researchers been up to lately? A variety of studies including observations and explorations by leaders in the field - Garfinkel, Sharrock, Button, Lynch, Livingston and Liberman - and rising younger ones, yield impressive new insights into ordinary actions ranging from studies of surgical operations, mammography, and copy machine servicing to reasoning in the natural sciences, medical case conferences and the use of bibliographies. Throughout is a consistent focus on practical actions and practical reasoning in the respecification of ordinary social phenomena, proving that ethnomethodology is alive and well.' George Psathas, Boston University, USA