First published in 1985, this book provides a descriptive study of social activities in a neurosciences laboratory. Based on fieldwork conducted by the author in the laboratory during 1975 and 1976, and taking an ethnomethodological approach, it focuses on the phenomenon of the social accomplishment of natural scientific order. Through the examination of shop work and shop talk in this environment, it identifies an analyzable social basis in the local production of accounts of natural objects in laboratory research.
This work will be of interest to students and scholars of ethnomethodology and sociology.
Acknowledgements; Preface; 1. Introduction: methodological issues in the study of scientific work; Part I: Ethnographic accounts of shop work; 2. The lab setting 3. Projects and the temporalization of lab inquiry 4. An archeology of artifact; Part II Agreement in laboratory shop talk; 5. Laboratory shop talk 6. Two notions of agreement 7. Objects and objections: modifications of accounts of objects in laboratory shop talk 8. Conclusion; Appendix: The transcript symbols; Bibliography; Index
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.