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I need help understanding ethnomethodology (NOT in relation to ethnography). My goal is to "be an ethnomethodologist" in my profession and observe the interaction among different employees. Further, I need to address formal and informal roles, structures, and procedures and practices related to ethnomethodology. I have no idea where to begin, nor do I understand ethnomethodology. Thank you.

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Hi There,
As per your request, this solution is in the form of guidance - I hope to provide you with advice on what it means to practice ethnomethodology. Thus, it is will be a little removed from the other solutions I have put together for you over time since I think that in this stage of your study, you need to 'place yourself' in a position where you, as a student can do research as a sociologist using an ethnomethodologist's perspective.

Understanding Ethnomethodology

I know that it can get quite confusing but really, it is difficult to remove ethnomethodology from ethnography. Think of it this way - if Ethnography is a qualitative method that is all about representing in text a detailed, highly descriptive and graphic reflection of a culture or a social phenomenon in practice by a social group, then think of ethnomethodology as 'the same' but one that takes a much more particular, much more focused approach. Let's look at the work of Branislow Malinowski, one of the pioneering ethnographers in the field. To 'do' an ethnography, he immersed himself among the Trobriand Tribe in the South Pacific - he wrote everything down, his observations about their language, their life. He was a participant-observer. Now, let's look at Harold Garfinkel, an ethnomethodologist. The goal of Garfinkel is to try and understand how people make sense of the world. To do this, he focuses on the processes and methods that people use in their daily lives to produce social order.

This means that like ethnography, ethnomethodology is about observing how people live, how they make meaning. But the difference in ethnomethodology is that it is very focused on everyday thinking, on mundane tasks even, that produce social order. So while ethnography is much wider and has a broader ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines ethnomethodology interaction roles.