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Social Contradictions Ethnographic Research Advise

The above is an essay question for a freshman Sociology class. Even after reading the chapter, it is still difficult to answer the question as asked. I am looking for a clearer understanding of the question and an example of what we would normally see using ethnomethodology.

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Dear Student,

Hi and thank you for using Brainmass. I imagine that you have been introduced to the varied available research traditions and methods used in sociology and the social sciences being that you are now studying ethnomethodology. This solution will be in the form of an advice to help you understand the question so that you can put together an essay discussing the application of ethnomethods towards the study of the proposed subject. Now, before you go any further, I want you stop and reflect, get your books and notes out pertaining to ethnomethodology. As you would have learned by now, in the social sciences, our goal is to study society, to understand what makes it work, to explore the dynamics, the structures that allow for it to be. To do this we use the scientific method and the approaches could either be quantitative, qualitative or a multi-platform one that combines both as well as critical approaches. What makes it scientific is that whatever the method, scientists follow the scientific form of inquiry. Basically we start with a question, and then we design research to answer that. By doing so we begin with a hypothesis, gather data, analyse the data, check the results, retest again just to make sure that the first results are validated and then release a conclusion - whether or not the hypothesis has been proven, based on the results.

This is the case whatever methods we use. Ethnomethods belong in the qualitative method for it is interpretive and it seeks to look at the details of a social phenomenon, to 'see', to 'explore' to get the 'quality' of the social event/story/experience. Ethnographers and anthropologists do not seek to quantify or measure most of the time, their aim is to arrive at emergent theories, those scientific propositions about society and humanity that they have come to discern after studying how people work to produce meaning about themselves and their world. In a way, an ethnomethod is a qualitative and interpretive social scientific approach that seeks to understand how people produce social orders, social structures, culture, practices, traditions and how this relates to identity. Sociologists understand that as human beings themselves, they cannot separate themselves from their subject of study; therefore ethnomethods incorporate immersion, ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides comprehensive advise in the use of qualitative research, particularly ethnography/ethnomethodology in a proposed study of social contradictions experienced by adolescents and the consequences of said contradictions in their growth and development. References are listed for the purpose of expansion. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.