Posts Tagged ‘ethnomethodology’

Space, materiality and the contingency of action – now available as PDF and epub.

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

The study Space, materiality and the contingency of action : A sequential analysis of the patient’s file in doctor—patient interactions, which was originally published in Discourse Studies 11(3), pages 285–303 (DOI: 10.1177/1461445609102445), is now available for free on my website. The licensing terms of the publisher (SAGE) allow authors to make their contributions available on their website one year after the original publication. For this purpose, I have taken the original text that was later published in the journal, re-layouted it and exported it both as a PDF (download PDF file) and as an ebook (download epub file). I hope you enjoy reading it and I am very happy to provide free access to my scientific work, which has been payed for by German and US American taxpayers (since I have worked on it while being at Universities in the USA and in Germany). Here comes the abstract:

Focusing on the multi-dimensionality of interactional settings, this study analyzes how the material world is a significant factor in the sequential co-production of the video-taped doctor—patient interactions. The analysis shows how a material artifact, the patient’s file, is relevant in two ways: a) as a device which is employed in the sequential organization of the interaction. The patient’s file is being used in the contexts of topic development and topic change. b) The file with its specific physical and symbolic features is being co-produced and contested by both actors as a knowledge reservoir. Further inspection of the interactions in concert with theoretical reflections of the role of space and materiality suggests that interactions should be interpreted as happening in spatially arranged constellations of material objects and actors. In these both rigid and flexible constellations boundaries are established, access is distributed, and meaning is solidified.

More wikipedia.

Saturday, May 29th, 2004

After making several minor updates to the entry on Ethnomethodologie and linking to the German entry on conversation analysis, I quickly updated that one too. This is fun! Finally a possibility to contribute real content to an open source project without having to know a programming language. I urge you to try it out yourself, makes you feel good.
German wikipedia | English wikipedia

Joining the wikipedia.

Friday, May 28th, 2004

I just participated in the German Wikipedia for the first time. Inspired by today’s reading I edited the entry for Ethnomethodologie. We’ll see where this is going…

Getting back into gear.

Thursday, May 27th, 2004

Now that I did my presentations at the college, graded last semester’s papers, and finished the hopefully-to-be-published conversation analysis article I can hopefully can fully re-engage with the actual work on my dissertation. Today I read some more Garfinkel. Referring to my short essay Am I an Ethnomethodologist, you can see that I haven’t read Garfinkel’s Studies in Ethnomethodology at that point in time – this was one of the theoretical gaps that I definitely wanted to close before I start to write my dissertation. Well, I am happy about having made that decision. It is quite an inspiring, if sometimes cumbersome read. Here’s a small citation:

To treat instructions as though ad hoc features in their use were a nuisance, or to treat their presence as grounds for complaint about the incompleteness of instructions, is very much like complaining that if the walls of a building were only gotten out of the way one could see better what was keeping the roof up.[Harold Garfinkel – Studies in Ethnomethodology (1967), p. 22]

Another favorite:

Although it may at first appear strange to do so, suppose we drop the assumption that in order to describe a usage as a feature of a community of understanding we must at the outset know what the substantive common understandings consist of. With it, drop the assumption’s accompanying theory of signs, according to which a sign and referent are respectively properties of something said and something talked about, and which in this fashion proposes sign and referent to be related as corresponding contents. By dropping such a theory of signs we drop as well, thereby, the possibility that an invoked shared agreement on substantive matters explains a usage.
If these notions are dropped, then what the parties talked about could not be distinguished from how the parties were speaking. An explanation of what the parties were talking about would then consist entirely of describing how the parties had been speaking…
[Harold Garfinkel – Studies in Ethnomethodology (1967), p. 28f]

And finally, if you have ever asked yourself what to study as a professional sociologist, here is Harold’s answer:

Not a method of understanding, but immensely various methods of understanding are the professional sociologist’s proper and and hitherto unstudied and critical phenomena.[Harold Garfinkel – Studies in Ethnomethodology (1967), p. 31]

Who am I?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2004

Basic questions like these get answered where? In sociologiy, of course. In a brief essay which I wrote while riding the train today I am dealing with a certain method or a methodological stance in the field of sociology: Ethnomethodology. What this is and what Ethnomethodology has to do with me and my project can be read in the essay, which is titled Am I An Ethnomethodologist?