Re: ethnomethodology

Karla Poewe (kpoewe@ACS.UCALGARY.CA)
Tue, 15 Feb 1994 11:12:21 MST

Thank you all for various bits of information about
ethnomethodology. Here is my problem. Garfinkel with whom
ethnomethodology is most closely associated was influenced by the
German phenomenologists Schutz and Scheler. How can a methodology
which grew out of German phenomenological thought connect up with
British Social Anthropology through Radcliffe-Brown, an immitator
of the natural sciences? German phenomenology and one of its
offspring, ethnomethodology, are surely based on a very different
epistemology and ontology from British Social Anthropology,
especially a Radcliffe-Brown? Unless, going forward to Meyer
Fortes and other structural functionalists, we can argue that
their works do not fit ethnographic realism since their models
are merely pragmatic reconstructions - highly situational and
ahistorical. If this is so, and it may not be, then why call
ethnomethodology social anthropology? Surely, it should be
cultural anthropology?