The radicalism of ethnomethodology

An assessment of sources and principles

By Martyn Hammersley

The radicalism of ethnomethodology


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2464-7
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £96.00 (incl. VAT)
  • Published Date: July 2018
  • BIC Category: Sociology, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / General, Research Methods: General, Society & social sciences / Sociology & anthropology, Society & social sciences / General, Social Interaction


There have been relatively few well-informed, critical assessments of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis. This book examines some of the background to these approaches, notably the influence of Schutz and phenomenology. It also compares Garfinkel's approach with those of Goffman and Simmel, and assesses the influence of Cicourel and conversation analysis on research methodology. The core of the book is an in-depth assessment of the rationale for ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, and of their relationship to mainstream social science. While the importance of the issues that these epistemologically and ontologically radical approaches raise is underlined, a number of fundamental problems are identified with the rationale underpinning them.


1. Was Schutz a positivist? Was he even a sociologist? Comparing the reception and inception of his work
2. Garfinkel and Goffman via Simmel: parallels and divergences
3. On the disciplinary status of ethnomethodology
4. An assessment of the theoretical presuppositions of ethnomethodology
5. The influence of ethnomethodology on qualitative research methods
Name index
Subject index


Martyn Hammersley is Emeritus Professor of Educational and Social Research at The Open University

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