Ethnomethodological criticism of ethnography

Hammersley, Martyn (2019). Ethnomethodological criticism of ethnography. Qualitative Research, 19(5) pp. 578–593.



Ethnomethodologists have made some fundamental criticisms of conventional forms of ethnography. For example, it has been argued that they fail to examine the processes through which the phenomena studied have been constituted, and that they lack rigour because they rely upon unexplicated common-sense knowledge. In my view, these criticisms have not been given sufficient attention. This article outlines them in detail and then goes on to provide an evaluation. It is concluded that they do not provide a sufficient basis for the radical-re-specification of the focus of inquiry that ethnomethodologists propose. However, they do raise issues to which ethnographers should give more attention.

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