greiffenhagen-et-al-methodological-troubles.pdf (749.14 kB)

Methodological troubles as problems and phenomena: ethnomethodology and the question of 'method' in the social sciences

Download (749.14 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 29.06.2015, 15:08 by Christian Greiffenhagen, Michael Mair, Wes Sharrock
Across the disciplinary frontiers of the social sciences, studies by social scientists treating their own investigative practices as sites of empirical inquiry have proliferated. Most of these studies have been retrospective, historical, after‐the‐fact reconstructions of social scientific studies mixing interview data with the (predominantly textual) traces that investigations leave behind. Observational studies of in situ work in social science research are, however, relatively scarce. Ethnomethodology was an early and prominent attempt to treat social science methodology as a topic for sociological investigations and, in this paper, we draw out what we see as its distinctive contribution: namely, a focus on troubles as features of the in situ, practical accomplishment of method, in particular, the way that research outcomes are shaped by the local practices of investigators in response to the troubles they encounter along the way. Based on two case studies, we distinguish methodological troubles as problems and methodological troubles as phenomena to be studied, and suggest the latter orientation provides an alternate starting point for addressing social scientists’ investigative practices.

Funding

This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (Grant no.: RES‐576‐25‐0022)

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

British Journal of Sociology

Citation

GREIFFENHAGEN, C., MAIR, M. and SHARROCK, W., 2015. Methodological troubles as problems and phenomena: ethnomethodology and the question of 'method' in the social sciences. British Journal of Sociology, 66(3), pp.460-485.

Publisher

© Wiley

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2015

Notes

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: GREIFFENHAGEN, C., MAIR, M. and SHARROCK, W., 2015. Methodological troubles as problems and phenomena: ethnomethodology and the question of 'method' in the social sciences. British Journal of Sociology, 66(3), pp.460-485, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12136. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

ISSN

0007-1315

eISSN

1468-4446

Language

en