Interest in the ethnomethodology and other phenomenological sociologies grew very rapidly among students and professionals in social science during the latter part of the twentieth century. The growth of this interest was handicapped by the lack of clear, systematic, and comprehensive treatments of their basic ideas and research findings. This book provides the first genuinely intelligible and reasonably systematic presentation of this perspective and contributed to the restructuring of empirical knowledge upon solid foundations. It remains important to those who would understood these areas of the social sciences and their potential to contribute to understanding of social life.
These original essays, all of which share ideas about the scientific inadequacies of conventional sociologies and the fundamental importance of these new approaches, were contributed by many of the best young research workers and theorists of this approach in 1970, when the book was originally published. They are critical, theoretical, and empirical, and provide the first understandable presentation of this new mode of thought, its distinctions from old points of view, the range of problems that concern its practitioners, and the kinds of results that can be achieved.
The book's clarity and systematic treatment of important research topics make it suitable for courses in sociological theory and research, the history of social thought, and related subjects. In addition, this volume can be used in courses specifically dealing with ethnomethodology, in graduate seminars dealing with these issues, and in academic work based on this orientation.