You are not currently logged in.

Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:


Log in through your institution.

Journal Article

Symbolic Interactionism vs. Ethnomethodology

Mary J. Gallant and Sherryl Kleinman
Symbolic Interaction
Vol. 6, No. 1 (Spring 1983), pp. 1-18
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction
DOI: 10.1525/si.1983.6.1.1
Stable URL:
Page Count: 18
  • Download ($42.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Add to My Lists
  • Cite this Item
Symbolic Interactionism vs. Ethnomethodology
Preview not available


Are ethnomethodology and symbolic interactionism essentially the same? An examination of these perspectives suggests that each offers a unique contribution to sociological knowledge. Although both perspectives have been influenced by pragmatism, ethnomethodology shares affinity with James' philosophy while symbolic interactionism is allied with Dewey's and Mead's. Both perspectives emphasize meaning and constraints, but each offers critically different conceptualizations of them. Symbolic interactionism and ethnomethodology share a verstehen outlook, yet each perspective uses different methods to gain “understanding.” Hence, these perspectives differ philosophically, conceptually, and methodologically.

Page Thumbnails