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Symbolic Interactionism vs. Ethnomethodology
Mary J. Gallant and Sherryl Kleinman
Vol. 6, No. 1 (Spring 1983), pp. 1-18
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/si.19184.108.40.206
Page Count: 18
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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.
Symbolic Interaction © 1983 Wiley