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Ethnomethodology, consciousness and self

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In this paper I shall outline the approach to consciousness adopted by ethnomethodology and its ‘associate’conversation(al) analysis. I shall attempt to do this by taking a minimalist stance, namely a basic formulation of the elements of these approaches, trying to strip away the ornate superstructures which have been erected upon that basis. I shall proceed in two ways. First, I shall seek to define ethnomethodology and conversation analysis by contrasting them to varying degrees with a variety of other approaches: symbolic interactionism and, derivatively, the work of Goffman, the -social psychology of Rom Harre and his associates and with Norbert Wiley. Secondly, I shall give some examples of the use of the notion of ‘self’held by ethnomethodologists and conversation analysts that take a definitive turn towards a non-ironic, non-mentalist, non-essentialist and non-cognitivist approach to knowledge, consciousness and self.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Sociology Department, Coupland II Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL, U.K.

Publication date: January 1, 1998


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