|Author(s)||Paul ten Have|
|Title||Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis|
|Publisher||American Psychological Association|
|Book title||APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology, Vol. 2: Quantitative, Qualitative, Neuropsychological, and Biological|
Ethnomethodology (EM) and conversation analysis (CA) are the somewhat confusing names of two related research traditions that were developed in the 1960s in the United States by Harold Garfinkel and by Harvey Sacks (with his coworkers Emanuel Schegloff and Gail Jefferson), respectively. The contexts for their initiatives were the theoretical and methodological debates in sociology that were current at the time. Since then, EM and CA have become more or less established paradigms that have attracted researchers from a range of disciplines around the world. As a first characterization, one can note their interest in the detailed ways in which members of society collaboratively constitute the situations in which they find themselves and the (inter)actions that take place in those situations. The general sociological issue of social order is reconsidered as a local achievement of members in situations, and the research objective is to explicate how this is done in an accountable way. CA can be seen as a specialized form of EM, originally focusing on verbal interaction and later also considering nonvocal aspects. It has developed a rather specific, relatively conventionalized research style using audio or video recordings and detailed transcripts as basic data. Other forms of EM use a much wider range of data types, such as ethnographic observations, while the approach is closely fitted to the chosen topic and the properties of the research site.