Human Studies

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 479–504 | Cite as

Early Glimmers of the Now Familiar Ethnomethodological Themes in Garfinkel’s “The Perception of the Other”

  • Timothy Koschmann
Theoreticla / Philosophical Paper


Garfinkel’s dissertation, “The Perception of the Other,” was completed and defended 15 years prior to the publication of Studies in Ethnomethodology. This essay seeks hints of the familiar ethnomethodological themes (indexicality, reflexivity, accountability) within his thesis. It begins by examining the contributions of earlier social theorists, particularly Talcott Parsons and Alfred Schütz, to Garfinkel’s thought. It then examines the dissertation itself seeking evidence to support the claim that Garfinkel was already moving in the direction of an ‘incommensurable, asymmetric, and alternate’ program of sociological inquiry well before the term ‘ethnomethodology’ had even been coined.


Ethnomethodology Talcott Parsons Alfred Schütz 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical EducationSouthern Illinois UniversitySpringfieldUSA

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