am 12. Juli 2000
I first encountered Garfinkle's classic work almost 30 years ago in an introductory sociology of deviance course. We students loved it, because it was at once substantive and quirky, scholarly and entertaining.
Its focus is the social construction of reality -- a central contruct in sociological theory and research. Briefly, Garfinkle argues that the shared reality that makes possible social intercourse is not fixed, but rather arises as a consenus of participants in social groups. So, for example, manners, rules of conversation, or even definitions of insanity can be shown to be arbitrary and mutable while at the same time indespensible for comprehensible interactions between and among people.
This little book is a must read for any student of social or organizational behavior or anyone curious about the social world. Rarely will you meet a practicing sociologist who does not get a twinkle in his or her eye when someone mentions Studies in Ethnomethodology. It is that good. And that much fun.