Harold Garfinkel and Edward Rose in the early years of ethnomethodology

AHP readers may be interested in a new piece in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences: “Harold Garfinkel and Edward Rose in the early years of ethnomethodology,” by Jakub Mlyná?. Abstract:

This article documents the beginning of the intellectual companionship between the founder of ethnomethodology, Harold Garfinkel, and Edward Rose, who is most often associated with his program of “ethno-inquiries.” I present results from archival research focusing on the contacts and collaborations between Rose and Garfinkel in the years 1955–1965. First, I describe the review process for Rose and Felton’s paper, submitted to the American Sociological Review in 1955, which Garfinkel reviewed and after Rose’s rebuttal recommended for publication. The paper induced Garfinkel to write an extensive commentary that has remained unpublished. Second, I discuss the 1958 New Mexico conference sponsored by the Air Force, which was an opportunity for Rose and Garfinkel to work together on topics related to common-sense knowledge and scientific knowledge. Third, I give an overview of the ethnomethodological conferences in 1962 and 1963, supported by an Air Force grant written collaboratively by Rose and Garfinkel. Here I focus primarily on Rose’s research on “small languages,” which stimulated many discussions among the early ethnomethodologists. Rose’s work and exchanges with Garfinkel demonstrate the former’s affinity for miniaturization as a research approach and search for ways to empiricize topics of sociological theory in locally observable settings.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.