Ethnomethodology (ethnos: Greek means with or race + methodology = methodology ) is a sociological theory that focuses on the ways in which people give meaning to their world, communicate and show this understanding to others, and mutually produce the common social order in which they live. The concept was first coined by Harold Garfinkel in the 1960s. Ethnomethodology is a theory separate from traditional sociology, and does not seek to compete with it, or provide corrections to practices associated with this current.
The two main differences between traditional sociology and ethnomethodology are:
- While traditional sociology often offers an analysis of society through the factuality of the obvious social order, ethnomethodology deals with the "how" (methods and methods) the social order is created and common to all.
- While traditional sociology often provides descriptions of social environments that compete and challenge the descriptions proposed by individuals, which form part of these social environments, ethnomethodology seeks to describe the practices and methods used by these individuals in the practical descriptions of particular social environments.