Ethnomethodology: Sociology and Common Sense World

Topics: Sociology, Personal life, Comedy Pages: 3 (856 words) Published: September 23, 2012
We interact with others and accomplish a myriad of things throughout the day without having to think about them. We certainly are not robots but we do take for granted many of our social interactions. These taken-for-granted interactions remain largely insignificant until we are asked why we do them and that is when we realize how difficult it really is for us to explain. This breach into our taken-for-granted, ordinary interactions helps highlight the manner in which we questions our codes of behaviour, the implications of following or not following certain actions, and how insignificant moments become significant to us. What follows then is a discussion of the parallels between two methods that breach our ordinary days to expose various workings: comedy(as highlighted by the sitcom, Seinfeld) and ethnomethodology. Seinfeld, an American comedy programme from the 1990s, was immensely successful in highlighting the rather insignificant social conventions of daily life and the consequences of what would happen should those moments be dwelled on. It is noteworthy that the show was based on the premise of an assumption of shared universal cultural symbols that the audience (mainly younger Americans) would be able to relate to (Gracia, p.148). Seinfeld exposed the funny moments in our lives, moments we would not have thought to stop and laugh about, and this is what made it such a successful show. As Jorge Gracia notes: “ it we see ourselves in a new light. All of a sudden we consider ourselves, our every day idiosyncrasies, manners, ways, and customs, the peculiarities that we generally do not notice but that permeate our existence, presented for what they are, regularities of daily living that pass us by as insignificant and yet have significance” (Gracia, pp.149-150). Similarly, in the field of sociology, ethnomethodology is used to examine ordinary instances in order to uncover and understand how we interact with others on a daily basis. How we interact and...
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