Ethnomethodology is a sociological theory developed by Harold Garfinkel and building on the influence of phenomenologists such as Edmund Husserl and Alfred Schutz and more recent linguistic philosophers.
The fundamental sociological phenomenon for ethnomethodologists is the social fact. 'Ethnomethodology' means the study of people's practices or methods. Ethnomethodology is a perspective within sociology that focuses on the way people make sense of their everyday world. There are three central strands to ethnomethodology: Mundane Reason Analysis, Membership Categorization, and Conversational (Sequential) Analysis.
This is a micro-perspective and it does not see the social world as an objective reality but as something that people must build and rebuild constantly in their thoughts and actions.
Rather than treating ordinary members of society as cultural dopes, driven by society, Ethnomethodology tries to uncover the methods and practices that are used by people as they create the taken-for-granted-world.
Recognising everyday life as an achievement, collective sense making, and the central importance of talk as a social process, ethnomethodology had an impact on all those arenas of sociology where ordinary interaction is an element.
Ethnomethodology and sociology: an introduction
Garfinkel, Harold. 1984. Studies in Ethnomethodology.
Malden MA: Polity Press/Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0745600050