Norms are forever problematic.
Scientific statements are product of an intersubjective dialog with validity claims about
problematic situations of the Social World.
Problematic is a term used by ethnomethodology
and put to effective use by Dorothy Smith to describe as a problem of interest that which
is normally not seen as a problem because it is taken for granted.
Smith argues that, the everyday world is
problematic. Smith argues that the everyday world is neither transparent nor
obvious. That social relations are organized from elsewhere.
By bracketing one's
own membership in the world a researcher makes the commonsense and taken-for-granted world
By making the everyday and ordinary problematic a
researcher is able to uncover the structure and dynamic of the everyday.
is a method of inquiry pioneered by Dorothy E. Smith. Institutional ethnography is a
research strategy which emerges from Smith's wide-ranging explorations of the problematic
of the everyday world.
Everyday World As Problematic: A Feminist Sociology
Ethnography, Institutions, and the Problematic of
the Everyday World
Peter R. Grahame - Journal Human Studies ISSN 0163-8548 (Print) 1572-851X (Online)
Abstract This essay describes institutional ethnography as a method of inquiry pioneered
by Dorothy E. Smith, and introduces a collection of papers which make distinctive
contributions to the development of this novel form of investigation. Institutional
ethnography is presented as a research strategy which emerges from Smith's wide-ranging
explorations of the problematic of the everyday world. Smith's conception of the everyday
world as problematic involves a critical departure from the concepts and procedures of
more conventional sociologies. She argues for an alternative sociology which begins with
the standpoint of the actor in everyday life, rather than from within a professional
sociological discourse aligned with the society's ruling institutions.
The Everyday Classroom As Problematic: A Feminist
Author: Gallagher, Kathleen
Source: Curriculum Inquiry, Volume 30, Number 1, Spring 2000, pp. 71-81(11)
Abstract: The title of this article is borrowed and adapted from Dorothy Smith's
authoritative text, The Everyday World as Problematic: A Feminist Sociology.
The basic premise of Smith's work is that sociology, as a discipline, has operated largely
outside women's experiences and has, despite this, been used as a means of measuring,
understanding, and articulating the experiences of women. Likewise, the everyday
classroom has traditionally operated within patriarchal structures and used
practices which have not taken up girls' experiences as distinct and unique. Therefore,
problematizing the pedagogical lens, as Smith has problematized the social sciences we
have used to study human relations, leads to, in Smith's case, new feminist research
strategies in the field, and in the case of pedagogy, new classroom practices and a view
of curriculum which addresses girls' experiences in necessary ways.