"If You Want to Understand the Big Issues, You Need to Understand the Everyday Practices That Constitute Them." Lucy Suchman in Conversation With Dominik Gerst & Hannes Krämer

Lucy Suchman, Dominik Gerst, Hannes Krämer


With her book "Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-Machine Communication," Lucy SUCHMAN (1987) not only opened up a whole new domain of scientific interest but also showed how the scope of ethnomethodological inquiry can be widened in a fruitful way. Since then she is best known for her extensive contributions to the field of science and technology studies. In this interview, SUCHMAN gives insights into how she brought ethnomethodological sensibilities to new research fields, including human-machine interaction and feminist scholarship. She shares personal anecdotes of her meetings with Harold GARFINKEL and reflects upon key ethnomethodological elements such as the analysis of mundane practices and the fundamental sociality of mutual intelligibility. Discussing the relevance for material studies and how ethnomethodology can contribute to a politically engaged social science, SUCHMAN strikingly demonstrates the actuality of ethnomethodology's program.


ethnomethodology; Garfinkel; human-machine interaction; science and technology studies; feminism; mundane practices; mutual intelligibility; documentary method; intervening social science

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-20.2.3252

Copyright (c) 2019 Lucy Suchman, Dominik Gerst, Hannes Krämer

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