What Can Ethnomethodology Say About Power

Ethnomethodology Say About Power?

  1. Graham Watson
    1. University of Calgary
  1. Jean-Guy Goulet
    1. Saint Paul University


An interview in which a Dene Tha man talks about his people's powers (echint'e) and a passage in which an eminent social scientist discusses sociologically theorized power are examined for the methods by which these powers are produced as objective facts. The methods invite comparison; for example, both the Dene Tha and the theorist characterize visible and tangible phenomena as pointing to underlying forces that are invisible and intangible. If only (but not only) because these forces are invisible and intangible, work has to be performed to make them stick. This does not constitute a problem for the Dene Tha, whose procedures need only be adequate for practical purposes, but it is a self- imposed hurdle for social scientists, who require their procedures to pass the test of theoretical adequacy; however, satisfying that test is no less a practical accomplishment than is constituting Dene Tha powers as effective.

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