Volume 10 , No. Abstract : The increased demand for health services and the inclusion of new aspects in what is culturally considered "health and health care" represent a significant challenge for the current health care system and health care practice model in Catalonia. Determining health care needs and providing the right responses to them should not only be the job of experts. Rather, it should involve the participation of all the agents who live with and in the health care system every day. The aim of this article is to point out the importance of the perceptions of the agents involved in health care for planning and decision-making in health policies. A summary of the integrated perspectives of the public, professionals, and managers from the Catalan health care system is presented.

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Discursive psychology contributions to qualitative research in social psychology: An analysis of its ethnomethodological heritage.

Colima, Mexico. Santiago, Chile. This article aims to characterize the specificity of Discursive Psychology DP as a particular theoretical and methodological proposal for qualitative research in social psychology, differentiating it from other forms of qualitative research and discourse analysis in this area. In order to do this, we highlight the important influence of the ethnomethodological perspective as a central theoretical background of the DP, largely defining its conceptualization of social order and its approach to empirical work.

First, we characterized the ethnomethodological approach to social reality, emphasizing how it conceives the social actor, the social order and the social action. After that, we describe the way in which DP adopts certain theoretical and methodological principles of the ethnomethodological tradition, which allow a better understanding of the specificity of DP in the field of qualitative research in social psychology. This perspective approaches the study of classic psychological processes and psychosocial categories regarding the use, by analyzing the ways in which an individual located in a specific field of discursive interaction seeks to achieve certain practical purposes.

Thus, for example, it is interested in the way in which the individual explains and accounts for their actions creating a certain account of the past memory ; in which rhetorically builds a particular version of the facts presenting it as an objective, factual report knowledge ; in which assigns specific responsibilities to others and themselves within the framework of the events occurred assignment ; in which develops, in the concrete use they make of language, specific evaluations of people and objects attitudes and positions themselves and others through certain linguistic strategies in a particular identity social identity.

In other words again of Edwards and Potter, :. Despite the richness and novelty of its approach, and the many opportunities of theoretical reflection and empirical inquiry that it offers, DP has had, speaking in general terms, a poor reception and development in the context of the Latin American social psychology.

The purpose of this article is to contribute to account and specify the distinctive characteristics of DP, giving some of its most significant contributions and innovations to the field of social psychology and qualitative research.

Ultimately, this effort aims to contribute to show some logic of qualitative psychosocial research of ethnomethodological sensitivity less developed in the Latin American context 3 , which rethinks the understanding of the social reality and that of the individuals that participate in it, placing in the center of its concern the understanding of the daily discursive practices and situated from which the individuals actively produce and reproduce social life.

In light of this purpose, the article has been organized as follows. First, a presentation of Ethnomethodology is developed as a particular sociological school, emphasizing the way in which it conceptualizes the notions of social actor, social order and social action.

This section highlights some key concepts of this micro sociological school: competent member, reflexivity, indexicality and accountability.

Then, starting from the development of five axes, it realizes how DP assumes in its conceptual frameworks and its investigative strategies the main ethnomethodological postulates. Throughout this characterization, we seek to clarify the theoretical and methodological features that distinguish DP from other qualitative approaches in social psychology, and even from other methodological approaches also based on some discourse analysis methodology.

Finally, the article ends with brief final thoughts. Ethnomethodology is a sociological theory that emerged in the s in the United States from the pioneering works of Harold Garfinkel, which was further developed thanks to the work of researchers such as Harvey Sacks, Don Zimerman, Aaron Cicourel and John Heritage.

The development of Ethnomethodology is embedded in a broader context of problematization in the social theory, characterized by an important critique of the Parsonian structural and functionalist paradigm which tends to focus on the analysis of macro social systems or structures presumed to precede and determine the concrete practices of the individuals , and by a re valorization of micro-sociological perspectives of interpretative cut such as symbolic interactionism and phenomenological or comprehensive sociology.

Although Ethnomethodology must be understood within this broader theoretical context of renewal of approaches to social reality, it is important not to lose sight of the epistemological, theoretical and methodological specificity and radicality of its approaches Coulon, It is this specificity that is taken up by Discursive Psychology and that allows us not to confuse, for example, the ethnomethodological sensitivity with the perspectives of the comprehensive or interactional sociologies that, in the wake of Weber, Mead, Schutz, Berger and Luckman, constitute to some extent the dominant theoretical matrix of the qualitative micro-sociological research in the field of Social Psychology.

Then, we will try to account for this singularity by discussing the way in which Ethnomethodology conceptualizes the actor, reality, and social action. We will point out the way in which these conceptions imply a theoretical and epistemological break with traditional macro sociology, while, at the same time, we will mark, where relevant, the way in which the ethnomethodological view distances itself from other micro sociologies of everyday life.

Before addressing this task, we make a brief general characterization of Ethnomethodology, with the intention of providing a framework for a better understanding of the three newly identified specific axes. Ethnomethodology can be understood as the empirical study of practices, procedures, methods and commonsense knowledge that social actors use every day to make sense of it and, at the same time, to produce social scenarios in which they participate Heritage, , ; Robles, ; Rodriguez, ; Wolf, It is important to note that, from this perspective, the object of study is not the meanings that people attribute to the situations of their ordinary life, but rather the set of strategies, procedures and methods from which the actors, in specific social scenarios, find the appropriate way to coordinate and proceed with the action expected in these circumstances.

As we will emphasize, for Ethnomethodology, language and its different uses in daily life are a key element of the methods and procedures of practical reasoning used by actors. We present below three fundamental axes to understand the specificity of the ethnomethodological perspective: its conception of the actor, order and social action. Against the functionalist idea of the social actor as a sum of status and roles within a structural system of social positions that precedes and constrains its action, Etnomethodology considers individuals as competent and active members within their social reality, endowed with a set of knowledge and practical knowledge that allow them to participate in the incessant production of the various social settings in which they are inserted Coulon, , Ritzer, More than a mere position in a previous and independent institutional system, the individual is an actor endowed with a practical rationality that allows him to participate with others in the social dance of typifications, behaviors, explanations, descriptions that are modeling, from within the interaction itself, the specificity of the different social scenarios.

In ethnomethodological language, this term does not refer to an individual belonging to a social category or confined to a collective identity, but to a social actor able to manage and use language in a given community.

In a concrete social setting, competent members make a naturalized and non-problematic use of language, which implies that social activities and interactions run on a common horizon of understanding that does not lead to perplexity, astonishment, or surprise. As Coulon, , p. As said by Coulon, , p. Competent members do not need to ask themselves what they are doing.

They know the implicit patterns of their behaviors and accept the routines inscribed in social practices. This is what makes us not to be foreign to our own culture and, conversely, that the behaviors or questions of a foreigner are strange to us.

In this way, the actors are not at all times reflecting or discussing the procedures, categorizations and methods involved in the production of the different situations participating in a class at the university, working as a taxi driver, visiting a museum, discussing politics in a pub, having breakfast with the family , but they operate at a tacit and routine level.

Thus, the competent member has a set of resources and procedures that allow him to conduct himself easily in the social world surrounding him.

The following quotation by Garfinkel illustrates this point:. Following a theoretical preference, I will affirm that significant events are wholly and exclusively the events of the behavioral environment of the person Therefore, there is no reason to look under the skull, since nothing interesting will be found there, except for the brain.

The skin of the person will be left intact. Thus, unlike other microsociologies such as phenomenology or symbolic interactionism, which incorporate a notion of subjectivity, consciousness, self or identity in their theoretical models of social reality, ethnomethodologists focus on the observable actions of individuals in concrete contexts, taking into account the discourses that agents produce as part of the action Ritzer, From this perspective, individuals are understood not as psychological subjects, nor as agents dedicated centrally to producing stable meanings about themselves and the social world, but as actors with linguistic competences, with diverse resources and observable knowledge that they deploy in their daily practices, and that allow them to operate in the social world and coordinate with others within the framework of the fundamentally pragmatic motivation of everyday life.

For Ethnomethodology, social reality is a practical realization of social actors. This perspective assumes a strong criticism of the Durkhemian and Parsonian notions of social facts as independent events, external and previous to the daily practices of the actors, who are understood, from the functionalist lens, as strongly coerced and determined by a set of stable and supra-individual institutions that structure social reality Alexander, , Ritzer, That is, social facts are the product of methodical, persevering, reflexive, thoughtful and competent actions carried out by the social actors themselves in practical activities, results that they themselves endow, cover and presume as rational and more or less correct to the extent that are useful and necessary to configure their practical realities Robles, , p.

The central thesis of Ethnomethodology is that the social order is a practical achievement of the members who participate in society Garfinkel, ; Ritzer, and not a set of facts or institutions that impose and constrain the actors.

It is important to note that the main interest of Ethnomethodology is not, as in other micro-sociological traditions, the intersubjectively shared meanings that the actors have of a social scene or object, nor the intentions and meanings that would individually explain the presence and action of an actor in said context.

The focus is rather on the various methods of action and practical reasoning that the participants mobilize to recognize, insert, produce and sustain particular social situations, such as a medical consultation, a conversation in a store, or a trip in the subway 4. Indexicality refers to the contextual character of ordinary language: words and actions acquire their full meaning in concrete contexts of interaction.

The indexical expressions are those whose intelligibility depends on the situation in which the expressions are enunciated, from various elements that are not found in the expression itself but in the own situation of enunciation Coulter, It is in this line that Garfinkel, reminds us of Husserl who.

Garfinkel argues that the general character of the natural language participates in this characteristic and that the interaction forms have an indexical nature, so that there is no expression that has a complete and defined meaning outside its concrete use and the social space of its enunciation.

This is how Garfinkel, argues that the indexical nature of language should not be considered as an obstacle to an adequate knowledge of social phenomena, as a source of error or misunderstanding, but as a constituent part of the social reality that must be investigated as such, without the pretension of translating it or reducing it to general and preconceived categories. On the other hand, the notion of reflexivity refers to the constitutive character of the language in use. It indicates that the factual character of a social situation depends reflexively on itself, on the way in which the same situation presupposes forms of explanation and self description that configure it recursively.

Adopting the position that daily reflective and indexical practices are those that describe and at the same time produce the social world implies a renewed view with respect to the social order; a view that dilutes the distinction between the explanation that an actor makes of a practice and the practice itself, understood as an underlying nucleus and prior to explanation.

From the functionalist sociological model, as well as from many psychological traditions, understanding social action involves exploring the motivations of individual actors, which in turn would depend on the internalization of rules and cultural values typical of the institutions in which those actors have been socialized. Ethnomethodology criticizes this normative paradigm of social action and raises a different conceptualization of the relationship between rules, actor and action.

Firstly, it problematizes the budget according to which we must explain the action from a question for the motivation of the actors, thus seeking an external cause and prior to the action itself, which, accounts for its origin.

In contrast, Ethnomethodology will say that it is necessary to analyze it by satisfying the constitutive structures of the action itself, its recurrent patterns, which must be understood as local and self-organized emergencies resulting from the same situated organizational practices Heritage, Ritzer, ; Wolf, Secondly, Ethnomethodology problematizes the idea that recognizable rules in social settings are clear and distinct principles that organize and regulate, from the outside and regardless of the locally involved actors, events in a given situation.

Against this image of the rules, it will be emphasized that these are always rules-in-use, resources mobilized by the actors in order to guarantee the rationality, coherence and continuity of the situation itself. The rules in abstract do not inform anything about social action, since social action always implies the practical, local and contingent articulation of these normative frameworks Wolf, This local articulation implies a permanent work of interpretation, adjustment and modulation by the participants in a given situation: How is the rule understood in the different moments, uncertain and variable, that define a particular context?

What are tolerable or even reasonable exceptions? What criteria determine which cases are included and which are not in the category of compliance or non-compliance with expectations? In other words, the normativity of a situation is not something given in advance, a generic formulation that allows to anticipate the sequences of action of a social scenario, but, on the contrary, it is an achievement of the participants themselves who must decide and negotiate, in the course of the action itself, the way in which certain rules are mobilized and updated in a specific context Heritage, , It is important to clarify that Ethnomethodology does not ignore the value of rules as action organizers, what stands out is that rules norms should be understood as rules in use, in an active game of negotiation and re interpretation.

Paradoxically, it is this flexibility, and revisable and interpretable nature of the rules which guarantees a certain consistency, continuity and regularity of the normative expectations frameworks that support any situation of social interaction. As Wolf, points out, often the competent use of a rule requires transgressing it in certain situations, whereas it is its transgression which guarantees the reproduction of the normal state of things, which is the main objective of the normative regulations of a situation.

In this way, a unique aspect of ethnomethodological sensibility consists in rejecting any attempt to impose on the internal logic of everyday action some explanatory external principle-psychological or macrosocial-that ends up making the specificity of said action and its character of local and contingent implementation invisible by competent actors.

Accountability refers, first, to the fact that all social action is describable, intelligible, relatable or analyzable by the competent members who participate in it. Likewise, when reporting it we are producing this situation. In this sense, daily actions such as describing, analyzing, criticizing and idealizing, become the focus of attention of the ethnomethodological, since it is these discursive actions that configure, in their regular and daily execution, the various social scenarios.

The notion of accountability, finally, allows you to think in a different way the relationship between action and explanation: it challenges the traditional distinction between both activities that has permeated social research.

Explanations and descriptions about the world are actions in their own right, and use multiple ways to produce and sustain daily social situations. To complete this panorama, and as an illustration of how the ethnomethodological view works, we propose the reading of a concrete social situation in light of the ethnomethodological concepts discussed. Imagine a football match of the Argentine league with a crowded grandstand. The people who have come to the gathering are competent members because they know and practice the communication and conduct codes of this context: they agree and take for granted that the interaction is informal, where expressions of joy or anger, shouting and exaggerated gestures are part of the normal course of that scene.

Each attendee assumes that the other attendees understand the situation and participate in it in the same way that he or she is doing it.

In addition, those attending the stadium will be able to report on the activity in which they participate tell a friend on the phone how the game was, tell what is happening to a frightened child who goes to the stadium for the first time , as well as the situation in which they are and, in this way, they will be giving meaning and intelligibility to the very occurrence of the situation. Thus, in describing their own action and that of others within the stadium in a particular way, they will be configuring, as the notion of reflexivity points out, the specificity and rationality of that particular social scene.

Understanding the logic of these accounts that account for, while producing, the rationality, intelligibility and predictability of the scenario in which they emerge, allows us to understand that witnessing a football match at the stadium is nothing more than accounts, activities, practices and common knowledge that the competent individuals put at risk in that situation and that, recursively, produce the situation itself.

So far we have tried to account for some of the main characteristics of the ethnomethodological perspective, its particular way of conceptualizing and approaching the study of social reality. Our interest is to contribute, through this course, to a better understanding of the logic of qualitative social research proposed by Discursive Psychology. Our thesis is that the specificity of DP within the broader field of qualitative psychosocial research, and even within the more specific scope of methodological approaches of discourse analysis, derives in part from the decisive influence that the ethnomethodological perspective has had on it.

In addition, if someone had to locate within the methodologies of discourse analysis a nucleus of development directly inherited from ethnomethodology, this would be that of Conversational Analysis Wetherell, ; Sacks, However, our thesis is that beyond the plurality of antecedents that converge in Discursive Psychology, and beyond the heterogeneity and the different nuances of the recent developments of the Ethnomethodology, it is possible to recognize in the logic of qualitative social research proposed by DP an ethnomethodological nucleus that is part of its theoretical imprinting and analytical perspective of the psychosocial processes.

In what remains of this section we present five considerations that seek to illustrate how the key thesis of the Ethnomethodology is present in the logic of research and in the empirical work on the discourse of DP.

Rather than treating language as a more or less precise representation of an external reality, or even more than considering language as a symbolic tissue that expresses certain underlying meanings and intentions of the social actors that we should interpret, we should try to carry out an analysis of the role of language in terms of its uses and functions in local and specific contexts.

It is a form of discourse analysis that seeks to avoid to the maximum the theoretical overdetermination of data, as well as overinterpretation, which lead the analyst to find in the interactions that he studies only what his previous categories tells him to find. This is how Wetherell, , echoing the more ethnomethodological perspective, poses a defense of the.

In conversation and interaction This empiricist and inductive logic highly sensitive to the local operation of the discursive action present in DP is to a large extent also an inheritance of Ethnomethodology and of the conversational analysis derived from it.



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