43.4 Achievements, challenges, and prospects in the application of institutional ethnography research

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 10:00 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Paul LUKEN , University of West Georgia
What we now call institutional ethnography (IE) emerged from Dorothy Smith’s sociology for women, an alternative sociology intended to supplement women’s knowledge of their everyday world rather than replace their knowledge with explanations dependent upon frameworks organized by others whose experiences, interests, and social circumstances differed remarkably from women.  As this alternative sociology developed into a sociology for people, it maintained this orientation and commitment to the development of knowledge that would expand people’s grasp of their everyday world. Furthermore, this new knowledge would have the potential to assist in the remaking of ongoing social relations in a manner that would meet people’s needs and desires. With IE the ethnographer could also be the activist. This paper briefly reviews and analyzes the work of several social activists-researchers who have used and who are using institutional ethnography to make changes in institutional arrangements at the local level or in the realm of widespread social practices and public policy. Data come from published work, web sites, and interviews with IE activists-researchers.