David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Human Studies 35 (2):223-233 (2012)
This essay focuses on the "cultural dope," an ironic reference in Harold Garfinkel's Studies in Ethnomethodology to the rule-following actor in conventional sociological theories. In the nearly half-century since the publication of that book, the "cultural dope" has been incorporated into numerous criticisms of "models of man" in the human sciences. Garfinkel's account appeals to many writers because it seems to present an alternative picture of the actor: an individual who is self-aware, reflective, and skilled in the conduct of daily affairs. A problem with such a generalized picture of the actor is that it may seem to encourage uncritical acceptance of whatever "the public" (or a broad segment of the public) happens to believe or support. This paper revisits Garfinkel's account of the cultural dope, and contrasts "conservative" and "radical" readings of what Garfinkel does with that figure. The "conservative" reading leaves the edifice of a social-structural model largely intact, and provides an alternative, more complex, picture of individual action than that of a cultural dope. The "radical" reading places relevant social structures in a dependent relation to the contingencies of action, and thus destabilizes the very theoretical edifice that sets up the problem of how to integrate individual actions with stable social structures. In line with the "radical" reading, this paper suggests that Garfinkel creates serious difficulty for any generalized "model of man," regardless of whether it portrays the individual as active or passive, well-informed or ignorant, or reflexive or not
|Keywords||Harold Garfinkel Ethnomethodology Cultural dope Social theory Cultural theory|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Alfred Schuetz (1953). Common-Sense and Scientific Interpretation of Human Action. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 14 (1):1-38.
Citations of this work BETA
Lucia Ruggerone (2013). Science and Life-World: Husserl, Schutz, Garfinkel. [REVIEW] Human Studies 36 (2):179-197.
Similar books and articles
Howard Marks & Julian Baggini (2011). Britain's Best-Loved Dope Dealer. The Philosophers' Magazine 54 (54):121-126.
Eric Chwang (2011). Why Athletic Doping Should Be Banned. Journal of Applied Philosophy 29 (1):33-49.
Melissa Wright (1998). Maquiladora Mestizas and a Feminist Border Politics: Revisiting Anzaldúa. Hypatia 13 (3):114 - 131.
D. Kellner (1993). Critical Theory Today: Revisiting the Classics. Theory, Culture and Society 10 (2):43-60.
Monique Deveaux (2007). Personal Autonomy and Cultural Tradition. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 7:87-92.
Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (1994). The Hidden Politics of Cultural Identification. Political Theory 22 (1):152-166.
Michael Bentley (2006). 5. Past and "Presence": Revisiting Historical Ontology. History and Theory 45 (3):349–361.
Seungbae Park (2011). Defence of Cultural Relativism. Cultura. International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology 8 (1):159-170.
Agnes S. Ku (2000). Revisiting the Notion of "Public" in Habermas's Theory-Toward a Theory of Politics of Public Credibility. Sociological Theory 18 (2):216-240.
John D. Greenwood (1999). From Volkerpsychologie to Cultural Psychology: The Once and Future Discipline? Philosophical Psychology 12 (4):503 – 514.
Robert Aunger (2006). Culture Evolves Only If There is Cultural Inheritance. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):347-348.
R. Lee Lyman (2006). Cultural Traits and Cultural Integration. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):357-358.
Added to index2012-05-03
Total downloads6 ( #217,582 of 1,140,006 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #157,514 of 1,140,006 )
How can I increase my downloads?