(Ethno)methodology in an Auto-Repair Shop: Categorization Practices of "Ethnic Membership"

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Timur Bocharov


Ethnomethodology, Harvey Sacks, Categorization, Ethnicity, Indexicality


This article is an ethnomethodological examination of ethnic categorizationpractices in a community of migrants. The research is based on participant observationin a auto repair shop employing only Uzbek workers. I reevaluate Harvey Sacks’s ideasabout membership categories by taking into account the classical ethnomethodologyof Harold Garfi nkel. The paper focuses specifi c attention on the everyday practices that give reality to the social fact of “ethnicity.” I describe how workers and clients,in face-to-face interactions, make ordinary actions (cooking, backgammon playing,tobacco smoking, police inspection of documents) accountable as “ethnic”phenomena. The research practices themselves are explicated as part of the describedphenomenon, following the ethnomethodological principle of topic/resource shift. In Russian, extended summary in English.

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