Ethnomethodology and the rashomon problem

Hideo Hama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In his doctoral dissertation, Harold Garfinkel critically examinedTalcott Parsons' classical formulation of the problem of order referred to as the "Hobbesian problem". Garfinkel's criticism can be summarized under the following three headings: (1) common sense rationality replaces scientific rationality; (2) the level of the premises of conduct replaces the level of de facto action; (3) congruence theory replaces the correspondence theory. The aim of this paper is to make some observations on the structure of the problem of order which Garfinkel discovered through this criticism. I propose to call it the "Rashomon problem" after Akira Kurosawa's film Rashomon. Ethnomethodology can be regarded as an attempt to solve the "Rashomon problem".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-192
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Studies
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jan 1


  • Breaching experiment
  • Ethnomethodology
  • Intersubjectivity
  • Problem of order
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy


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