July 2001: “Orders of Ordinary Action”, Manchester, England
The conference, titled “Orders of Ordinary Action”, was attended by over 170 scholars from around the world. Sixteen countries were represented. Participants ranged from internationally renowned senior figures in the fields of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis (including the founding figure of the discipline, Professor Harold Garfinkel from UCLA) to postgraduate students and newcomers to the field. The conference was interdisciplinary in nature, with scholars from diverse backgrounds, including sociology, psychology, computer science, linguistics, anthropology, philosophy and education. Over the three full days of the conference some 70 papers were presented in the regular sessions, and there were four plenary presentations. Overwhelmingly, the papers presented consisted of empirical analyses of activities and settings of human action. Such activities and settings included teaching and learning in schools, the organisation of health care in medical settings, social practices in domestic settings and the use of technology in the workplace. The four plenaries were given by Professor Michael Lynch (Cornell), Professor Harold Garfinkel (UCLA), Professor Wes Sharrock and Dr. Graham Button (Manchester & Xerox, Cambridge, respectively) and Professor George Psathas (Boston). A book was edited and published on the basis of selected conference papers: Orders of Ordinary Action: Respecifying Sociological Knowledge (ed. by S. Hester and D. Francis, Ashgate, 2007).