Cicourel, Aaron(1928-) US ethnomethodologist whose influential Method and Measurement in Sociology evaluated the place of statistical and mathematical work in social science, in the light of the situated, judgmental and negotiated character of all social categorization. Often taken to be a devastating critique of orthodox sociologies (see MEASUREMENT BY FIAT, OFFICIAL STATISTICS), it in fact left open a wide range of possibilities. In his later work Cicourel has continued to seek a rapprochement between ETHNOMETHODOLOGY and other kinds of sociology, as well as continuing to contribute to a wide range of studies of familiar sociological topics, e.g. DEVIANCE and education, in which a rethinking of the place and nature of categorical work in social life is central.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000