Organisational Ethnography And The Question Of Power: Dialogue, Conceptualisation and The Gadamer – Habermas Debate

Lars Bo Henriksen


When doing any kind of ethnography we are always confronted with questions of power and domination. In this article the problem is dealt with through an analysis of the debate between Gadamer and Habermas. In the late 1960es and the early 1970es they exchanged a series of essays and articles where they discussed the status of power and domination in relation to understanding (hermeneutics) in particular and to the social sciences in general. I will use some of the arguments from this debate and confront them with the an ethnographic method called the conceptualising method (Henriksen et al, 2004), as I find that the role of power and domination discussed in this ancient debate also counts for the conceptualising method in particular and in any ethnography in general.

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