Dorothy Edith Smith

Dorothy Edith Smith
University of Victoria | UVIC · Department of Sociology

PhD

About

53
Publications
23,218
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
7,118
Citations
Introduction
My most recent interest is in recognizing language ethnographically as people's practices. I published a paper on this topic in 2016 [ Exploring words as people's practices, In Lynch,J., J Rowlands, T.Gale, and A.Skourdoumbis eds. Diffractive readings in practice: Trajectories in theory, fields and professions, London, Routledge.] A second will appear in the forthcoming Handbook of Institutional Ethnography (Luken and Vaulghan, Palgarve).
Additional affiliations
August 1968 - June 1977
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (53)
Book
The institutional ethnographies collected in Under New Public Management explore how new managerial governance practices coordinate the work of people doing front-line work in public sectors such as health, education, social services, and international development, and people management in the private sector. In these fields, organizations have inc...
Book
In Incorporating Texts into Institutional Ethnographies, Dorothy E. Smith and Susan Marie Turner present a selection of essays highlighting perhaps the single most distinctive feature of the sociological approach known as Institutional Ethnography (IE) the ethnographic investigation of how texts coordinate and organize people’s activities across sp...
Chapter
My work and thinking as a feminist sociologist have been profoundly influenced by the understanding I developed of the materialist method, as it was first formulated in Marx and Engels’s The German Ideology. The interpretation of Marx’s method explored in this chapter originated in my interest in finding a method of inquiry other than those in whic...
Article
L'importance de 1'idéologie dans les processus qui résultent dans l'arrangement des relations sociales est un attribut distinctif de ce genre de societé. Tant historiquement que dans le présent les femmes ont été exclues de la production des formes de pensée, des images et des symboles dans lesquels leur expérience et leur relations sociales sont e...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper I've tried to spell out what I think we're confronting in attempting to make change in the context of global capitalism. I've used the notion of making change from below because the kind of government organization that made taking it over appear practicable has largely disappeared in a fragmentation of the state at many levels both wi...
Article
Full-text available
The article argues that Marx’s use of the concept of ideology in The German Ideology is incidental to a sustained critique of how those he described as the German ideologists think and reason about society and history and that this critique is not simply of an idealist theory that represents society and history as determined by consciousness but of...
Article
This paper reconnects the major texts, Rigoberta Menchú's autobiographical I, Rigoberta Menchú (Menchu & Debray, 1984) and David Stoll's Rigoberta Menchú and the story of all poor Guatemalans (Stoll, 1999) with the historical contexts and continuities in which they have been and are active. Its interest is in examining them in the connections betwe...
Article
Full-text available
This final keynote address focuses on how to make work visible. Drawing on the methodology of institutional ethnography, the author advocates a mode of inquiry that starts in people's everyday lives, examining the relations, organizations and forms of power that intersect with and organize the everyday world and relate us to others in ways we do no...
Article
This paper examines the problem of how institutions and the phenomena called formal or large-scale organization exist—the problem of the ontology of organizations and institutions. It addresses this problem using an approach that has been developed as part of a sociology exploring the social from women's standpoint, from which standpoint the extra-...
Article
This collection of essays, written by Dorothy Smith over the past eight years, is a long-awaited treasure by one of the world's foremost social thinkers. In it, Smith turns her wit and common sense on the prevailing discourses of sociology, political economy, philosophy, and popular culture, at the same time developing her own sociological and femi...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Discusses declining commitment to education as a public good, addressing contemporary changes in economic organization, the correlative reorganization and design of institutions, and the discourse of privatization. Privatization emphasizes the traditional family and the importance of women's unpaid work for children and schools, despite most famili...
Article
Full-text available
The social sciences are systematically developed forms of knowledge that are in and of the ruling relations and conform to its objectifying order. This paper proposes the creation of a sociology that puts into question, at the outset, the objectifications that universalize and generalize discourse and ruling across local settings and localized cons...
Article
The social sciences are systematically developed forms of knowledge that are in and of the ruling relations and conform to its objectifying order. This paper proposes the creation of a sociology that puts into question, at the outset, the objectifications that universalize and generalize discourse and ruling across local settings and localized cons...
Article
This paper explores the complex of objectified social relations that organize and regulate our lives in contemporary society. Its inquiry is driven by experiences in the women's movement of a dual consciousness, with the particularities of being mother and housewife on the one hand, and, on the other, the abstracted discourses and forms of organiza...
Article
The concerns of this paper come from an attempt to develop sociological inquiry from women's standpoint and to create a sociology for people. It is a project that must rely on the possibility of “telling the truth.” The poststructuralist/postmodernist critique of representation and reference creates a fundamental problem for this project. It challe...
Article
This article describes the “Standard North American Family” or SNAF as an ideological code. An ideological code is analogous to a genetic code, reproducing its characteristic forms and order in multiple and various discursive settings. Its operation in two settings is explored. The first is the writer's experience (shared with Alison Griffith) of d...
Article
Examines sociological theory as procedures for women writing society into texts. The author adopts constitutional principles and procedures of social science and uses the term "constitutional" politically. She envisages constitutional theories as conventions operating on semantic and syntactic choices to generate sociological formulations. She also...
Article
Lisa Gilad, Ginger and Salt: Yemeni Jewish Women in an Israeli Town. BoulderD.W. Attwood and B.S. Baviskar (eds.), Who Shares? Co-operatives and Rural DevelopmentFrancis Robinson (ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and The MaldivesRichard C. Davis (ed.), Rupert's Land: A Cultural TapestryTom Bo...
Article
Full-text available
and political economy originate in my experience as activist and academic in the women's movement. They arise from my efforts to translate into a political and scholarly practice the discoveries of the power relations organizing the personal and domestic as feminists have experienced and analysed them. These reflections bear the traces of those ext...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Suicide has been a focus for sociology and sociological debate since Durkheim's (1952) innovative theoretical and methodological work on that topic. This paper is not about suicide. It is however situated in the methodological and epistemological debate which stemmed from Durkheim's work and has made that topic of 'suicide' the contingent centre of...
Article
Through the descriptive use of statistical data, this paper explores inequalities between men and women teachers that may be exacerbated by the problem of declining enrollment in Ontario. Defining education in Canada as an internally segregated profession, the authors assess role differentiation between men and women, the situation of women in the...
Article
The paper analyses an interview describing how K came to be defined by her friends as mentally ill. The method of analysis assumes that the structure of the conceptual scheme `mental illness' which the reader uses in recognizing `mental illness' is isomorphic with that organizing the text and hence is discoverable `in' it. The full text of the inte...
Article
The power of attendants at state mental hospitals to influence policy has often been noted. This paper suggests that the distribution of power in the state mental hospital fails to conform to Michels's "iron law of oligarchy." From an analysis of the ward system, three main characteristics are derived. These are then stated as the formal characteri...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The dialogue I’m proposing here takes up institutional ethnography’s commitment to learning from and about actual people’s actual doings (including in language) as they coordinate with one another. Conceptualizing words as people’s actual doings or practices proposes a direction of study into how words engage us, as practices, in ways that are ordinarily available to observation and description. I am interested in opening up a region for discovery