The approaches grouped together under the term interpretive sociology remain in a state of ambivalence as they aim to provide an objective account of meaningful social phenomena. Ethnomethodology takes Schutz's phenomenology of the life-world as the starting-point for empirical investigations in a truly radical manner since it is now asked how members manage to establish a sense of intersubjectivity. The fact that indexical expressions employed in everyday life cannot be transformed into non-contextual terms implies that both members and sociologists take recourse to interpretive procedures, one of which, and possibly the most pervasive, is the 'documentary method of interpretation'. In the structural-functional approach the difficulties surrounding the production and use of quantitative data are compounded by the additional commitment to the formulation of a sophisticated theoretical framework. The most serious attack from within sociology on ethnomethodology is directed at its non-scientific character.