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Finding Aid for the Melvin Pollner papers, circa 1967-2007 LSC.2184
LSC.2184  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Related Material

  • Title: Melvin Pollner papers
    Identifier/Call Number: LSC.2184
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 15.0 linear feet (Fourteen record cartons, two document boxes and one half size document box)
    Date: circa 1967-2007
    Abstract: Melvin Pollner was a UCLA Professor of Sociology for nearly 40 years and a leading practitioner of ethnomethodology, one of the department's signature specialties. The collection consists of field notes, research files of ethnomethodology papers and notes, Pollner's drafts and reprints, his Mundane Reasoning dissertation files, Sociology course materials and audio tapes from traffic court studies.
    Language of Materials: Materials are in English.
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.
    Creator: Pollner, Melvin

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. All requests to access special collections materials must be made in advance using the request button located on this page

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where UCLA Library Special Collections does not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Melvin Pollner papers (Collection 2184). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Judy A. Pollner, 2008.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Kelly Besser with assistance from Kamarin Takahara, 2013; final revisions made by Angel Diaz, 2017.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7345927 

    Biography/History

    Melvin Pollner was born on October 13, 1940, in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City. He attended the Bronx High School of Science and earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from the City College of New York. He went on to earn a master's degree in sociology from UC Berkeley and a PhD in sociology from UC Santa Barbara. He joined the UCLA Department of Sociology in 1968 where he taught for nearly 40 years.
    In the early 1980s, as part of the reorganization of the Department’s graduate program, faculty organized themselves into areas of common interest. One of these areas focused on ethnomethodological, phenomenological and observational sociologies (EPOS) and included the following professors as affiliated faculty: Melvin Pollner, Harold Garfinkel, Robert Emerson, Jack Katz and Emanuel Schegloff. Pollner taught Sociology 271, one of the introductory courses in this area that grappled with fundamental ideas and concerns which animate ethnomethodological and phenomenological investigations. Pollner’s course featured guest presentations by the aforementioned faculty and included topics such as “The world of everyday life and the problem of rationality,” “Rules, norms and tacit knowledge” and “Speaking and discourse.”
    Professor Pollner's primary research interests were the sociology of mental illness; self and identity; ethnomethodology; and toward the end of his career, economic sociology. His work in these areas included studies of psychiatric emergency teams, the construction of reality in families, making and managing meaning in traffic court, the impact of religious beliefs on psychological well-being, and narrative practices in Alcoholics Anonymous.
    UCLA Department of Sociology colleague and longtime collaborator, Professor Emeritus Robert Emerson described Pollner as deeply committed to sociology and specifically to ethnomethodology. Emerson remembers that Pollner described ethnomethodology as follows: “The study of the practices used to craft whatever participants in particular settings recognize as intelligible, meaningful and real.” According to Emerson, this meant “understanding all social matters -- gender and social class, reality and truth -- not as fixed objects or facts, but as meanings people create and sustain in interaction with one another.”
    Melvin Pollner died at the UCLA Medical Center on November 2, 2007. The Melvin Pollner Prize in Ethnomethodology was created in 2009 and awarded every other year beginning in 2010 to the author of an article, chapter or book that develops original work resonant with Pollner’s interests in topics such as mundane reason, reality disjunctures, radical reflexivity and the connections and contributions of ethnomethodology to other types of sociology.

    Scope and Content

    The collection includes field notes, research files of ethnomethodology papers and notes, Pollner's drafts and reprints, his Mundane Reasoning dissertation files, Sociology course materials and audio tapes from traffic court studies.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection has been arranged in the following series:
    • 1. Field notes.
    • 2. Research files.
    • 3. Drafts.
    • 4. Reprints.
    • 5. Academic course materials.
    • 6. Open reel audio tapes.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    COLLECTION CONTAINS AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS: Audiovisual materials in this collection will require assessment and possible digitization for safe access. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.

    Related Material

    Harold Garfinkel Papers (Collection 1273).  Available at Library Special Collections, UCLA.
    Gail Jefferson papers (Collection 2319)  Available at Library Special Collections, UCLA.
    Harvey Sacks Papers (Collection 1678).  Available at Library Special Collections, UCLA.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Ethnomethodology--Research.
    Sociologists--California--Los Angeles--Archives.
    Traffic courts--Social aspects--Case studies.
    University of California, Los Angeles. Department of Sociology--Faculty--Archives.