Human Studies

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 519–537

Suspending Belief and Suspending Doubt: The Everyday and the Virtual in Practices of Factuality

Theoretical / Philosophical Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10746-012-9244-y

Cite this article as:
Zaunbrecher, N.J. Hum Stud (2012) 35: 519. doi:10.1007/s10746-012-9244-y


From an ethnomethodological perspective, this article describes social actors’ everyday and virtual stances in terms of their practices of provisional doubt and belief for the purpose of fact-establishment. Facts are iterated, reinforced, elaborated, and transformed via phenomenal practices configuring relations of equipment, interpretation, and method organized as “other” than, but relevant to, the everyday. Such practices in scientific research involve forms of suspended belief; in other areas they can instead involve forms of suspended doubt. As an illuminating example of this latter class of virtual fact-establishment practices, I offer an extended analysis of the “yes; and…” principle of information-establishment used in improvisational theatre to progressively develop the content of a performance.


Ethnomethodology Fact-establishment Mundaneity Practices of virtuality Improvisational theatre (improv) 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lenoir-Rhyne UniversityHickoryUSA

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