Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes Second Edition

Author: Robert M. Emerson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226206868
Release Date: 2011-12-25
Genre: Social Science

In Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Robert M. Emerson, Rachel I. Fretz, and Linda L. Shaw present a series of guidelines, suggestions, and practical advice for creating useful fieldnotes in a variety of settings, demystifying a process that is often assumed to be intuitive and impossible to teach. Using actual unfinished notes as examples, the authors illustrate options for composing, reviewing, and working fieldnotes into finished texts. They discuss different organizational and descriptive strategies and show how transforming direct observations into vivid descriptions results not simply from good memory but from learning to envision scenes as written. A good ethnographer, they demonstrate, must learn to remember dialogue and movement like an actor, to see colors and shapes like a painter, and to sense moods and rhythms like a poet. This new edition reflects the extensive feedback the authors have received from students and instructors since the first edition was published in 1995. As a result, they have updated the race, class, and gender section, created new sections on coding programs and revising first drafts, and provided new examples of working notes. An essential tool for budding social scientists, the second edition of Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes will be invaluable for a new generation of researchers entering the field.

Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes

Author: Robert M. Emerson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226206858
Release Date: 2010-03-05
Genre: Social Science

In this companion volume John van Maanen's Tales of the Field, three scholars reveal how the ethnographer turns direct experience and observation into written fieldnotes upon which an ethnography is based. Drawing on years of teaching and field research experience, the authors develop a series of guidelines, suggestions, and practical advice about how to write useful fieldnotes in a variety of settings, both cultural and institutional. Using actual unfinished, "working" notes as examples, they illustrate options for composing, reviewing, and working fieldnotes into finished texts. They discuss different organizational and descriptive strategies, including evocation of sensory detail, synthesis of complete scenes, the value of partial versus omniscient perspectives, and of first person versus third person accounts. Of particular interest is the author's discussion of notetaking as a mindset. They show how transforming direct observations into vivid descriptions results not simply from good memory but more crucially from learning to envision scenes as written. A good ethnographer, they demonstrate, must learn to remember dialogue and movement like an actor, to see colors and shapes like a painter, and to sense moods and rhythms like a poet. The authors also emphasize the ethnographer's core interest in presenting the perceptions and meanings which the people studied attach to their own actions. They demonstrate the subtle ways that writers can make the voices of people heard in the texts they produce. Finally, they analyze the "processing" of fieldnotes—the practice of coding notes to identify themes and methods for selecting and weaving together fieldnote excerpts to write a polished ethnography. This book, however, is more than a "how-to" manual. The authors examine writing fieldnotes as an interactive and interpretive process in which the researcher's own commitments and relationships with those in the field inevitably shape the character and content of those fieldnotes. They explore the conscious and unconscious writing choices that produce fieldnote accounts. And they show how the character and content of these fieldnotes inevitably influence the arguments and analyses the ethnographer can make in the final ethnographic tale. This book shows that note-taking is a craft that can be taught. Along with Tales of the Field and George Marcus and Michael Fisher's Anthropology as Cultural Criticism, Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes is an essential tool for students and social scientists alike.

Tales of the Field

Author: John Van Maanen
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226849645
Release Date: 2011-07-01
Genre: Social Science

For more than twenty years, John Van Maanen’s Tales of the Field has been a definitive reference and guide for students, scholars, and practitioners of ethnography and beyond. Originally published in 1988, it was the one of the first works to detail and critically analyze the various styles and narrative conventions associated with written representations of culture. This is a book about the deskwork of fieldwork and the various ways culture is put forth in print. The core of the work is an extended discussion and illustration of three forms or genres of cultural representation—realist tales, confessional tales, and impressionist tales. The novel issues raised in Tales concern authorial voice, style, truth, objectivity, and point-of-view. Over the years, the work has both reflected and shaped changes in the field of ethnography. In this second edition, Van Maanen’s substantial new Epilogue charts and illuminates changes in the field since the book’s first publication. Refreshingly humorous and accessible, Tales of the Field remains an invaluable introduction to novices learning the trade of fieldwork and a cornerstone of reference for veteran ethnographers.

Tricks of the Trade

Author: Howard S. Becker
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226040998
Release Date: 2008-09-05
Genre: Social Science

Drawing on more than four decades of experience as a researcher and teacher, Howard Becker now brings to students and researchers the many valuable techniques he has learned. Tricks of the Trade will help students learn how to think about research projects. Assisted by Becker's sage advice, students can make better sense of their research and simultaneously generate fresh ideas on where to look next for new data. The tricks cover four broad areas of social science: the creation of the "imagery" to guide research; methods of "sampling" to generate maximum variety in the data; the development of "concepts" to organize findings; and the use of "logical" methods to explore systematically the implications of what is found. Becker's advice ranges from simple tricks such as changing an interview question from "Why?" to "How?" (as a way of getting people to talk without asking for a justification) to more technical tricks such as how to manipulate truth tables. Becker has extracted these tricks from a variety of fields such as art history, anthropology, sociology, literature, and philosophy; and his dazzling variety of references ranges from James Agee to Ludwig Wittgenstein. Becker finds the common principles that lie behind good social science work, principles that apply to both quantitative and qualitative research. He offers practical advice, ideas students can apply to their data with the confidence that they will return with something they hadn't thought of before. Like Writing for Social Scientists, Tricks of the Trade will bring aid and comfort to generations of students. Written in the informal, accessible style for which Becker is known, this book will be an essential resource for students in a wide variety of fields. "An instant classic. . . . Becker's stories and reflections make a great book, one that will find its way into the hands of a great many social scientists, and as with everything he writes, it is lively and accessible, a joy to read."—Charles Ragin, Northwestern University

The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography

Author: Luke E. Lassiter
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226468907
Release Date: 2005-09-15
Genre: Reference

Collaboration between ethnographers and subjects has long been a product of the close, intimate relationships that define ethnographic research. But increasingly, collaboration is no longer viewed as merely a consequence of fieldwork; instead collaboration now preconditions and shapes research design as well as its dissemination. As a result, ethnographic subjects are shifting from being informants to being consultants. The emergence of collaborative ethnography highlights this relationship between consultant and ethnographer, moving it to center stage as a calculated part not only of fieldwork but also of the writing process itself. The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography presents a historical, theoretical, and practice-oriented road map for this shift from incidental collaboration to a more conscious and explicit collaborative strategy. Luke Eric Lassiter charts the history of collaborative ethnography from its earliest implementation to its contemporary emergence in fields such as feminism, humanistic anthropology, and critical ethnography. On this historical and theoretical base, Lassiter outlines concrete steps for achieving a more deliberate and overt collaborative practice throughout the processes of fieldwork and writing. As a participatory action situated in the ethical commitments between ethnographers and consultants and focused on the co-construction of texts, collaborative ethnography, argues Lassiter, is among the most powerful ways to press ethnographic fieldwork and writing into the service of an applied and public scholarship. A comprehensive and highly accessible handbook for ethnographers of all stripes, The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography will become a fixture in the development of a critical practice of anthropology, invaluable to both undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty alike.

The Craft of Research Fourth Edition

Author: Wayne C. Booth
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226239873
Release Date: 2016-10-07
Genre: Reference

With more than three-quarters of a million copies sold since its first publication, The Craft of Research has helped generations of researchers at every level—from first-year undergraduates to advanced graduate students to research reporters in business and government—learn how to conduct effective and meaningful research. Conceived by seasoned researchers and educators Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, this fundamental work explains how to find and evaluate sources, anticipate and respond to reader reservations, and integrate these pieces into an argument that stands up to reader critique. The fourth edition has been thoroughly but respectfully revised by Joseph Bizup and William T. FitzGerald. It retains the original five-part structure, as well as the sound advice of earlier editions, but reflects the way research and writing are taught and practiced today. Its chapters on finding and engaging sources now incorporate recent developments in library and Internet research, emphasizing new techniques made possible by online databases and search engines. Bizup and FitzGerald provide fresh examples and standardized terminology to clarify concepts like argument, warrant, and problem. Following the same guiding principle as earlier editions—that the skills of doing and reporting research are not just for elite students but for everyone—this new edition retains the accessible voice and direct approach that have made The Craft of Research a leader in the field of research reference. With updated examples and information on evaluation and using contemporary sources, this beloved classic is ready for the next generation of researchers.

Alive in the Writing

Author: Kirin Narayan
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226568188
Release Date: 2012-03-01
Genre: Reference

Anton Chekhov is revered as a boldly innovative playwright and short story writer—but he wrote more than just plays and stories. In Alive in the Writing—an intriguing hybrid of writing guide, biography, and literary analysis—anthropologist and novelist Kirin Narayan introduces readers to some other sides of Chekhov: his pithy, witty observations on the writing process, his life as a writer through accounts by his friends, family, and lovers, and his venture into nonfiction through his book Sakhalin Island. By closely attending to the people who lived under the appalling conditions of the Russian penal colony on Sakhalin, Chekhov showed how empirical details combined with a literary flair can bring readers face to face with distant, different lives, enlarging a sense of human responsibility. Highlighting this balance of the empirical and the literary, Narayan calls on Chekhov to bring new energy to the writing of ethnography and creative nonfiction alike. Weaving together selections from writing by and about him with examples from other talented ethnographers and memoirists, she offers practical exercises and advice on topics such as story, theory, place, person, voice, and self. A new and lively exploration of ethnography, Alive in the Writing shows how the genre’s attentive, sustained connection with the lives of others can become a powerful tool for any writer.

Fieldnotes

Author: Roger Sanjek
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801497264
Release Date: 1990
Genre: Social Science

Thirteen distinguished anthropologists describe how they create and use the unique forms of writing they produce in the field. They also discuss the fieldnotes of seminal figures—Frank Cushing, Franz Boas, W. H. R. Rivers, Bronislaw Malinowski, and Margaret Mead—and analyze field writings in relation to other types of texts, especially ethnographies. Unique in conception, this volume contributes importantly to current debates on writing, texts, and reflexivity in anthropology.

Participant Observation

Author: Kathleen M. DeWalt
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
ISBN: 9780759119277
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Social Science

Explores participant observation in this guide to the systematic collection of data in naturalistic settings - communities in many different cultures - to achieve an understanding of the most fundamental processes and patterns of social life.

From Notes to Narrative

Author: Kristen Ghodsee
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226257693
Release Date: 2016-05-10
Genre: Reference

Ethnography centers on the culture of everyday life. So it is ironic that most scholars who do research on the intimate experiences of ordinary people write their books in a style that those people cannot understand. In recent years, the ethnographic method has spread from its original home in cultural anthropology to fields such as sociology, marketing, media studies, law, criminology, education, cultural studies, history, geography, and political science. Yet, while more and more students and practitioners are learning how to write ethnographies, there is little or no training on how to write ethnographies well. From Notes to Narrative picks up where methodological training leaves off. Kristen Ghodsee, an award-winning ethnographer, addresses common issues that arise in ethnographic writing. Ghodsee works through sentence-level details, such as word choice and structure. She also tackles bigger-picture elements, such as how to incorporate theory and ethnographic details, how to effectively deploy dialogue, and how to avoid distracting elements such as long block quotations and in-text citations. She includes excerpts and examples from model ethnographies. The book concludes with a bibliography of other useful writing guides and nearly one hundred examples of eminently readable ethnographic books.

Ethnographic Methods

Author: Karen O'Reilly
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135194765
Release Date: 2012-03-12
Genre: Reference

This best-selling book, designed for researchers embarking on their first ethnographic project, has been substantially revised and updated, with lots of exercises and advice to guide the embodied and creative ‘practice’ of ethnography. New additions include cyber-ethnography, sensual, visual and mobile ethnographies, and ‘field walking’.

Improvising Theory

Author: Allaine Cerwonka
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226100289
Release Date: 2008-11-15
Genre: Social Science

Scholars have long recognized that ethnographic method is bound up with the construction of theory in ways that are difficult to teach. The reason, Allaine Cerwonka and Liisa H. Malkki argue, is that ethnographic theorization is essentially improvisatory in nature, conducted in real time and in necessarily unpredictable social situations. In a unique account of, and critical reflection on, the process of theoretical improvisation in ethnographic research, they demonstrate how both objects of analysis, and our ways of knowing and explaining them, are created and discovered in the give and take of real life, in all its unpredictability and immediacy. Improvising Theory centers on the year-long correspondence between Cerwonka, then a graduate student in political science conducting research in Australia, and her anthropologist mentor, Malkki. Through regular e-mail exchanges, Malkki attempted to teach Cerwonka, then new to the discipline, the basic tools and subtle intuition needed for anthropological fieldwork. The result is a strikingly original dissection of the processual ethics and politics of method in ethnography.

Doing Ethnography

Author: Giampietro Gobo
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9781473994386
Release Date: 2016-12-13
Genre: Reference

This title is invaluable reading for anyone collecting data through observation. Innovative and thought provoking, it is a refreshing take on ethnography stressing both academic rigor and practical necessity. It combines theoretical perspective with tangible action plans and walks you step-by-step through designing, conducting and evaluating ethnographic research. The book skilfully introduces the varied tasks and decisions you need to consider before entering the field - helping you to avoid common mistakes and to conduct safe, ethical research. The redesigned second edition has cutting edge case studies and examples from across the social sciences and has an embedded awareness of the importance of digital research tools and social media. It also includes a detailed discussion of: Autoethnography Digital Ethnography Visual Ethnography Feminist Ethnography Managing and Analysing data Supported by a companion website with real world case studies, journal articles and essay questions this is an ideal companion to every novice researcher.

Contemporary Field Research

Author: Robert M. Emerson
Publisher: Waveland PressInc
ISBN: STANFORD:36105110161242
Release Date: 2001-01-01
Genre: Social Science

As ethnography enters the twenty-first century, it has been transformed from a method of research standing on the edges of mainstream social science theory and research. Ethnography now attracts widespread interest, not only from anthropology and sociology but also from many other genres. The four distinctive idioms of qualitative inquiry¿naturalism, ethnomethodology, emotionalism, and postmodernism¿each use field research to pursue different questions and concerns, posit different versions of ¿the field,¿ and specify different methods as appropriate for doing so. In the revised edition of Contemporary Field Research, Emerson has expanded and deepened his introductory materials into more comprehensive reviews of core issues, reflecting the increased acceptance of and growing divergences among current ethnographic approaches. In addition, Emerson addresses concerns central both to earlier periods of field research, particularly those marking the beginnings of the reflexive turn, and to those raised by contemporary, more radically representational and postmodern approaches to ethnography.

Organizational Ethnography

Author: Daniel Neyland
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9781849202640
Release Date: 2007-11-15
Genre: Social Science

'This is an excellent resource for those interested in studying organizations in both formal and informal contexts' - Choice Taking readers through the practical history of ethnography from its anthropological origins through to its use in a ever-widening variety of organizational, academic and business contexts, this book covers the whole research project process, starting with research design, and dealing with such practical issues as gaining access, note-taking, project management, analysing one's data and negotiating an exit strategy. It is highly practical and incorporates a range of case studies, illustrating organisational ethnography at work. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to plan and conduct their own ethnographic, observational or participant observational research in an organizational context, whatever their level of experience and regardless of whether they are studying a business organization or other types of organization such as schools and hospitals.