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.
This book takes readers from selecting a research genre through building a conceptual framework, data collection and interpretation, and arguing the merits of the proposal. The book also includes thoughtful discussion on trustworthiness and ethics, in addition to dealing with time, resource, and political stressors inherent to the research process.
This book features the contributions of a wide range of researchers who consider the key research problems in their given field site and how they were managed. The selections give the novice researcher a sense of the problems, uncertainties and apprehensions that are part of research, as well as the benefit of the experiences that these researchers share in dealing with those issues.
Making use of his own research experiences in Papua New Guinea, Southern Ontario, and Newfoundland, Wayne Fife teaches students and new researchers how to prepare for research, conduct a study, analyze the material (e.g. create new social and cultural theory), and write academic or policy oriented books, articles, or reports. The reader is taught how to combine historic and contemporary documents (e.g. archives, newspapers, government reports) with fieldwork methods (e.g participant-observation, interviews, and self-reporting) to create ethnographic studies of disadvantaged populations.
Essential reading for anyone wishing to engage with images, technologies and society, Doing Visual Ethnography is a milestone in ethnographic and visual research. The third edition of this classic text includes new chapters on web-based practices for visual ethnography and the issues surrounding the representation, interpretation and authoring of knowledge with the rise of digital media. The book provides a foundation for thinking about visual ethnography and introduces the practical and theoretical issues relating to the visual and digital technologies used in the field.
Ethnographer's Toolkit Series
by Schensul, LeCompte, and Schensul
Linguistic Fieldwork is a practical guide to all the steps in linguistic fieldwork, from planning where to work to applying for funding, from the first session on a new language to writing up the data, from turning on the recorder to depositing the recordings in an archive.
Oral Traditions and the Verbal Arts provides guidance on how to approach the study of oral form and their performances, treating both the practicalities of fieldwork and the methods by which oral texts and performances can be observed, collected or analyzed. It also relates to those current controversies about the nature of performance and of 'text'. Designed as a practical and systematic introduction to the processes and problems of researching in this area, this is an invaluable guide for students, lecturers, and fieldworkers studying oral history or performance.
People Studying People
by Robert A. Georges; Michael O. Jones
The authors of this book draw upon published and unpublished accounts of fieldworkers' personal experiences to develop the thesis that an appreciation of fieldwork as a unique mode of inquiry depends upon an understanding of the role the human element plays in it. They analyze the processes involved when people study people firsthand, focusing upon the recurrent human problems that arise and must be solved. The human processes and problems, they argue, are common to all fieldwork, regardless of the disciplinary backgrounds or the specific interests of individual researchers.
Ives's emphasis is on documenting the lives of common men and women. He offers a careful, step-by-step tour through the collection process - finding informants, making advance preparations, conducting the actual interview, obtaining a release - and then describes the procedures for processing the taped interview and archiving such materials for future use. He also gives special treatment to such topics as recording music, handling group interviews, and using photographs or other visual material during interviews. Although the technology is outdated, the insights and practical advice can be applied to digital technology.
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.
Written for practitioners across all professions but particularly focusing on education, this book is packed full of useful advice that takes the reader through every stage of a project, including: starting your action research project; monitoring and documenting the action; techniques for dealing with the data; making claims to knowledge and validating them; making your research public; and creating your living theory.
This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about. Essays include theoretical musings (see especially the first chapter on thick description) and ethnographic analysis (see especially the last chapter on deep play and the Balinese cockfight). Geertz is a leader in interpretive studies, and these essays could inform both your fieldwork methods and your analysis. Available as a print book and an e-book.
Lila Abu-Lughod lived with a community of Bedouins in the Western Desert of Egypt for nearly two years, studying gender relations and the oral lyric poetry through which women and young men express personal feelings. Her analysis reveals how deeply implicated poetry and sentiment are in the play of power and the maintenance of a system of social hierarchy. Abu-Lughod is one of the major social theorists of our time; this text could be useful for structuring a feminist fieldwork practice.
When noted anthropologist Barbara Myerhoff received a grant to explore the process of aging, she decided to study some elderly Jews from Venice, California, rather than to report on a more exotic people. The story of the rituals and lives of these remarkable old people is, as Bel Kaufman said, "one of those rare books that leave the reader somehow changed." This text is particularly useful because it is an example of reflexive writing as well as life history.
An anthology of anthropologists' writings on theory and debates about society and culture; structure and agency; identities and technologies; subjectivities and translocality; meta-theory, ontology and epistemology; language and meaning; subjectivity and objectivity; and localities and globalities. This text may be useful for situating your fieldwork experiences within a theoretical framework.
The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers provides 29 different approaches to coding, ranging in complexity from beginner to advanced level and covering the full range of types of qualitative data from interview transcripts to field notes. Each approach includes a discussion of the method's origins in the professional literature, a description of the method, recommendations for practical applications, and a clearly illustrated example.
The Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education offers both basic and advanced discussions of qualitative methods used in educational research. See especially Part 3: Data Collection, which includes practical instructions for interviews, focus groups, archival research, and visual methods.
This book explains the methods and approaches needed to understand a language in its full cultural context and to document it accessibly and enduringly. Scholars and fieldworkers consider the application of new technological approaches to recording and documentation, but never lose sight of the crucial relationship between subject and researcher.
This volume highlights the myriad dimensions of complexity that are emerging as researchers increasingly frame the interview as a communicative opportunity as much as a data-gathering format. See especially sections on interview methods and logistics.
Presents essays on 58 concepts that are important in understanding theory ("Agency," "Gender," "Kinship") and becoming familiar with methodology ("Auto-Anthropology," "Ethnomethodology," "Qualitative & Quantitative Methodologies").
This interdisciplinary journal focuses on ethnographic theory and methodology. Topics range from discussion of fieldwork best practices to ethics and activism to actual ethnographic analysis. Available from 2000 to the present.
The Grounded Theory Review is an interdisciplinary, online academic journal for the advancement of classic grounded theory and scholarship. The focus is centered in social sciences and the health care fields, and articles and editorials explore grounded theory methodology and practice. Recent topics include poverty in Greenland, online learning, and ADHD parental coping. Available from 2012 to the present.
LD&C publishes papers on all topics related to language documentation and conservation, including, but not limited to, the goals of language documentation, fieldwork methods, ethical issues, methods of assessing ethnolinguistic vitality, language planning, area survey reports, short field reports on endangered or underdocumented languages, plus reviews of software, hardware, books, and data collections.
A sociology journal dedicated to research, reflection, and discussion of qualitative methodology. Articles may be helpful for structuring fieldwork as well as applying theory to practice. Issues are often devoted to a special topic (such as gender-based violence, September 2014) or method (data analysis after coding, July 2014). Available from 1999 to the present.
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