1st Edition

Bourdieu, Language-based Ethnographies and Reflexivity Putting Theory into Practice

By Michael Grenfell, Kate Pahl Copyright 2019
    214 Pages
    by Routledge

    214 Pages
    by Routledge

    Offering a unique and original perspective on Bourdieu, language-based ethnographies,and reflexivity, this volume provides a nuanced, in-depth discussion of the complex relationship between these interconnected topics and their impact in real-world contexts. Part I opens the book with an overview of the historical background and development of language-based ethnographic research and Bourdieu’s work in this space. Part II presents a series of case studies that highlight a Bourdieusian perspective and demonstrate how reflexivity impacts language-based ethnography. In each study, Bourdieu’s conceptual framework of reflexively-informed objectivity examines the ways in which the studies themselves were constructed and understood. Building on Parts I and II, the concluding set of chapters in Part III unpacks the messiness of the theory and practice of language-based ethnography, and provides insights into what reflexivity means for Bourdieu and in practical contexts. Arguing for a greater reflexive understanding in research practice, this volume sets an agenda for future literacy and language research.

    Part I Introduction

    1. Language-based Ethnographies

    Kate Pahl

    2. Reflexivity

    Mike Grenfell

    3. Bourdieu, Ethnography and Reflexivity

    Mike Grenfell

    Part II Introduction

    4. Re-thinking Literacies with Communities: Literacy as a Collaborative Concept

    Kate Pahl

    5. Reflexive Layers and Longitudinal Research: What we might know across time

    Catherine Compton-Lilly

    6. Insider Identities: Coming to Know the Ethnographic Researcher

    Cheryl McClean

    7. Enacting Reflexivity in Second Language Writing Research: A Personal Account of Cultural Production of Authorial Self and Researcher Perception

    Lisya Seloni

    Part III Introduction

    8. Reflecting on Reflections

    Kate Pahl

    9. Bourdieu, Language-based Ethnographies and Reflexivity: In Theory and Practice

    Michael Grenfell


    Michael Grenfell is Emeritus Professor at the Southampton Education School at University of Southampton, UK.

    Kate Pahl is the Professor of Arts and Literacy at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

    "This book makes a significant contribution to the long discussion about how to make New Literacy Studies less naturalistic and more theoretically and methodologically critical. Grenfell and Pahl’s ambitious illustration of the uses of Bourdieusian reflexivity will interest many readers in literacy education, educational research and the sociology of education."

    —James Albright, The University of Newcastle, Australia

    "Grenfell and Pahl have achieved the task of extending Bourdieu’s work toward innovative ways of understanding our own positioning as researchers and the ideological work of ‘doing’ ethnographies. This text will be an invaluable addition for new and experienced researchers alike, taking work informed by Bourdieu toward more current research contexts, while also foregrounding the foundations of principled ethnographic research. This is the kind of text that can be read again and again!"

    —Annette Woods, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

    "Grenfell and Pahl and their colleagues speak to the needs of empirical researchers by introducing and explaining the value of Boudieusian reflexivity for ethnographic engagement and writing.  Researchers, teachers, and students from the social sciences, humanities, and education will all benefit."

    Dan Schubert, Dickinson College USA