Ethnography in Social Science Practice  book cover
1st Edition

Ethnography in Social Science Practice

ISBN 9780415543491
Published May 3, 2010 by Routledge
232 Pages

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Book Description

Ethnography in Social Science Practice explores ethnography’s increasing use across the social sciences, beyond its traditional bases in social anthropology and sociology. It explores the disciplinary roots of ethnographic research within social anthropology, and contextualizes it within both field and disciplinary settings.

The book is of two parts: Part one places ethnography as a methodology in its historical, ethical and disciplinary context, and also discusses the increasing popularity of ethnography across the social sciences. Part two explores the stages of ethnographic research via a selection of multidisciplinary case studies. A number of key questions are explored:

  • What exactly is ethnographic research and what makes it different from other qualitative approaches?
  • Why did ethnography emerge within one social science discipline and not others?
  • Why did its adoption across the social sciences prove problematic?
  • What are the methodological advantages and disadvantages of doing ethnographic research?
  • Why are ethnographers so concerned by issues of ethics, politics, representation and power?
  • What does ethnography look like within different social science disciplines?

The book is aimed at social science students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and each chapter has pedagogic features, including reflective activities and suggested further readings for students.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Thinking Through Ethnography 1. Introductions, Julie Scott Jones 2. Origins and Ancestors: A Brief History of Ethnography, Julie Scott Jones 3. Being Really There and Really Aware: Ethics, Politics and Representation, Helen Jones 4. 'But it's got no tables or graphs in it...' A Legacy of Scientific Dominance in Psychology, Sal Watt  Part 2: Ethnography in Context 5. Sense and Sensibility in Interdisciplinary Work: Designing and Planning Applied Ethnography, Dave Randall and Mark Rouncefield 6. Accessing Inside: Ethical Dilemmas and Pragmatic Compromises, Wendy Laverick 7. Understanding Children's Educational Experiences Through Image Based Research, Anna Graham and Rosemary Kilpatrick 9. Between Partisan and Fake, Walking the Path of the Insider: Empowerment and Voice in Ethnography, John E. Goldring 10. Observing with a Focus: Field Notes and Data Recording, Clive Palmer 11. Making Sense of it all: Analyzing Ethnographic Data, Julie Scott Jones and Sal Watt 12. The Final Stage? Writing Up Ethnographic Research, Duncan Light 13. Leaving the Field: A Reflexive Journey, Sal Watt

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Dr Julie Scott Jones is a senior lecturer in Sociology at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research interests focus on identity, worldview construction and meaning systems. Recent publications include ‘Fundamentalism and Global Security’ in Encyclopaedia on Globalistation and Human Security (Praeger Security Press, 2009) and Being the Chosen: Exploring a Fundamentalist Worldview (Ashgate, 2010).

Dr Sal Watt is a lecturer in Psychology at Liverpool Hope University. Her interests include organizational behaviour, identity and commitment. She is active in teaching and encouraging wider application of qualitative research techniques and, in particular, ethnography in psychology.