This volume asks and addresses elusive ontological, epistemological, and methodological questions about meetings. What are meetings? What sort of knowledge, identities, and power relationships are produced, performed, communicated, and legitimized through meetings? How do—and how might—ethnographers study meetings as objects, and how might they best conduct research in meetings as particular elements of their field sites? Through contributions from an international group of ethnographers who have conducted “meeting ethnography” in diverse field sites, this volume offers both theoretical insight and methodological guidance into the study of this most ubiquitous ritual.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Exploring the Boring
[Jen Sandler and Renita Thedvall]
1. Small Places, Big Stakes: World Economic Forum Meetings as Moments of Ethnographic Momentum
[Christina Garsten and Adrienne Sörbom]
2. Learning to Meet
3. Meeting to Improve: Lean[ing] Swedish Public Preschools
4. An Ethnography of Abjection: Education Policy Meetings in Malawi
[Nancy Kendall and Rachel Silver]
5. Meeting to Make Sense: The Use of Meetings to Constitute U.S. Social Reform Coalitions
6. The Asamblea: Social Protest and Political Mobilization in Contemporary Argentina
[Susann Baez Ullberg and Karin Skill]
7. How to Avoid Getting Stuck in Meetings: Finding the Limits of Meeting Ethnography for Community Studies
[Japonica Brown-Saracino and Meaghan Stiman]
[Helen B. Schwartzman]
Jen Sandler is Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Renita Thedvall is Researcher at the Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research at Stockholm University and Stockholm School of Economics.