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Ethnography

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Go Pk

on 11 February 2013

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Transcript of Ethnography

Ethnography: The beginning (1920s-1960s) The interpretative turn (1970s) Ethnography as text (1980s) ...ethnography...
MALINOWSKI (1922) Argonauts of the Western Pacific Lévi Strauss (1963), Structural anthropology Clifford Geertz (1973) The interpretation of cultures James Clifford and George Marcus (1986) Writing culture. The poetics and politics of ethnography Today Michelle Rivkin-Fish (2005) Nina Petrovnawas filling in her patients' files, and I was writing field notes. Elena and two other patients approached the door but stood in the hallway just outside the threshold. She quietly asked Nina Petrovna something about shots; I was sitting rather far from the door and didn't hear the question well. All of a sudden Nina Petrovna turned her body toward the women and enraged, began yelling [...] (p. 136) Away from functionalism, from a coherent description of social reality in which everything fits with everything else. Let's disclose the contradictions, the PLURALITY OF VOICES, and the dilemmas of the social contexts that we describe.

CENTRALITY OF ETHNOGRAPHER'S POSITION a historical overview ART,
LITERATURE,
ETHNOGRAPHY Avant-garde
inspired
by previous
avant-gardist
movements
(e.g. surrealism) "Thick description" as opposite to "thin" description Centrality of meaning: " Anthropology is not an experimental science in search of law, but an interpretative one in search of meaning" (Geertz, 1973) X got up,

He walked to the bathroom

He brushed his teeth

Then he got dressed When the alarm rang, it was loud in X's ears.

He struggled for a long time to locate the clock, knocking it to the floor before retrieving it and turning it off.

He shouted "you stupid, stupid..." out loud as he fished for the clock.

He then kicked aside the heavy green blanket that he used in the cold winter -- even though it was already summer.

He stumbled to the bathroom, banging his knee loudly on the doorframe.

He had trouble locating the lightswitch and an even harder time locating the toilet due to the horrible flickering of the lightbulb.

As he did every time he entered the bathroom he muttered: "it's going to burn out and you don't have a replacement, do you, you stupid, stupid..." ONLY DETAILS DESCRIPTION Auto-ethnography The concept of autoethnography…synthesizes both a postmodern ethnography, in which the realist conventions and objective observer position of standard ethnography have been called into question, and a postmodern autobiography, in which the notion of the coherent, individual self has been similarly called into question.

The term has a double sense - referring either to the ethnography of one's own group or to autobiographical writing that has ethnographic interest. Thus, either a self- (auto-) ethnography or an autobiographical (auto-) ethnography can be signaled by “autoethnography.” D. Reed-Danahay (Ed.) (1997) Auto/Ethnography: Rewriting the self and the social. Oxford: Berg, p.2. (few examples) Feminist ethnography For millennia, women have carried culture across time and space. They have been the traditional custodians of folklore and fable. Ethnography would appear offer the perfect window through which to access women's wisdom and experience. Yet even with the advantage of thick descriptions and conversational narratives there are major challenges to `giving women voice'. Patriarchy continues to cast long shadows across even the most gender sensitive of qualitative research methods

P. McManara (2009) Feminist Ethnography. Story telling that makes a difference, Qualitative Social Work Ethnography =
(Greek) θνος 'ethnos' = folk/people
+
γράφω 'grapho' = to write Not only about cultures (or disappeared traditions)

Not a marginal approach, but an 'intimate' approach

Not a trivial or 'unscientific' approach 'To grasp the NATIVE POINT OF VIEW' "ll that an ethnographer can do, and all that one should ask of them, is to broaden a particular experience into a general, or more general, one, and, in so doing, makes this experience available as experience to people of other places or times" Evidence How to reach ethnographic evidence? DATA TRIANGULATION: making several sources (data
collected; theory; other research on similar issues; etc.) interact with ne another in order to see the issues under investigation in a clear way, and to present our
data accordingly Ethnography in Pescara... Civil servants' representations of the neighborhoods and of local Roma population


Local media discourse on the neighbourhood and on Roma


Social interactions in the neighborhood's public space


Theory of synopticon (Escobar 2006) Semi-structured interviews Media analysis Participant observation
in public space Example My ethnography on urban governance in Pescara City of Pescara (Italy) EVIDENCE REASON supports explains CLAIM supports (Utverdzhdeniye) Evidence - definition Evidence is the proof that the reason for your claim is not
your opinion, but it is grounded on a widely acknowledged research methodology Evidence is what proofs that the reason
behind your claim is not your opinion or
the result of your fantasy, but it is grounded on data collected through an academically accepted methodology


...


"But data are always constructed and so to some degree shaped by those who collect them - how they decide what to look for, record what they see, and present what they find. So, keep in mind that what makes your evidence count as evidence is your readers' willingness to accept it without question, at least for the moment"

Booth, Colomb, Williams, The craft of research, University of Chicago Press, 2003 "High education should review its policy towards student drinking off-campus (CLAIM), because high-risk binge drinking has become a common and dangerous form of behavious (REASON). Injures and death have increased in frequency and intensity, not only at the big 'party' schools but among first-year students at small colleges (EVIDENCE)". Evidence Ok, but how to practically collect data? Wolfinger (2002)

Kusenbach (2003) - Street phenomenology
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