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Writing Ethnographically

Writing Ethnographically

First Edition

December 2019 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This original and authoritative exploration of ethnographic writing comes from one of the world's leading academics in the field, Paul Atkinson. The third book in his seminal quartet on ethnographic research, it provides thoughtful, reflective guidance on a crucial skill that is often difficult to master.

Informed throughout by extracts from Paul’s own writing, this book explores and examines a broad range of types and genres of ethnographic writing, from fieldnotes and ‘confessions’, to conventional ‘realist’ writing and more. Whilst highlighting the possibilities and implications of ethnographic text, this valuable resource will help those conducting ethnographic research select and adopt the most appropriate approach for their study.


Introduction: Writing Matters
Textual Reflexivity
Notes and Margins
Reflections and Confessions
Ethnographic Presence
Stories and Parables
Writing the Self
Fictions and Performances
Reflexivity Revisited

By one of the most distinguished commentators, this is a learned and beautifully enlivening account of the critical place of textual form in ethnography . Informed by a disciplined and critical sociological imagination and unconstrained by a central creed, this book will liberate ethnographic researchers to write their worlds.

University of Sheffield

All social scientists should read this wise, generous, and radical book which resets and restores our understanding of ethnographic writing, its craft, and its rationale.

Exeter University

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