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Critical Ethnography

Critical Ethnography
Method, Ethics, and Performance

Second Edition

© 2012 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The revised Second Edition of Critical Ethnography guides readers through theories, methods, and ethics of ethnographic research creating a confidence to complete fieldwork while demonstrating analytical and theoretical depth. This text highlights the productive links between theory and method and how both become more valuable as they interact through fieldwork. Theoretical concepts range from queer theory, feminist theory, and critical race theory to Marxism and phenomenology. The methodological techniques range from designing and asking in-depth interview questions and developing rapport to coding and interpreting data. The various theories and methods culminate in three fictional ethnographic case studies that guide readers on how to incorporate theoretical concepts with their interpretations and data analysis.
1. Introduction to Critical Ethnography: Theory and Method
Defining Terms: What Is the Critical in Critical Ethnography  
Dialogue and Others  
The Method and Theory Nexus  
2. Methods: “Do I Really Need a Method?” A Method . . . or Deep Hanging Out?
"Who Am I?" Starting Where You Are  
"Who Else Has Written About My Topic?" Being Part of an Interpretive Community  
The Power of Purpose: Bracketing Your Subject  
Preparing for the Field: The Research Design and Lay Summary  
Interviewing and Field Techniques  
Formulating Questions  
Two Classic Models  
Extra Tips for Formulating Questions  
Memory and the Oral History Interview  
Attributes of the Interviewer and Building Rapport  
Coding and Logging Data  
3. Three Stories: Case Studies in Critical Ethnography
Case 1: Local Activism in West Africa  
Case 2: Secrets, Sexuality, and Oral History  
Case 3: Community Theatre: Conflicts and Organization  
4. Ethics
Ethics Is . .  
Religion and Ethics  
The Question of Freedom  
Critical Ethnography and the Ethics of Reason, the Greater Good, and Others  
Maria Lugones: Contemporary Ethics, Ethnography, and Loving Perception  
5. Methods and Ethics
Codes of Ethics for Fieldwork  
Extending the Codes  
6. Methods and Application: Three Case Studies in Ethical Dilemmas
Case 1: Local Activism in West Africa  
Case 2: Secrets of Sexuality, and Oral History  
Case 3: Community Theatre: Conflicts and Organization  
7. Performance Ethnography
Foundational Concepts in Performance and Social Theory  
The Performance Interventions of Dwight Conquergood  
Staging Ethnography and the Performance of Possibilities  
AutoEthnography and/or Reflexive Ethnography  
Three Examples of Critical Reflexivity in Autoethnography  
8. It’s Time to Write: Writing as Performance
Getting Started: In Search of the Muse  
The Anxiety of Writing: Wild Mind and Monkey Mind  
Writing as Performance and Performance as Writing  
9. The Case Studies
Case 1: Staging Cultural Performance  
Case 2: Oral History and Performance  
Case 3: The Fieldwork of Social Drama and Communitas  

Provides a comprehensive introduction to critical ethnography that is very useful to graduate students as well as to established researchers.

Dr Armando Trujillo
Bicultural Bilingual Stds Div, University of Texas
October 16, 2013

This is a great book for students carrying out research projects where they are keen to problematise the field they are exploring. It looks at ethnography in a broad light, and can really help studnets understand that an ethonography is not just 'living' with a community but can take many other forms. Some good practical tips make this a useful book for students.

Mr David Stevenson
Arts, Social Science and Management, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh
August 20, 2013

Excellent methodological course that connects with multiple dimensions of ethnographic research: ethics, epistemology, accountability.

Mr Elias Ortega-Aponte
Graduate Division of Religion, Drew University
June 3, 2013

This is a great text for students who want to explore ethnography in more depth than a course textbook allows.

Dr Louise Platt
Ctr for Tourism,Consumer & Food Studie, Liverpool John Moores University
May 14, 2013

An excellent introductory text for my undergraduate students!

Dr Vanja Hamzic
Department of Law, City University
May 14, 2013

Text is very detailed in the process of critical ethnography. The methods are excellent and this text includes an ethical approach which is refreshing.

Dr Linda Coleman
Communications , Duquesne University
January 16, 2013

Too specialised

Professor Paul Hackett
Marketing Communication Dept, Emerson College
December 18, 2012

This is a well-written and innovative text of direct significance to M level and doctoral students interested in a critical appreciation of power and cultural 'knowledge' and ethics. A strong text to encourage students to read.

The Relate Institute, The Relate Institute
November 17, 2012

Excellent text!! Students found it very helpful, which made my job much easier. I would use this text again! Thanks!

Professor Norma Husk
Sociology, Bishop's Univ
July 31, 2012

Excellent text for undergraduate dissertation students choosing ethnographic methods for their projects

Ms Julia Kennedy
Dept of Journalism, Falmouth College of Arts
May 8, 2012
Key features

New To This Edition

  • Memory and the Oral History Interview: Examines the specific elements of oral history, oral history analysis and the unique contributions the oral history interview makes to qualitative, and ethnographic research.
  • Coding and logging data is illustrated in three modes: Exemplified through the three case studies, the "nuts and bolts" reflecting a conventional approach, and a non-traditional alternative is presented that mirrors nature's cycles.
  • New Key Concepts in postcolonial and Marxist theory: These additional concepts include tradition and multiple/alternative modernities, orientalism, neoliberalism/neoconservatism, development, and political economy.
  • New Key Concepts in sexuality: Key Concepts are extended to include biopolitics, affect, homonormativity, and queer temporalities.
  • Ethics and Ethnography: Revised to include a section on religion and ethics as articulated by Desmond TuTu, ethics of postcolonial ethnography, and ethics as a jazz aesthetic.
  • Performative Writing: Revised to rearticulate four of the central components and offers four extended illustrations that constitute distinct dimensions and qualities of performative writing.
  • What is the Critical in Critical Ethnography? Provides students with an extended description of critical ethnography with an examination of Michel Foucault's conceptualization of domesticity, power, and subjugation.

Key Features
  • Comprehensive: Incorporating additional extended discussions on theories and methods, thereby providing the reader with a broad range of considerations and choices.
  • Cutting-edge approach and perspective: It is the first book to explore and focus on the intersections between theory, fieldwork methods, performance, and praxis.
  • Global examples and material: Theories, methods, and examples are drawn from scholarship that extends beyond the West to include developing world and post-colonial thinkers and practitioners.
  • Effective pedagogy: Provides the reader multiple opportunities to absorb the ideas in each chapter, put them into action through lively exercises and offers extended examples with explanations which provide alternative views to key concepts presenting a rich learning experience.

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