How to Be an Ethnographer


How to Be an Ethnographer

9781035342976 Edward Elgar Publishing
Monika Kostera, Professor Ordinaria, Faculty of Sociology, University of Warsaw, Poland and Södertörn University, Sweden and Paweł Krzyworzeka, Associate Professor, Management in Networked and Digital Societies (MINDS) Department, Kozminski University, Poland
Publication Date: June 2024 ISBN: 978 1 03534 297 6 Extent: 128 pp
Offering a practical guide on How to be an Ethnographer, this book will be a valuable resource for advanced students and early career researchers of organization studies, anthropology and sociology. It will also be a useful introduction to scholars exploring ethnography as a new research method.

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Offering a practical guide on How to be an Ethnographer, this book will be a valuable resource for advanced students and early career researchers of organization studies, anthropology and sociology. It will also be a useful introduction to scholars exploring ethnography as a new research method.

This book explores the aims, main methods, and ethical and methodological standards of ethnography. Placing human beings at the centre, it showcases why ethnography is a valuable method of research.

Highlighting the importance of ethnographic engagement as a means to learn about different ways of being human, the book employs a range of case studies from researchers at all career stages to provide examples of different methods used in research projects. Going beyond tools and techniques, the authors discuss moral and methodological principles as well as community related modes that are important in conducting ethnography.
Critical Acclaim
‘How to Be an Ethnographer, written by Monika Kostera and Paweł Krzyworzeka, is an important work that provides unique, timely, and exceptional insights into the practice of ethnography. The authors provide a new chapter in the history of ethnography, encompassing theories and methods of conducting ethnography not only in anthropology, but also management and organization studies, by putting them in dialogue with one another. The volume introduces a state-of-the-art ethnography: an imaginative approach that is interdisciplinary, embodied, open-ended, reflexive as well as attends to how ethnographic practices are shaped by researcher’s professional and personal lives – from disciplinary norms and academic communities, to family and safety concerns, to issues of access. Vignettes from fieldwork illuminate the entire ethnographic journey from initial expectations to discovering less obvious aspects of everyday life in the field. The chapters in the book structured around different methods and principals – observing, sensing, studying up and down, and representing – will enable both experienced and aspiring ethnographers to develop a practice that will deepen and develop their ethnographic inquiry.’
– Melissa S. Fisher, New York University Institute for Public Knowledge and School of Professional Studies, US

‘This book on how to “do” ethnography written by Monika Kostera and Paweł Krzyworzeka offers a unique collection of chapters written by a number of scholars expertly engaged with this methodology and method. The reader will be able to enjoy considerable richness of knowledge and experience through book chapters written not only on specific methods linked to ethnography, but also on related processes, theories, practicalities and less explored topics pertaining to ethnographic research.’
– Ilaria Boncori, University of Essex, UK

‘How to be an Ethnographer delivers a powerful tour de force of ethnographic essentials. This valuable work is a profoundly insightful exploration of state-of-the-art ethnographic approaches, including multi-sited ethnography, visual ethnography, and the role of art. The authors provide a comprehensive overview of ethnography as a research tradition and show why consideration of this practice only as a method is insufficient. The volume covers the history of ethnography and major figures in the field. Key developments that moved the practice from the 19th to the 21st centuries are reviewed in depth. Valuable insights into the work of native ethnographers, both advantages and drawbacks are included, which are aimed at students who may be contemplating ethnography in their own cultures. A discussion of methods offers nuances of practices that may be taken for granted, such as issues that arise when interviewees read about themselves in ethnographic writing. It also describes intriguing field work experiences such as the “guerilla activities” of middle managers and potential consequences. The volume is especially useful for organizational ethnographers. Vignettes from fieldwork contain memorable details such as the role of gatekeepers. The authors explain why formal informed consent does not build trust and what should be done to establish and deepen relationships in the field. The volume is highly recommended for professionals teaching ethnography and students studying the practice. It includes numerous vignettes written by students based upon their own ethnographic research. Overall, How to Be an Ethnographer is an engaging textbook that will strengthen education in anthropology and beyond.’
– Marietta Baba, Michigan State University and Foundation for Women and Children Enslaved in War, US
Contents: 1. Entering the field 2. Who is the ethnographer? 3. Looking and being 4. Talking and listening 5. Reading and writing 6. Good ethnographic research? 7. Why ethnography? References Index
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