Conceived by Chris Grey and written to get you thinking, the “Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap” series offers an informal, conversational, accessible yet sophisticated and critical overview of what you find in conventional textbooks.

On Finding and Manufacturing Qualitative Data

In the previous chapter, I gave you a taste of the way in which qualitative researchers can access fascinating data by observing mundane settings or by finding everyday features in extraordinary settings. I called such an approach ‘ethnography’.

However, in order to simplify matters, I have so far glossed over two issues to which we must now turn. First, by no means do all ethnographers display the kind of attention to fine detail that I described. Some desire to tell exciting tales from the field. Others, especially in recent times, displace such detail with what I find to be a depressing concern with highfalutin' theory and experimental writing (see my discussion of postmodernism in Chapter 5).

Second, it bends reality ...

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