Being Ethnographic is an essential introductory guidebook to the methods and applications of doing fieldwork in real-world settings. It discusses the future of ethnography, explores how we understand identity, and sets out the role of technology in a global, networked society. Driven by classic and anecdotal case studies, this new Second Edition highlights the challenges introduced by the ethnographers' own interests, biases and ideologies, and demonstrates the importance of methodological reflexivity. Addressing both the why and how questions of doing ethnography well, author Raymond Madden demonstrates how both theory and practice can work together to produce insights into the human condition. Filled with invaluable advice for applying ethnographic principles in the field, this fully updated text will give researchers across social sciences everything they need to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

Introduction

Why ethnography?

Ethnographers are social scientists who undertake research and writing about groups of people by systematically observing and participating (to a greater or lesser degree) in the lives of the people they study. Ethnographers value the idea of ‘walking a mile in the shoes’ of others and attempt to gain insight by being in the same social space as the subjects of their research. Ethnography has historically been most closely associated with anthropology and qualitative sociology, and has focussed on the indigenous, the exotic, the subaltern, the disadvantaged; in other words, people who stood as some sort of ‘other’ to the well-educated and well-resourced Westerners who dominated the practice of early ethnography. The later decades of the twentieth century, and into the twenty-first century, ...

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