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.

‘Definitions’, Methods and Applications

Characterising ethnography

A quick perusal of texts dedicated to ethnographic methods will turn up a large variety of ‘definitions’ of the practice. As mentioned in the introduction, ethnography is not the sort of endeavour that readily submits to a neat and bounded definition – the humans that do ethnography and the humans that are the subject of ethnographic research are too complicated and ‘messy’ to allow ethnography to be understood in neat and simple terms. Ethnography as we know it today has its origins in British social anthropology, American cultural anthropology and the qualitative sociology of the Chicago School (O’Reilly, 2009: 3). This shared ancestral heritage allows us to identify some common aspects of ethnographic practice and some mutually valued ...

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