Ethnographic fieldwork and formal linguistic analysis have traditionally been thought to be diametrically opposed. In this provocative analysis Peter Manning argues that these methods of qualitative research are complementary. After examining the potential benefits and limitations of each method of analysis, the author shows how a synthesis of the two is more powerful than either alone.

Semiotics and Fieldwork: Some Examples

The orientation of semiotics moves it toward formalization. This entails specifying given units of analysis within a context, searching for principles, rules or oppositions, and manifesting an explicit comparative focus. Semiotics is a complement to the descriptive and case-based orientation of most fieldwork. ...

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