Written by a leading authority, Thinking Ethnographically discusses a wide range of analytic ideas that can and should inform ethnographic analysis. In introducing the notion of “granular ethnography” it argues for an approach to qualitative research that is sensitive to the complexities of everyday social life. A much-needed antidote to superficial research and analysis, the text deals not merely with the practical methods of fieldwork, but with the far more ambitious enterprise of turning ethnographic data into productive ideas and concepts. Author Paul Atkinson enables us not merely to do ethnography, but truly to think ethnographically. His book will prove invaluable to students and researchers across the social sciences.

Knowledge and Reason

Introduction

In many contexts, we take it as axiomatic that the social actors we study are knowledgeable. That is, they have a fairly high degree of cultural competence. They ‘know’ how to enact their own everyday lives; they can make sense of the activities of others; they have a working knowledge of the world around them. We recognise that much of this knowledge is not explicitly stated knowledge, of the sort that can be expressed in instructions, formulae or algorithms. It is often tacit. Indeed, much of our knowledge is of that sort. It consists of practical competence in a variety of practical activities. It is often embodied knowledge: habituated, learned activity that may be learned self-consciously, but is then put into ...

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