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.

Senses, Places and Things

Introduction

Too often, it would seem, ethnographers reconstruct social domains as if they were lacking in physical and sensory materiality. We need, therefore, to attend to the world of things and the world of the senses if we are to do justice to the multiple forms of everyday living (Sparkes 2009). Too often in the past, material circumstances have been reduced to background or contextual phenomena. In recent years, far more attention has been paid to the physical and the sensory, but there is also the danger that these aspects of the social world are treated as the preserve of a few specialists, rather than being of generic significance.

Ethnography today is widely touted as multimodal. That is, it recognises the many ...

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