By Dr Mike A Crang, Dr Ian Cook
Doing Ethnographies is an introductory and utilized advisor to ethnographic tools. It specializes in these tools - player commentary, interviewing, concentration teams, and video/photographic paintings - that permit us to appreciate the lived, daily international 'out there.' In 5 chapters it offers a scientific review of: first rules, getting ready for fieldwork, developing ethnographic info, examining box fabrics, and writing.
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Additional info for Doing Ethnographies
INTRODUCTION In this chapter we set out in detail the kind of preparation which we feel is necessary to avoid the pitfalls of the read-then-do-then-write model of research. The main issue here concerns the ‘surprises’ which emerge when deduction and induction, data and theory, collide, by accident and design (Comaroff and Comaroff 2003; Willis and Trondman 2000). For us, the most important issue is how researchers can set up and deal with these surprises. As we argued in the introduction, organising work via the read-then-do-thenwrite model can engineer big surprises as researchers move from the reading to doing stages.
Mike certainly found this in that while he was joining in with the activities of reenactment groups, the ‘normality’ of the activity was never in doubt. qxd 40 12/12/06 7:58 PM Page 40 CONSTRUCTING ETHNOGRAPHIC INFORMATION were constant jibes about his ‘hessian underpants’, doing everything ‘ . . as a Tudor’ and the ‘sad weirdoes’ whom he was both studying and supposedly becoming like. He found it extremely difficult to ‘forget’ this when he went back to the next reenactment, and this illustrates the importance of adopting different identities in the academy and in ‘the field’ and attempting to understand and to build on the tensions between these (cf.
We do not propose a comprehensive list of ‘approaches’ – Renata Tesch (1990) listed some forty-three of these – but hope to give a flavour of those which might be adapted, altered and/or combined to fit various purposes and situations. As we said in the introduction, we concentrate here on four of the most commonly used face-toface approaches to social research: participant observation, interviewing, focus groups and video/photographic work. Each of these will be discussed in a chapter which is broken down to cover gaining access, roles, contexts and materials and how you might construct information from the method.