17. september 2018

New book: Ethnographic Writing

Karen Borgnakke contributes to the book Ethnographic writing edited by Bob Jeffrey & Lisa Russel.

Writing is fundamental to the ethnographer. It plays a major role through: the collection and    development of fieldnotes; reflective and reflexive memos and diaries; the re-presentation of contexts for readers and it creates analytical contributions for knowledge via dissemination. However, the uses, purposes and practices of writing are imbued with problematic aspects concerning: philosophy - modes of interpretation; writer values and perspectives; epistemology - validity of analysis and representation; the role of the self as a research instrument and the researcher’s relationships to the context and the people within them. A further complication is the question of how ‘writing’ is defined - whether drawings, pictures and multi-modal re-presentations can be considered as constituting ethnographic writing.

This series collates eleven articles that have been gathered from across The Ethnography and Education global network bringing together ethnographers’ experiences and reflective practices regarding the nature of ethnographic writing and how we do it.

The articles are divided into three sections: Writing and fieldnotes (Hammersley [2], Delamont and Borgnakke); Fieldwork writing practices, (Thomson, Wieland and Jeffrey); and Researcher relationships with responders and researcher colleagues (Milstein, Clemente and Guerrero, Russell, Parker Webster and Raggl. Each section contains new and possibly controversial perspectives concerning writing and ethnography and it is hoped readers will find something useful, as well as issues which they would wish to debate with colleagues.

The book is thus relevant to anyone engaged in Ethnography in any discipline because the articles deal with many common issues and practices including: engagement with members of the research site; ethical issues of ethnographic writing; ethnographer self-awareness; performative writing; new materialist approaches and the role of ethnographic writing. The collection also includes a comprehensive literature review evaluating the past and current thinking regarding ethnography and writing. 

Available from: Amazon; All good UK bookshops, contact@eande.org.uk and www.ethnographyandeducation.org.uk for £13 + pp.