Discussing ethnography and ethnographic disciplines in general, whether or not they are exclusive to anthropology as a discipline. Folkloristics, market research, ethnomusicology, microsociology, microeconomics, microhistory...

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What are the strengths of ethnography as a research strategy? 39 Replies

Started by Philip Carl SALZMAN. Last reply by Bob Williams Mar 28, 2014.

Reading Ethnography 3 Replies

Started by Guilherme L J Falleiros. Last reply by John McCreery Mar 25, 2010.

Multi-sited ethnography

Started by Philip Carl SALZMAN Oct 18, 2009.

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Comment by Bob Williams on March 28, 2014 at 12:49am

I love doing ethnographies. For me, it is an abiding pre-occupation if not a way of life.

Comment by Jordi Alsina on April 6, 2012 at 11:16pm
Comment by ESWARAPPA KASI on September 19, 2009 at 5:13am
I am Dr. Eswarappa Kasi is currently Guest Faculty and taught a course titled ‘Tribes and Other Backward Communities in India’ to Integrated Masters (IMA) Students in the Special Centre for Integrated Studies (SCIS) and Department of Anthropology, University of Hyderabad, India during January- May 2009 Semester.
In the coming semester (July-December 2009), I will be teaching a course titled ‘Fieldwork and Research Methods’ to Integrated Masters (IMA) Students in the Special Centre for Integrated Studies (SCIS) and Department of Anthropology, University of Hyderabad, India.
PhD Topic: “An Anthropological Study of Livelihoods: A case of Two Sugali Settlements in Ananthapur District of Andhra Pradesh”.
Link to my PhD Thesis:
M.Phil Topic: “Developments and Change due to Sericulture: A Village Study” in Chittoor District. The study analyzes the upliftment of rural Livelihoods (sericulturists) of Kotha Indlu village, as a result of Implementation of Development programmes, as part of M.Phil.

Masters Dissertation: “Life Cycle Rituals among the Koyas of Boddugudem: An Ethnographic Study”. The study is conducted in the village of Boddugudem in ITDA, Bhadrachalam, to find out the role of life cycle rituals and their belief systems in their daily life activities, as part of MA course.
My new book based on my M.Phil Work is being published titled as ‘ANTHROPOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT IN A GLOBALIZED INDIA: AN ETHNOGAPHY OF SERI-CULTURE FROM THE SOUTH’, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Isbn13: 978-1-4438-1345-7, Isbn: 1-4438-1345-1
Book Link:
This book seeks to portray sericulture as a crop enterprise which is emerging as one of the foremost significance for theoretical and methodological understandings in the disciplines of sociology and social anthropology in India. Thus, anthropological analysis of sericulture and its emergence in development literature gives us an idea of the activity leading to further theoretical and critical studies. Anthropological understanding of sericulture and its development, as studied by scholars of different disciplines across the states of India, is therefore thoroughly explained. Sericulture is best suited to a country like India where manpower and land resources are in surplus. It generates direct and indirect employment in various ways. More and more farmers in India have taken up sericulture activity which, once confined to only five states, has now spread to almost all the states of India. Sericulture also creates gainful employment for women and aged people at home with minimum risk. Thus, the analysis clearly establishes the importance of sericulture over other agricultural practices in the generation of fresh employment opportunities in rural areas. Further, it is shown that as a predominant sector of rural development, stability is the vital requirement for sericulture enterprise.

Special Issue Editor- MAN IN INDIA Journal:
2009 Jointly with (Dr. R. Siva Prasad) Special issue Theme on ‘Issues and Perspectives in Anthropology Today’ for the Journal MAN IN INDIA, (Vol. 89, (I &2) 2009). In this anthology, we have taken a specific device to highlight the trends of research in anthropology and through which multifarious human dimensions conditioned by present day circumstances principally in Indian Contexts which have been explored.
Edited Books:
1) Dimensions of Social Exclusion: Ethnographic Explorations, jointly with K.M. Zoyauddin , Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, (http://www.c-s- Exclusion--Ethnographic-Explorations1- 4438-1342-7.htm). Isbn13:978-1-4438-1342-6, Isbn: 1-4438-1342-7
2) Ethnographic Discourse of the Other: Conceptual and Methodological Issues, jointly with Panchanan Mohanty, and Ramesh C. Malik , Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (
ISBN: Isbn13: 9781847185839, ISBN: 1-84718-583-5 (Hardback)
ISBN 13: 978-1-4438-0132-4, ISBN: 1-4438-0132-1 (Paperback)
Edited Books (In Press):
1) Jointly With (Ramesh C. Malik) ‘Theory and Practice of Ethnography: Readings from the Periphery’ Rawat Publications, Jaipur, India.
The book Theory and Practice of Ethnography is an anthology of research papers contributed by illustrious scholars from India and abroad. Theoretical and empirical layout of the Ethnography, Language, Literature, Culture, Rethinking History and Social Development are significantly accentuated in the present book. Ethnography is highly entertained in the search of the concept of the other which is elaborately discussed in the book. The main emphasis of the contributions highlight the deprivation-economic, social, cultural and linguistic among the marginalized groups of Indian society mainly; women, tribal, and the downtrodden. Ethnography is both a process and a product, in this direction, the entire exercise in this volume focuses on applying the different methodological tools of ethnography.

2) ‘Rethinking Developmental Discourse in the 21st Century India’, New Delhi: Serials Publications, 2009.
In order to understand the dynamics of development in the 21st century India, an attempt is made in the book to address the themes which cover the range of theoretical and empirical understandings in the field of interdisciplinary works of scholars drawn from across the disciplines. Thus, it makes a link between field experiences and the classroom debates and discussions. The book also tried to portray the debates of contemporary developmental discourse and how far are they reaching to the common man or the poor in the contemporary Indian Society.
Comment by Alexandre Enkerli on September 10, 2009 at 2:41pm
Congratulations to Michael Hemmingson on the Denzin Award! (Hemmingson's paper is in Open Access).
Thank you John for the announcement.
Comment by John Postill on September 10, 2009 at 9:59am
** from EASA media anthropology network mailing list **

An announcement and self-promotional shout out: I was imformed that I had won the Norman K. Denzin Qualitative Research Award for my paper, "Autoethnographic Fragments of my Grandmothers." The award, among others, is given out by the Carl Couch Center and the Ethnography Division of the NCA.

Michael Hemmingson
Univ. of California,
San Diego
Box 241
La Jolla,
CA 92093-5010
Comment by Alexandre Enkerli on July 17, 2009 at 10:58pm
@Nikos: So, who are the parents of ethnography and anthropology? Colonialism? Nationalism? "Democracy?"
Comment by NIKOS GOUSGOUNIS on July 13, 2009 at 6:08pm
Ethnography is the little sister of the lady called ANTHROPOLOGY
Comment by Alexandre Enkerli on July 7, 2009 at 6:05pm
@Owen I'd say (personally) that research can be ethnographic without being based primarily on participant-observation, strictly speaking. Especially if it's still informed by participant-observation, cultural awareness, etc. Much of Lévi-Strauss's work is ethnographic yet his field research has been somewhat limited. Most of his books aren't ethnographies, stricto sensu. They're not ethnographic monographs focused on a given cultural context. But they can clearly be part of the ethnographic literature. Same could be said about some of Boas's most important work, actually, though he was more data-obsessed than CLS.
As for those who do action research without displaying "cultural awareness," my point wasn't to dismiss their work or say that they're doing pseudo-ethnography. They're doing research in a similar way but their approach isn't necessarily ethnographic because they don't talk directly about culture in the same way. They just aren't looking for the same thing as ethnographers are.
(BTW, I've been avoiding the relativism question for now. There's a link between cultural awareness and cultural relativism, but I really meant cultural awareness. The problem with the expression is that it seems to imply that other people aren't "aware" of culture, but I mostly mean it to be a broad approach to the concept of culture, both humanistic and social. Culture isn't a factor, an independent variable, a finite category.)
Comment by Alexandre Enkerli on July 7, 2009 at 4:44pm
Personally, I conceive of ethnography as a perspective or an approach more than as a method. It's quite possible to use similar methods and do something which isn't ethnographic and there are research projects which are ethnographic while using methods which aren't typically ethnographic.
Comment by NIKOS GOUSGOUNIS on July 7, 2009 at 3:34pm
I think that Anthropology could exist theoretically only without any ethnographical support because the historic and literate comments and diaries and also writings are so many that an anthropologist could use them to some extend. For example one can speak on the ANTHROPOLOGY OF JULES VERNE or JOSEPH CONRAD reflecting the colonialism of these authors' time and also one can speak about STAMPS ANTHROPOLOGY examining stamps editions as reflecting state ideologies on varuious topics. What could be the beast means today to study, racism, nationalism and /or cosmopolitanism if not through stamps, works of art, writers, travellers , media and even journalists ? Last but not least what about studying BLOGS under anthropological perpective ( as diaries) ?

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