Contemporary Field Research: A Collection of Readings

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9780881333428: Contemporary Field Research: A Collection of Readings

During the past several years, a more fully articulated and less defensive conception of the nature of fieldwork has emerged. Within this conception two specific themes stand out: first, fieldworkers increasingly understand and carry out their craft as an interpretive enterprise; second, fieldworkers have come to devote close attention to the actual practice of doing fieldwork. The materials in this book have been assembled with an eye toward furthering and consolidating these developments. To focus on processes of interpretation and practice is to move toward a more reflective, self-conscious stance toward the fieldwork enterprise. Self-consciousness emerges with the recognition that fieldwork itself is a social phenomenon, inescapably part of the very social worlds it seeks to discover, describe, and analyze. This recognition dispels any last vestiges of the belief that the fieldworker can somehow avoid or transcend the sorts of practical concerns and personal involvements that pervade everyday social life. Once the social character of the fieldworker is stressed, one is in a position to see more clearly the variety of personal, interactional, moral, and practical processes that lie at its core.

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From the Publisher:

Consider these titles of related interest also available from Waveland Press: Babbie, Observing Ourselves: Essays in Social Research (ISBN 1577660196); Spradley-McCurdy, The Cultural Experience: Ethnography in Complex Society (ISBN 0881333492); and Sjoberg-Nett, A Methodology for Social Research (ISBN 0881339148).

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Robert M. Emerson
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