Heriot Watt University

Ethnographers' Gathering (3)

Ethnography as Genre – Issues and Potentials

18 March 2015
12:30-14:30
John Coulson Building
North Foyer 16

 Following a couple of very interesting and useful meetings last year, the gatherings of ethnographers will continue in 2015.

In our first gathering, we ethnography1explored some general ideas and perspectives, and in the second one we discussed different ethnographic methods used by three of our colleagues. Our third meeting will turn the spotlight on ethnography as a genre – "writing about culture(s)".

Drawing on examples from ethnographic practice, including a current PhD project by Vitalija Stepušaitytė and work in progress by Ullrich Kockel, we explore strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats of different, sometimes unconventional ways of writing academically about cultural issues: what can ethnography as a genre achieve and contribute, and where are its limits?

In the course of our explorations, we will have an opportunity to consider ethnographic vs. experimental approaches (including "morphogenetic" fieldwork and action research) and some of the ethical dilemmas arising from critical conditions of good ethnography, such as good rapport and cultural immersion.

Refreshments will be provided. Attendance is free but places are limited. You can book a place here.

If you are interested in attending, you might like to read this review of Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers in preparation.