Ethnography

Writing Social Science Fiction in the Age of the Metrix

Burned out by the hamster-wheel of academe and the regime of metrics, John Postill decided the tonic would be to write a spoof spy thriller about a Spanish nerd with a silly name who moves to London in 1994 and accidentally foils a terrorist plot by an evil anthropologist.

3 months ago
26

Leon Redbone, Fact Checking, and Ethnography

In recent popular music, there have been few if any performers as enigmatic as the late Leon Redbone, who died on May 30. With a vintage repertoire featuring tunes from ragtime, blues, vaudeville, and Tin Pan Alley, and always appearing in dark glasses and a Panama hat, he looked like a figure straight out of the 1920s.

3 months ago
31

Are Ethnographers Ever Wrong?

Steven Lubet, the author of ‘Interrogating Ethnography: Why Evidence Matters,’ explains the importance of his approach to investigating the discipline — to ‘put it on trial’ — and to reiterate the idea that accuracy matters in social science. Spurring on his restatement is a recent review on Social Science Space that Lubet argues missed his point entirely.

2 years ago
24

Nick Seaver on Dissecting the Algorithmic Organism

When discussing the nexus of computer science and social science, the transaction is usually in one direction – what can computer scientists do for social scientists. But a recent paper from Tufts University anthropologist Nick Seaver reverses that flow, using the tool of ethnography to interrogate the tools of engineering.

2 years ago
16

Making Sense of Society: Ruben Schneider

Ruben Schneider, who is ethnographically exploring the interactions of ‘global’ conservation alliances and local communities, describes his passion in this essay for the ESRC.

2 years ago
12
Menacing shadows

The Stories We Tell, the Lives We Lead

Why does the Homeric of ‘violent’ seem so wedded to the term ‘street gang’? Criminologist Timothy Lauger answered that question in part in a an award-winning paper that looked at the stories gang members tell themselves.

4 years ago
17
Erving Goffman

Peter Lunt on Erving Goffman

Erving Goffman has been called the most influential American sociologist of the 20th century thanks to his study of the social interactions of everyday life. In this Social Science Bites podcast, social psychologist Peter Lunt discusses his own inquiries into Goffman and how he approached his subjects with “an ethnographer’s eye.”

5 years ago
55

Edward Hopper: An ethnographic sensibility?

This is not a body of work that instructs us what to think – it invites us to ask the question that an ethnographer would ask: confronted with this scene, what is going on here?

7 years ago
21

Rebel Manhood

With poverty now rising to levels not seen in a generation, many scholars are revisiting the still controversial theories connecting culture to class. Currently the great recession is accelerating the outsourcing and deindustrialization that has been decimating the economic well-being of all Americans for almost a generation.

7 years ago
20
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