Ethnography

Quadrant showing basics of fact-checking

Parsing Fact and Perception in Ethnography

Fact and perception are simply different categories, neither of which is necessarily more important than the other, argues Steve Lubet. . The challenge for ethnographers lies in making clear and careful distinctions between what they have actually seen and what they have only heard about.

5 days ago
264
movie character uses shotgun in murder

Finding Fault with Faux Facts

No matter how exquisite the details, it is important to separate fact from folklore – which should not require cross examination.

3 weeks ago
468
Ashley Mears

Ashley Mears on the Global Party Circuit

Ashley Mears describes modern jet-setting club life at the VIP level and the Veblen-esque conspicuous consumption, its “ritualized squandering” in Mears words, that is its hallmark.

11 months ago
5213

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.

2 years ago
1601

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.

2 years ago
1534

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.

3 years ago
1158

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.

3 years ago
1832

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.

4 years ago
775
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.

5 years ago
480