Ethnography At The Edge

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Overview

The candid, first-person accounts of their experiences, especially in illegal, immoral, and dangerous situations, reveal the horrors, perils, and joys of ethnographic research. The methodological, theoretical, and political implications of field work are also thoroughly discussed. Describing their deep involvement with such diverse groups as skinheads, phone sex workers, drug dealers, graffiti artists, and the homeless, many of the authors confess to their own episodes of illegal drug use, drunk driving, weapons violations, assault at gunpoint, obstruction of justice, and arrest while engaged in ethnographic studies.

Although field research is seldom safe, convenient, or above professional criticism, this volume demonstrates that it is vital for providing a fuller understanding of deviant and criminal populations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555533403
  • Publisher: University Press of New England
  • Publication date: 4/9/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

JEFF FERRELL is Professor of Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University. He is the author of Crimes of Style: Urban Graffiti and the Politics of Criminality and co-editor (with Clinton R. Sanders) of Cultural Criminology, both published by Northeastern University Press. MARK S. HAMM is Professor of Criminology at Indiana State University. He is the author of The Abandoned Ones: The Imprisonment and Uprising of the Mariel Boat People and Apocalypse in Oklahoma: Waco and Ruby Ridge Revenged, also published by Northeastern University Press.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Moving Backward
Preface
True Confessions: Crime, Deviance, and Field Research 2
Criminological Verstehen: Inside the Immediacy of Crime 20
Ethnographers, Pimps, and the Company Store 44
Shattered Lives and Shelter Lies?: Anatomy of Research Deviance in Homeless Programming and Policy 65
Enjoying Militarism: Political/Personal Dilemmas in Studying U.S. Police Paramilitary Units 88
The Ethnography of Terror: Timothy McVeigh and the Blue Centerlight of Evil 111
Reversing the Ethnographic Gaze: Experiments in Cultural Criminology 132
(Dis)Courtesy Stigma: Fieldwork among Phone Fantasy Workers 146
Researching Crack Dealers: Dilemmas and Contradictions 160
Marijuana Subcultures: Studying Crime in Rural America 178
Honesty, Secrecy, and Deception in the Sociology of Crime: Confessions and Reflections from the Backstage 206
Dangerous Methods: Risk Taking and the Research Process 221
Confessions of Danger and Humanity 254
References 273
Contributors 301
Index 305
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