On Ethnography: Approaches to Language and Literacy Research / Edition 1

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The authors weave together narratives of practice and theory that draw on their own field work and that of a novice ethnographer. Their stories take us outside the usual progression of how-to-do-ethnography, which moves from research question to data collection and analysis to publication. Readers learn of the motivations and mishaps behind the authors' own classic ethnographic studies of language, multimodal literacies, and community practices. The authors use their stories to illustrate the power of curiosity, connection, and continuity in ethnographic pursuits. Keeping language and literacy at the center of attention, this volume offers practical ways for ethnographers to sustain their attention to a constant comparative perspective and to patterns of co-occurrence in language structures, uses, and values. Appropriate for new and experienced researchers, this readable volume includes examples of ethnographic studies in Australia, Iran, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Future volumes in the Approaches to Language and Literacy Research Collection from NCRLL, authored by leading lights in the field, will illuminate other approaches to language and literacy research, including discourse analysis, critically conscious research, teacher research, narrative inquiry, quantitative methods, and mixed methods.

All royalties on books in this series go to the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy (NCRLL).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807748664
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 4/12/2008
  • Series: Language and Literacy Series-NCRLL Collection
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 1,223,315
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Table of Contents

From the NCRLL Editors ix

Acknowledgments and an Opening for Conversation xi

1 Language, Culture, and Learning: Ethnographic Approaches 1

Languages and Literacies in Symbolic Structure 4

Culture as a Verb 7

Learning Across Recurring Situations 10

Multimodalities 21

Summary 24

Notes 25

2 The Ethnographer's Field Entry and Tools of Practice 27

Entering the Field: Shirley Goes to Trackton and Roadville 29

The Constant Comparative 32

Co-Occurrences for Pattern Detection: Shirley Figures Out How Skateboarders Tell Time 38

Resisting Preconceptions 42

Reliability, Replicability, and Validities 44

Summary 47

3 Setting Decision Rules for Fieldwork 48

Literature Reviews: The Company We Keep 49

"What Really Happens Here?" 55

The Ethnographer as Instrument 57

Setting Time Frames 60

Determining the Space as "Sample" or "Case" 63

Summary 66

4 Research Questions and Fieldnotes 68

Research Questions 69

Fieldnotes 76

Conceptual Memos 79

Summary 81

5 Analysis and Coming Home from the Field 83

Language in Action 84

Quantitative Analysis 92

Discourse and Narrative 93

Language Socialization 96

Social Theories of Language and Literacy 101

Summary 106

6 Taking Note of History and Writing Ethnography 110

The Embrace of Anthropology 112

Applied Anthropology 119

Ethnography in Education 120

Reflexivity 122

The Making of Public Texts 126

Summary 128

Suggestions for Further Reading 131

References 133

Index 145

About the Authors 154

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