Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Second Edition / Edition 2

Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Second Edition / Edition 2

by Robert M. Emerson, Rachel I. Fretz, Linda L. Shaw
     
 

In Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Robert M. Emerson, Rachel I. Fretz, and Linda L. Shaw present a series of guidelines, suggestions, and practical advice for creating useful fieldnotes in a variety of settings, demystifying a process that is often assumed to be intuitive and impossible to teach. Using actual unfinished notes as examples, the authors

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Overview

In Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Robert M. Emerson, Rachel I. Fretz, and Linda L. Shaw present a series of guidelines, suggestions, and practical advice for creating useful fieldnotes in a variety of settings, demystifying a process that is often assumed to be intuitive and impossible to teach. Using actual unfinished notes as examples, the authors illustrate options for composing, reviewing, and working fieldnotes into finished texts. They discuss different organizational and descriptive strategies and show how transforming direct observations into vivid descriptions results not simply from good memory but from learning to envision scenes as written. A good ethnographer, they demonstrate, must learn to remember dialogue and movement like an actor, to see colors and shapes like a painter, and to sense moods and rhythms like a poet.
 
This new edition reflects the extensive feedback the authors have received from students and instructors since the first edition was published in 1995. As a result, they have updated the race, class, and gender section, created new sections on coding programs and revising first drafts, and provided new examples of working notes. An essential tool for budding social scientists, the second edition of Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes will be invaluable for a new generation of researchers entering the field.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226206837
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
11/30/2011
Series:
Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing Series
Edition description:
Second Edition
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
104,561
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface to the Second Edition....................ix
Preface to the First Edition....................xiii
1 Fieldnotes in Ethnographic Research....................1
Ethnographic Participation....................2
The Complexities of Description....................5
Inscribing Experienced/Observed Realities....................12
Implications for Writing Fieldnotes....................15
Reflections: Writing Fieldnotes and Ethnographic Practice....................18
2 In the Field: Participating, Observing, and Jotting Notes....................21
Participating in Order to Write....................24
What Are Jottings?....................29
Making Jottings: How, Where, and When....................34
Reflections: Writing and Ethnographic Marginality....................41
3 Writing Fieldnotes I: At the Desk, Creating Scenes on a Page....................45
Moving from Field to Desk....................48
Recalling in Order to Write....................51
Writing Detailed Notes: Depiction of Scenes....................57
Narrating a Day's Entry: Organizational Strategies....................74
In-Process Analytic Writing: Asides and Commentaries....................79
Reflections: "Writing" and "Reading" Modes....................85
4 Writing Fieldnotes II: Multiple Purposes and Stylistic Options....................89
Stance and Audience in Writing Fieldnotes....................90
Narrating Choices about Perspective....................93
Fieldnote Tales: Writing Extended Narrative Segments....................109
Analytic Writing: In- Process Memos....................123
Reflections: Fieldnotes as Products of Writing Choices....................126
5 Pursuing Members' Meanings....................129
Imposing Exogenous Meanings....................131
Representing Members' Meanings....................134
Members' Categories in Use: Processes and Problems....................151
Race, Gender, Class, and Members' Meanings....................158
Local Events and Social Forces....................166
Reflections: Using Fieldnotes to Discover/Create Members' Meanings....................167
6 Processing Fieldnotes: Coding and Memoing....................171
Reading Fieldnotes as a Data Set....................173
Open Coding....................175
Writing Code Memos....................185
Selecting Themes....................188
Focused Coding....................191
Integrative Memos....................193
Reflections: Creating Theory from Fieldnotes....................197
7 Writing an Ethnography....................201
Developing a Thematic Narrative....................202
Transposing Fieldnotes into Ethnographic Text....................206
Producing a Completed Ethnographic Document....................229
Reflections: Between Members and Readers....................241
8 Conclusion....................243
Notes....................249
References....................269
Index....................283

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