Exploring Everyday Life: Strategies for Ethnography and Cultural Analysis

Exploring Everyday Life: Strategies for Ethnography and Cultural Analysis

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The numerous tasks and routines that shape our daily existence can seem mundane, even invisible-and yet they play an extremely powerful role in structuring and reproducing society. Exploring Everyday Life casts light on these so-called trivialities, serving as both a guide to the invisible world of the everyday and an instruction manual for first-time explorers. Ehn, Lofgren, and Wilk demonstrate how to use a broad array of ethnographic tools to discover, map, and document new and unexplored territories and guide readers through the process of cultural analysis. Their concrete examples shed light on how a study or paper assignment can evolve and point to how cultural analysis of everyday life can be practically applied in business, government, and other arenas outside of academia.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780759124066
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 07/23/2015
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 162
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Billy Ehn is professor emeritus of ethnology at Umeå University in Sweden. He is co-author, with Orvar Löfgren, of The Secret World of Doing Nothing. Orvar Löfgren is professor emeritus of ethnology at Lund University in Sweden. His publications include On Holiday: A History of Vacationing. Richard Wilk is Provost’s Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University. His publications include Fast Food/Slow Food and Economies and Cultures (second edition, with Lisa Cliggett.) Richard Wilk and Orvar Löfgren, together with Jessica Chelakis, are co-editors of The Anthropology of Everyday Life, a Rowman & Littlefield series.

Table of Contents

1—Hidden Worlds
Finding the tools
From idea to finished product
The need for a cultural perspective
Analytical strategies
Structure of the book
2—The importance of small things
The first step: getting going
The second step: searching for literature
The third step: collecting material
The fourth step: the analysis
The fifth step: writing
3—Making the familiar strange
Making a first attempt
Looking for entrances
To avoid the predictable
Choosing methodological entrances
New questions and surprising answers
Return to the past
A life-history perspective
The strange home
The home as an art installation
The importance of details and activities
The advantages of limitation
4—Sharing a meal
Table manners
The hidden world of the dinner table
Forming a family meal
Power at the table
Class and family history
Doing mealtime ethnography
Meals as models
5—Do you remember Facebook?
Exploring media in everyday life
Beginning at the end
Analog and digital living
Media taking place
Virtual intimacy
Are you there?
Follow the Objects
6—Catching a mood
Locating the setting
Analytical approaches
Touring the senses
The station as a sensorium
Changing moods
Describing atmospheres
Intimate moods
Changing tracks
Sensing the World
7—Crafting wood and words
Ethnographic writing
Making things with words
Autoethnographic writing
Describing non-verbal experience
Do it by feel
Writing DIY: three versions
Working knowledge
The importance of failures
Working and Writing
8—Demystifying fieldwork
The classic style
Making changes to the classic mold
The jungle ideal
Where is the field now?
Organizing information
Past, present, future
9—Taking cultural analysis out into the world
The surprise effect
Open fieldwork
What’s this thing about culture?
A double cultural analysis
Learning to communicate
Time discipline and teamwork
Three ways of surprising a client
So what?
The critical edge

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