Mapping Social Relations: A Primer in Doing Institutional Ethnography

Mapping Social Relations: A Primer in Doing Institutional Ethnography

by Marie Campbell, Frances Gregor

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Overview

Published Under the Garamond Imprint

Available in the US through AltaMira Press.

This is a book about a distinctive methodological approach inspired by one of Canada's most respected scholars, Dorothy Smith. Institutional ethnography aims to answer questions about how everyday life is organized. What is conventionally understood as "the relationship of micro to macro processes" is, in institutional ethnography, conceptualized and explored in terms of ruling relations. The authors suggest that institutional ethnographers must adopt a particular research stance, one that recognizes that people's own knolwedge and ways of knowing are crucial elements of social action and thus of social analysis. Specific attention to text analysis is integral to the approach.

Institutional ethnography is remarkably well-suited to the human service curriculum and the training of professionals and activists. Its strategy for learning how to understand problems existing in everyday life appeals to many researchers who are looking for guidance on how to take practical action. At the same time, the highly elaborated theoretical foundation of institutional ethnography is difficult to deal with in the brief time most students are in the classroom. The authors successfully tackle the issue of teaching and applying institutional ethnography. Campbell and Gregor have been testing out instructional methods and materials for many years. Mapping Social Relations is the product of that effort.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781551930343
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division
Publication date: 05/01/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.99(w) x 8.99(h) x 0.34(d)

About the Author

Marie Campbell is a professor in the faculty of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

Frances Gregor is an associate professor in the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Why Another "Methods" Text?

About the Authors

Positioning the Text in Relation to its Users and Uses

How the Book is Organized

Acknowledgements


Chapter One: Finding a Place to Begin

Practices of Knowing, Forms of Literacy

The Located Knower: A Feminist Discovery

Challenging Authoritative Ways of Knowing

Learning to See "Social Organization" in a Health Care Setting

Embodied Knowing in a Text-mediated World


Chapter Two: Theory "in" Everyday Life

Social Organization and Social Relations

Texts and the Relations of Ruling

Activating Texts as Ruling Relations

Objectified Knowledge and Ruling

Experience, Discourse, and Social Relations


Chapter Three: Beginning an Institutional Ethnography

Identifying the Problematic of the Research

The Conceptual Frame for a Research Project

Writing an Account of the Methodology


Chapter Four: Collecting Data for an Institutional Ethnography

Explicating Ruling Relations

Positioning Oneself as a Researcher: Research Relations

More about Data Collection and Interpersonal Relations with Informants

Data Collection: How to "Look" and "Listen"

Field Methods in Institutional Ethnography

About Observations

About Interviews

About Texts as Data


Chapter Five: Analyzing Data in Institutional Ethnography

Moving from Data to Data Analysis: What Path to Follow?

Different Ethnographies, Different Analytic Strategies

Making Sense of Discursively-Organized Settings

Writing Analysis in Institutional Ethnography

Interpretation and Analysis


Chapter Six: Putting Institutional Ethnography into Practice

Studies by Institutional Ethnographers with Research Preparation in Master's Programs

Practising a Sociology for People

Subverting Institutionalization


References

Notes

Index

What People are Saying About This

Nancy Jackson

Mapping Social Relations makes an enormous contribution... the authors have achieved a remarkable degree of clarity in a complex and challenging field.

William K. Carroll

This book makes accessible, to students and practitioners, one of the most incisive and revealing methodologies that sociology has to offer. It is clearly written, peppered with highly instructive examples, and firmly grounded in critical social analysis.

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