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Why Ethnographies of Work? An Introduction

Rick Delbridge (Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
Markus Helfen (Hertie School, Berlin, Germany)
Andreas Pekarek (University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia)
Gretchen Purser (Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA)

Ethnographies of Work

ISBN: 978-1-83753-949-9, eISBN: 978-1-83753-948-2

Publication date: 12 December 2023


In this chapter, we underscore the enduring importance of research on work, workers, labour markets, and the places and spaces of work. We then examine the particular and valuable contributions that come from ethnographic research in providing detailed studies of work, particularly when these are situated and interpreted in their wider socio-political contexts. We discuss the key dimensions of ethnography before overviewing the contributions to the volume. The volume presents cutting-edge ethnographic research on contemporary worlds of work and the experiences of workers from a range of contexts including an alternative community, working online, the gig economy, and the hospitality industry. Alongside novel empirical chapters, the collection includes the reflections of ethnographers with regards to, for example, the experience as a young female management researcher working amongst journalists in a media firm, personal feelings of precarity within and beyond the field, and how to navigate the challenges of researching inequalities ethnographically.



Delbridge, R., Helfen, M., Pekarek, A. and Purser, G. (2023), "Why Ethnographies of Work? An Introduction", Delbridge, R., Helfen, M., Pekarek, A. and Purser, G. (Ed.) Ethnographies of Work (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 35), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 1-8.



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