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Teaching and Learning the Craft: The Construction of Ethnographic Objects

Urban Ethnography

ISBN: 978-1-78769-034-9, eISBN: 978-1-78769-033-2

Publication date: 22 October 2019


Ethnography is not only a set of tools with which to collect data, but an epistemological vantage point from which to apprehend the social world. In this vein, we articulate a model of teaching and learning ethnography that entails focusing on how to construct an ethnographic object. In this chapter, we describe our way of teaching ethnography as not simply a method of data collection, but as a manner of training that pays particular attention – before, during, and after fieldwork – to the theory-driven moments of the construction of sociological objects. How, as ethnographers, do we structure and give structure to the social milieu we investigate? In teaching the ethnographic craft, we focus on a specific series of elements: theory, puzzles, warrants, the relationship between claims and evidence, and the reconstruction of the local point of view. Moreover, we maintain that attention to these components of ethnographic object construction should be coupled with epistemological vigilance throughout the research process.



Jensen, K. and Auyero, J. (2019), "Teaching and Learning the Craft: The Construction of Ethnographic Objects", Urban Ethnography (Research in Urban Sociology, Vol. 16), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 69-87.



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