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Book part
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Victoria Reyes

The Chicago School of Sociology heralded a new age: that of the rise and establishment of sociology as an academic discipline in the US. It also spurred on an intellectual…

Abstract

The Chicago School of Sociology heralded a new age: that of the rise and establishment of sociology as an academic discipline in the US. It also spurred on an intellectual tradition in ethnography that focuses on a wide array of methodological tools and empirical data with a focus on the specificity of place that continues to live on in contemporary urban sociology. Yet, its traditions have also been extensively criticized. Burawoy (2000) is one preeminent scholar, who has denounced the Chicago School as being parochial, ahistorical, and decontextualized from the national and international processes that shape cities. Instead, he calls for a move toward “global ethnography,” one that focuses on “global processes, connections, and imaginations” (Burawoy et al., 2000). Increasingly, US urban sociologists study research sites that are located outside the US and pay attention to how global actors and/or transnational connections influence US dynamics. Given this trend, what, if any lessons can global and urban sociologists take away from the Chicago School? In this chapter, I highlight three such lessons: (1) the global is central to city life; (2) rooting our work in the specificities of place helps extend and build theory; and (3) the School still provides useful conceptual and methodological tools to study the global. In doing so, I argue that scholars should recognize the plurality of approaches to global ethnography and how each approach can further our understanding of how the global shapes social life.

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Urban Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-033-2

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2018

Diana Rosemary Sharpe

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the contributions that critical realist ethnographies can make to an understanding of the multinational corporation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the contributions that critical realist ethnographies can make to an understanding of the multinational corporation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on a discussion of methodological challenges in researching the multinational corporation and the ways in which critical realist ethnographies can respond to these challenges. The example of research on the transfer of management practices is used to illustrate this.

Findings

Taking the example of researching the transfer of management practices within the multinational, the paper argues that the potential of critical realist ethnography including critical realist global ethnography to contribute to the field of International Business and International Management remains relatively untapped.

Research limitations/implications

Adopting the sociological imagination of the critical realist ethnographer has implications for the kinds of questions that are asked by the researcher and the ways in which we seek to address these methodologically. Researching from a critical standpoint fruitful empirical themes for further research relate to the experience of change for example in business systems, internationalization of organizations and “globalization”.

Practical implications

The critical realist ethnographer can contribute insights into the complex social and political processes within the multinational and provide insights into how social structures are both impacting on and impacted by individuals and groups. Ethnographic research located within a critical realist framework has the potential to address questions of how stability and change take place within specific structural, cultural and power relations.

Originality/value

At the methodological level, this paper highlights the potential of critical realist ethnography in researching the multinational, in addressing significant questions facing the critical researcher and in gaining a privileged insight into the lived experience of globalization.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Robin Canniford

Traditional notions of culture have become unicorns: assumed creatures of the past, whose authenticity seems increasingly doubtful. It is required of us to rethink the…

Abstract

Purpose

Traditional notions of culture have become unicorns: assumed creatures of the past, whose authenticity seems increasingly doubtful. It is required of us to rethink the boundaries of culture and social science; to develop our understanding of interdependency and instability in cultural life. In order to incorporate possible discourses, the practice of research must also change. This paper discusses some problems associated with ethnography in global cultures.

Design/methodology/approach

I begin by presenting a brief history of ethnography as a method for investigating unconceptualised groups. Following this, through reference to my own research, I argue that the foundations of this methodology can be developed to include the broad networks of influences extant in contemporary cultures. To this end, I consider a solution that poses the researcher as a locus of investigation from which the relationships that construct a culture may be collated and interpretations built.

Findings

The research account I have presented tackles this issue, synthesising introspection, thick inscription, and thick transcription, and moving the researcher through a multi‐vocal, iterative, non‐linear process. Historical, technological and ideological influences come into play to negotiate between possible realities. Ethnography may place these realities into their broader political, social and personal contexts and continue yielding data for the theorisation of contemporary cultures.

Originality/value

The paper reassesses the experience of global culture with reference to the global surfing scene. It provides a practical solution to research in such cultures, and highlights the importance of a networked approach in the construction of adequate theory.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Milosz Miszczynski

The purpose of this paper is to address the geographic mobility of organisations by focusing on an instance of a rural community hosting a mobile phone plant in Romania…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the geographic mobility of organisations by focusing on an instance of a rural community hosting a mobile phone plant in Romania. The paper depicts the process of changes in the community and outlines the effects during the lifecycle of the investment: starting from the plant’s re-location from Germany to Romania until its closure and re-location to Southern China.

Design/methodology/approach

This study emerged from a 16 month ethnography in the community conducted between 2011 and 2013. The quotes and observations come from recorded interviews and field notes taken during this time.

Findings

The outcome of this work is to show how firms generate relationships not only with each other, but also with local communities, their labour markets and economies. As the author argue in this work, those relationships, despite their intensity and transformative power, are unstable and contrary to expectations might prove to be fragile and temporary.

Originality/value

A number of approaches, such as world-system theory, political economy or the global value chain theory, try to describe the ongoing re-location of manufacturing industry by employing a top-down perspective. In this work, the author goes beyond this view and instead focus on the cultural meanings of this process. The author’s bottom-up perspective focuses on the particular geographic location of a production node, an important part of the global value chain of a major producer of consumer electronics. The unique value of this work is also that it shows the local outcomes of the investment and the way that workers understand their participation in global production at different stages of organisational life.

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Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2012

Jamie Cross

Purpose – This chapter asks what we should make of the gift exchanges that take place between workers and their managers on the floor of a massive offshore manufacturing…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter asks what we should make of the gift exchanges that take place between workers and their managers on the floor of a massive offshore manufacturing unit in South India. Such exchanges appear anomalous in the ethnography of global manufacturing yet here they underpinned the organisation of hyper-intensive production processes.

Findings – Following diverse acts of giving, this chapter shows how these transactions constituted the performative and relational grounds on which workers came to know themselves and sought to shape the world around them. In doing so it extends the anthropology of work and labour by showing that acts of giving are integral to global commodity production.

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Political Economy, Neoliberalism, and the Prehistoric Economies of Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-059-8

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Marta B. Calás, Han Ou and Linda Smircich

–The paper originated in challenges trying to theorize and research practices and processes of actors engaged in transnational activities for business and everyday life…

Abstract

Purpose

–The paper originated in challenges trying to theorize and research practices and processes of actors engaged in transnational activities for business and everyday life. Key concern was the assumption that actors’ identities remain the same regardless of time/space. While intersectional analysis once seemed a reasonable analytical approach the authors wondered about starting from identity-based categorical schemes in a world where mobility may be ever more the ontological status of everyday experiences and social structuring. Thus, the paper addresses limitations of intersectional analysis in such situations and advances its recasting via mobile conceptualizations, redressing its analytical purchase for contemporary subject formation.

Design/methodology/approach

Discusses emergence of intersectionality at a particular point in time, its success and proliferation, and more recent critiques of these ideas. Develops alternative conceptualization – mobile subjectivities – via literatures on mobilities in the context of globalization. Illustrates the value of these arguments with ethnographic examples from a multi-sited ethnographic project and analyses. Concludes by examining implications for new feminist theorizations under neoliberalism and globalization.

Findings

Observing the constitution of a “mobile selfhood” in actual transnational business activities is a step toward making sense of complex processes in contemporary subject formation under globalized market neoliberalism.

Research limitations/implications

“Mobile subjectivities” suggest that analyses of oppression and subordination must be ongoing, no matter which “new subjectivities” may appear under “the latest regime.”

Originality/value

Theoretical and empirical analyses facilitated a reconceptualization of intersectionality as a mobile, precarious, and transitory accomplishment of selfhood temporarily fixed by the neoliberal rhetoric of “choice” and “self-empowerment.” This is of particular value for understanding transnational practices and processes of contemporary organizational actors.

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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2009

Toke Bjerregaard, Jakob Lauring and Anders Klitmøller

Functionalist models of intercultural interaction have serious limitations relying on static and decontextualized culture views. This paper sets out to outline newer…

Abstract

Purpose

Functionalist models of intercultural interaction have serious limitations relying on static and decontextualized culture views. This paper sets out to outline newer developments in anthropological theory in order to provide inspirations to a more dynamic and contextual approach for understanding intercultural communication research in cross‐cultural management (CCM).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyzes the established approaches to the cultural underpinnings of intercultural communication in CCM and examines how newer developments in anthropology may contribute to this research.

Findings

The standard frameworks for classifying cultures in CCM are based on a view of culture as static, formal mental codes and values abstracted from the context of valuation. However, this view, underwriting the dominating research stream, has been abandoned in the discipline of anthropology from which it originated. This theory gap between intercultural communication research in CCM and anthropology tends to exclude from CCM an understanding of how the context of social, organizational and power relationships shapes the role of culture in communication.

Practical implications

The paper proposes to substitute the view of culture as comprising of abstract values and codes as determinants of communication with concepts of culture as dynamically enfolded in practice and socially situated in specific contexts, in order to give new directions to theories on intercultural communication in CCM.

Originality/value

Scant research has compared intercultural communication research in CCM with new anthropological developments. New insights from anthropology are analyzed in order to open up analytical space in CCM.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2021

Noelia Carrasco Henríquez

The purpose of this paper is to propose an ethnographic discussion surrounding the sociocultural dimensions of the contemporary economy, using the dynamics of monoculture…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an ethnographic discussion surrounding the sociocultural dimensions of the contemporary economy, using the dynamics of monoculture expansion into the indigenous territories of South-Central Chile as an empirical reference.

Design/methodology/approach

From an ethnographic approach, the paper systematizes some ideas about the difference and inequality that have redrafted the current relationships between forestry companies and Mapuche communities within the context of international certification of forestry management.

Findings

Findings indicate that difference and inequality, are today managed from global economic rationality and their control impacts directly on quotidian life of diverse and unequal territories. Considering this, this paper gets to conclude that these conditions, while never ceasing to deepen their expression, have been recrafted from the new references of the global economy.

Research limitations/implications

For the critical ethnographic approach to be applied, it is necessary to design and implement wide access, which means this type of study usually has limitations when not being able to get to every scale of economic development. For this reason, it is important to keep the methodological discussion, about the ethnography of the economy.

Originality/value

The study puts in perspective intercultural relations and the inequality of territories in the framework of the global economy. Illustrates how the managing of the international market of wood and pulp design and insides in local quotidian life systems.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Robert E. Rinehart and Kerry Earl

– The purpose of this paper is to make a case for the strength of qualitative work, but more specifically for various kinds of ethnographies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to make a case for the strength of qualitative work, but more specifically for various kinds of ethnographies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors argue that global neoliberal and audit culture policies have crept into academic research, tertiary education practice, and research culture.

Findings

The authors then discuss major tenets of and make the case for the use of auto-, duo-, and collaborative-ethnographies as caring practices and research method(ologies) that may in fact push back against such hegemonic neoliberal practices in the academy. Finally, the authors link these caring types of ethnographies to the papers within this special issue.

Originality/value

This is an original look at the concepts of auto-, duo-, and collaborative-ethnographies with relation to caring practices.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Abstract

Details

Urban Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-033-2

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