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Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2012

Fiona Moore

Purpose – To consider why, although it does maintain a distinct presence, ethnography still remains very much on the fringes of international business (IB) studies.…

Abstract

Purpose – To consider why, although it does maintain a distinct presence, ethnography still remains very much on the fringes of international business (IB) studies.

Methodology/Approach – This chapter involves a literature review comparing ethnography in IB studies with its position in the related disciplines of industrial relations and Japanese studies, in both of which the ethnography of business is much more prominent, and both of which have close relationships with mainstream anthropology.

Findings – The author argues that a crucial factor in achieving greater prominence for ethnography in IB studies is in fact to encourage more studies of international organisations in mainstream anthropology.

Research limitations/Implications – The review of literature is necessarily brief and should be expanded to include more disciplines to test its conclusions; however, developments in the anthropology of China and India may add further data.

Practical implications – There are a number of ways in which the three disciplines can learn from, and contribute to, each other through the medium of ethnography, which are discussed.

Originality/Value – The value of the chapter is in considering ways in which IB studies and industrial relations can learn from each other and can make more effective use of ethnography, and how mainstream anthropology can benefit from incorporating perspectives from business-focused disciplines.

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West Meets East: Building Theoretical Bridges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-028-4

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2018

Jeppe Oute and Bagga Bjerge

The purpose of this paper is twofold: to explore how gatekeepers’ ways of regulating the researchers’ access to knowledge in/about care services reflect the systemic and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: to explore how gatekeepers’ ways of regulating the researchers’ access to knowledge in/about care services reflect the systemic and interpersonal values that inform Danish welfare systems’ daily workings at the street level; and also explore how the authors’ methodological experiences mirror the value-informed regulatory strategies that professionals and users themselves experience in their daily encounters in the same local practices that the authors have studied.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes its empirical point of departure in a multisited ethnographic field study of the management of citizens with complex problems in Danish welfare systems.

Findings

By means of Michael Lipsky’s outline of access regulation, the authors will analyze the following regulatory strategies that are identified during the fieldwork: “Gatekeepers’ sympathy and creaming,” “Queuing and delay,” and ‘Withdrawal of consent and “no resources.” The paper suggests that trust, shared goals and sympathy seem to be key to the process of getting access.

Originality/value

Despite principles of neutrality, equal rights and access to services in welfare systems, the authors’ experiences thus tend to support other research within bureaucratic and care organizations, which has found that interpersonal relations, sympathy, dislikes, norms and values, etc., can heavily influence timely access to services, tailored information and support.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Book part
Publication date: 10 January 2007

Martin Forsey

Critical ethnography first emerged as a distinctive research approach in education studies in the late 1960s (Anderson, 1989, p. 250). It has now achieved a degree of…

Abstract

Critical ethnography first emerged as a distinctive research approach in education studies in the late 1960s (Anderson, 1989, p. 250). It has now achieved a degree of respectability and has taken its place as part of the qualitative tradition in universities (Jordan & Yeomans, 1995, p. 399). Critical ethnography reflects what Geertz (1983) identified as a ‘blurring of genres’. As the name suggests, it is marked by a confluence of interpretivist field studies and critical streams of thought (Goodman, 1998, p. 51). These converging streams, arising from a variety of sources and pushed along by the currents of Marxist, neo-Marxist and feminist social theory, swirl together into a dynamically enriched mixture of the methods and theories of anthropology, sociology and education. Not surprisingly the streams formed in different parts of the globe, while composed of all of the elements just named, are configured slightly differently. As Priyadharshini (2003, p. 421) recently noted in comparing British and American strands of educational ethnography, the Western side of the Atlantic is marked by a much stronger tradition of educational anthropology than in the UK. And these differences make a difference.

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Methodological Developments in Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-500-0

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Book part
Publication date: 9 June 2011

Anna Amelina

Purpose – Analyzing support strategies (such as childcare, elderly care, nursing, and remittances) of Ukrainian migrants living in Germany, the chapter addresses the…

Abstract

Purpose – Analyzing support strategies (such as childcare, elderly care, nursing, and remittances) of Ukrainian migrants living in Germany, the chapter addresses the interrelationship of social inequality and migration. First, it explores mechanisms influencing the unequal distribution of financial and care support within Ukrainian transnational families. Second, it examines how the unequal distribution influences migrants’ social mobility in Germany.

Methods – Building on the intersectionality approach the chapter indicates class, ethnic, and gender-specific categorizations as being important determinants of unequal support distribution. Conducting 28 semi-structured interviews the author used the multisited research methodology including the sending (Kiev, Rogosin near Lviv, Poltava and Ivano-Frankovsk) and the receiving (Bielefeld) localities.

Findings – The research results point out how correspondent gender narratives, self-ethnicization and migrants’ strategies of status representation structure the unequal support distribution. First, marital status regulates quantities of migrant women's support, which encourages the self-exploitation of married migrant women, in contrast to single mothers. Second, the quantities of migrant men's social support are influenced by their educational achievements in Germany. In sum, migrant men and single mothers are generally sooner integrated into the formal labor market than married migrant women.

Limitations – The interpretation of research results is limited to a number of qualitative interviews and should not be over-generalized in a quantitative manner. Nevertheless, it provides insights into how the transnationally organized reproductive sector influences migrants’ social mobility in the country of destination.

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Analyzing Gender, Intersectionality, and Multiple Inequalities: Global, Transnational and Local Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-743-8

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Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Stacey J. Lee, Shuning Liu and Sejung Ham

Ethnographers and other qualitative social scientists have long reflected on the ways researcher identity – who we are – shapes how we see and understand what and whom we…

Abstract

Ethnographers and other qualitative social scientists have long reflected on the ways researcher identity – who we are – shapes how we see and understand what and whom we encounter in our research, and how research participants see and understand us. In “Insider–outsider–inbetweener? Researcher positioning, participative methods, and cross-cultural educational research,” Milligan (2016) takes up questions regarding researcher positionality in qualitative research in the field of comparative and international education. In particular, Milligan argues for the use of participative techniques to gain insider perspectives and to lessen unequal power relations between researcher and the researched in cross-cultural research. In this chapter, we will engage Milligan’s discussion of participative research by analyzing the similarities and differences in studying participants with relative social privilege versus studying those from marginalized communities. Specifically, we will reflect on two ethnographic studies that explored the global educational aspirations of middle and upper middle-class Asian students. Furthermore, we attempt to complicate the discussion of “cross-cultural” research by arguing that in the neoliberal global context, researchers and the researched may move back and forth across national and cultural boundaries. The chapter concludes by raising questions regarding the unique challenges of conducting cross-cultural studies that flow across national boundaries.

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Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2017
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-765-4

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Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Benjamin Schiemer, Elke Schüßler and Gernot Grabher

This chapter advances our understanding of collaborative innovation processes that span across organizational boundaries by providing an ethnographic account of idea…

Abstract

This chapter advances our understanding of collaborative innovation processes that span across organizational boundaries by providing an ethnographic account of idea generation dynamics in a member-initiated online songwriting community. Applying a science and technology studies perspective on processes “in the making,” the findings of this chapter reveal the generative entanglements of three processes of content-in-the-making, skill-in-the-making, and community-in-the-making that were triggered and maintained over time by temporary stabilizations of provisional, interim outcomes. These findings also elucidate interferences between these three processes, particularly when an increased focus on songs as products undermines the ongoing collaborative production of ideas. Regular interventions in the community design were necessary to simultaneously stimulate the three processes and counteract interfering tendencies that either prioritized content production, community building, or skill development, respectively. The authors conclude that firms seeking to tap into online communities’ innovative potential need to appreciate community and skill development as creative processes in their own right that have to be fostered and kept in sync with content production.

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Managing Inter-organizational Collaborations: Process Views
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-592-0

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Book part
Publication date: 24 October 2018

Sabina Leonelli

A heated debate surrounds the significance of reproducibility as an indicator for research quality and reliability, with many commentators linking a “crisis of…

Abstract

A heated debate surrounds the significance of reproducibility as an indicator for research quality and reliability, with many commentators linking a “crisis of reproducibility” to the rise of fraudulent, careless, and unreliable practices of knowledge production. Through the analysis of discourse and practices across research fields, I point out that reproducibility is not only interpreted in different ways, but also serves a variety of epistemic functions depending on the research at hand. Given such variation, I argue that the uncritical pursuit of reproducibility as an overarching epistemic value is misleading and potentially damaging to scientific advancement. Requirements for reproducibility, however they are interpreted, are one of many available means to secure reliable research outcomes. Furthermore, there are cases where the focus on enhancing reproducibility turns out not to foster high-quality research. Scientific communities and Open Science advocates should learn from inferential reasoning from irreproducible data, and promote incentives for all researchers to explicitly and publicly discuss (1) their methodological commitments, (2) the ways in which they learn from mistakes and problems in everyday practice, and (3) the strategies they use to choose which research components of any project need to be preserved in the long term, and how.

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Including a Symposium on Mary Morgan: Curiosity, Imagination, and Surprise
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-423-7

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Book part
Publication date: 13 December 2021

Heike Derwanz

Buying secondhand clothing is not only interesting for consumers wanting to save money but also for sustainable clothing enthusiasts. It is now among a number of…

Abstract

Buying secondhand clothing is not only interesting for consumers wanting to save money but also for sustainable clothing enthusiasts. It is now among a number of consumption practices which slow down fast fashion production while saving 10 to 20 times the energy (Fletcher, 2008, p. 100). While most of the recent scholarly work focuses on secondhand consumers (Bianchi & Birtwistle, 2010; Franklin, 2011; Norum, 2015), this paper aims to examine business activities. This perspective from economic anthropology enhances understandings of secondhand clothing, as research to-date has tended to neglect the semiotic function of clothing while underlining exchanges. To gain insight into the dynamics of the sector in Germany today, two businesses from Hamburg have been ethnographically examined by the author since 2014. This study outlines their work practices and explains the development of this high-end segment of the market from the 1970s until the digital age. For businesses, the digitalization of the trade has had massive effects on their business practice because it seems to solve inherent problems connected to the selling of pre-owned clothing. I argue that the digitalization did not only promote acceptance of buying secondhand clothing in Germany but also the emergence of new businesses models.

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Infrastructure, Morality, Food and Clothing, and New Developments in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-434-3

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Book part
Publication date: 1 October 2013

Christine Vatovec, Laura Senier and Michael Mayerfeld Bell

Millions of people die of chronic diseases within inpatient settings annually in the United States, despite patient preferences for dying at home. This medicalization of…

Abstract

Purpose

Millions of people die of chronic diseases within inpatient settings annually in the United States, despite patient preferences for dying at home. This medicalization of dying has received social and economic critiques for decades. This chapter offers a further analysis to these critiques by examining the ecological impacts of inpatient end-of-life care on the natural environment and occupational and public health.

Methodology

We compare the ecological health outcomes of medical care in three inpatient units (conventional cancer unit, palliative care ward, and hospice facility) using ethnographic observations, semi-structured interviews, and institutional records on medical supply use, waste generation, and pharmaceutical administration and disposal.

Findings

Care provided on all three medical units had significant socioecological impacts. Cumulative impacts were greatest on the conventional unit, followed by palliative care, and lowest on the hospice unit. Variations in impacts mirrored differences in dependence on material interventions, which arose from variations in patient needs, institutional policies, and nursing cultures between the three units.

Practical implications

Social and economic concerns have been major drivers in reforming end-of-life medical care, and our analysis shows that ecological concerns must also be considered. Transitioning terminal patients to less materially intensive modes of care when appropriate could mitigate ecological health impacts while honoring patient preferences.

Originality

This chapter describes how the medicalization of dying has converged with institutional policies, practices, and actors to increase the negative consequences of medical care, and recognizes that the far-reaching impacts of clinical decisions make the provision of medical care a socioecological act.

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Ecological Health: Society, Ecology and Health
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-323-0

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Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2011

Soonkwan Hong

Purpose – This interpretive study aims to demonstrate how dialectics might hamper researchers' imagination, inspiration, and insight that can otherwise enhance the…

Abstract

Purpose – This interpretive study aims to demonstrate how dialectics might hamper researchers' imagination, inspiration, and insight that can otherwise enhance the understanding of a variety of phenomena in consumer-market dynamics and subsequently propose Foucauldian genealogy as an alternative to theorize such dynamics in the current consumer culture.

Methodology/approach – An ethonographic field study is conducted in the context of X Games, followed by an empirical juxtaposition of semiotic square, as a dialectical analysis, and a genealogical analysis of the same textual data.

Findings – Consumer-market dynamics operate based on interactions and mutual facilitations among four theoretically and empirically distinct groups of consumers in the context of X Games: pragmatic, stigmatized, distinction-oriented, and self-normalizing consumers. The historic conflict between consumers and the market steeped in Hegelian dialectics is contested in the dynamics due to the switch of modes(arts) of being(consumption) made by individual consumers who respectively participate in the system through presentation and representation.

Implications – A multitude of reality/truth-making is present in the consumer-market dynamics; thus, the dialectical view of the systematic progression of the market is found to be less implicative than the genealogical view of the system as polyvalent power relations.

Details

Research in Consumer Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-116-9

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