Dr Marsha Henry (School for Policy Studies, email: Marsha.Henry@bristol.ac.uk).eth·nog·ra·phy (eth-'nä-gr&-fE): as social research based on the close-up, on-the-ground observation of people and institutions in real time and space, in which the investigator embeds herself [sic] near (or within) the phenomenon so as to detect how and why agents on the scene act, think and feel the way they do (Wacquant, 2003: 1)
This series of research workshops will critically engage with recent reflective work on ethnography as a method in the social sciences. Although ethnography is often associated with Anthropology and Sociology, it has been used extensively by scholars in a number of disciplines including human geography, education, and more recently, political science, and as a result conversations on the craft have come from beyond the ‘AnSo’ Canon. Scholars working at the intersections of disciplines have, for many years, written about the theoretical and practical dilemmas of conducting ethnographic work and in so doing, have drawn attention to issues of power, truth, representation, reflexivity, ethics, identity and embodiment, drawing on their experiences.
These discussions have had a transformative effect on the ethnographic craft in theory and practice as well as contributing to stimulating debates within disciplines. As such, ethnography in many of these discussions is noted to be a dynamic and living process, constantly influenced by challenges and contestations from scholars writing in the field. Yet it is not always the case that scholars working in different disciplines have an opportunity to discuss and debate the ways in which they use and challenge ethnography within and across their home discipline. As such, this series of workshops provides the opportunity for critical, cross-disciplinary dialogue.
This workshop will include international scholars and interdisciplinary perspectives. International scholars who have all made seminal contributions to debates in ethnography include:
The workshops will build on and develop the interdisciplinary nature of current discussions on ethnography through engaging scholars in the University of Bristol. Scholars who have made significant contributions to methodology debates at the University of Bristol include: