Improvising Theory Process and Temporality in Ethnographic Fieldwork

ISBN-10: 0226100316
ISBN-13: 9780226100319
Edition: 2007
List price: $26.00 Buy it from $18.95
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Description: Scholars have long recognized that ethnographic method is bound up with the construction of theory in ways that are difficult to teach. The reason, Allaine Cerwonka and Liisa H. Malkki argue, is that ethnographic theorization is essentially  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 7/15/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

Scholars have long recognized that ethnographic method is bound up with the construction of theory in ways that are difficult to teach. The reason, Allaine Cerwonka and Liisa H. Malkki argue, is that ethnographic theorization is essentially improvisatory in nature, conducted in real time and in necessarily unpredictable social situations. In a unique account of, and critical reflection on, the process of theoretical improvisation in ethnographic research, they demonstrate how both objects of analysis, and our ways of knowing and explaining them, are created and discovered in the give and take of real life, in all its unpredictability and immediacy. Improvising Theorycenters on the year-long correspondence between Cerwonka, then a graduate student in political science conducting research in Australia, and her anthropologist mentor, Malkki. Through regular e-mail exchanges, Malkki attempted to teach Cerwonka, then new to the discipline, the basic tools and subtle intuition needed for anthropological fieldwork. The result is a strikingly original dissection of the processual ethics and politics of method in ethnography.

Acknowledgments
Nervous Conditions: The Stakes in Interdisciplinary Research
The Fulbright Proposal
Fieldwork Correspondence
Tradition and Improvisation in Ethnographic Field Research
References
Index

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