Expressions of Ethnography

Novel Approaches to Qualitative Methods

Edited by Robin Patric Clair

Subjects: Educational Research
Paperback : 9780791458242, 318 pages, August 2003
Hardcover : 9780791458235, 318 pages, August 2003

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Table of contents


Prologue: Introduction

Part One: An Overview of Ethnography

1. The Changing Story of Ethnography
Robin Patric Clair

Part Two: Ethnographic Perspectives

2. Living and Writing Feminist Ethnographies: Threads in a Quilt Stitched From the Heart
Pamela Chapman Sanger

3. Musings on Critical Ethnography, Meanings, and Symbolic Violence
Jim Thomas

4. What is Interpretive Ethnography? An Eclectic's Tale
H. L. Goodall Jr.

5. Postmodernism, Ethnography, and Communication Studies: Comments and a Case
Bryan C. Taylor

6. An Ethics for Post-Colonial Ethnography
Maria Cristina González

7. The Beauty and Logic of Aesthetic Ethnography
Robin Patric Clair

Part Three: Dialogue and Interview as Expressions of Ethnography

8. Ethnographic Interviewing as Contextualized Conversation
Christina W. Stage and Marifran Mattson

9. Contextualized Conversation: Interviewing Exemplars
Marifran Mattson and Christina W. Stage

10. Hearing Voices/Learning Questions
William K. Rawlins

11. Sighted, Blind, and In Between: Similarity and Difference in Ethnographic Inquiry
Elaine Bass Jenks

Part Four: Personal Narratives as Expressions of Ethnography

12. Ethnography as the Excavation of Personal Narrative
Robert L. Krizek

13. Telling the Story of Birth
Paaige K. Turner

14. Watching the Watchers: Making Sense of Emotional Constructions Behind Bars
Sarah J. Tracy

Part Five: Short Stories as Expressions of Ethnography

15. Hands
Lisa M. Tillmann-Healy

16. He Touched, He Took
Christine E. Kiesinger

17. Happy to Be Writing
Patricia Geist-Martin

18. The Millennium Waltz: A Story in Three-Quarter Time
Julie M. Crandall and Mary Helen Brown

Part Six: Novels as Expressions of Ethnography

19. Geocommunication: A Paradigm of Place
Catherine Becker and Frederick C. Corey

Part Seven: Artifacts as Expressions of Ethnography

20. "Reality Ends Here": Graffiti as an Artifact
Dean Scheibel

21. Sense-Making Artifacts on the Margins of Cultural Spaces
Amardo Rodriguez

Part Eight: Genealogy and Postcolonial Identities as Expressions of Ethnography

22. Genealogy as an Ethnographic Enterprise
Jason E. Combs

23. In Search of Naunny's Ethnicity: An (Auto)Ethnographic Study of a Family's Ethnic Identity
Nick Trujillo

24. Rhythms of Dis-Location: Family History, Ethnographic Spaces, and Reflexivity
Devika Chawla

25. Starvin' Marvin's Got an Injun: A Visit to the Homeland
Robin Patric Clair

Epilogue: Future Directions

List of Contributors


A different approach to contemporary ethnography, embracing the idea that alternative genres may be used to express cultural experience.


Expressions of Ethnography embraces the idea that alternative genres may be used to express culture. Using examples of a wide variety of cultural phenomena, contemporary ways to practice ethnography, and novel forms of expressing the cultural experience, the book offers an eclectic mix of short stories, novels, and poetry, as well as traditional scholarly reports of poignant, provocative, and powerful cultural phenomena. Included are accounts of recovery following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, life as a prison guard, surviving child abuse and coping via an eating disorder, dealing with disabilities, living the gay life, birthing babies, as well as searching for birth mothers. Special attention is given to dialogue, from dialogue with families and friends to American ethnographers interviewing Thai managers.

Robin Patric Clair is Associate Professor of Communication at Purdue University. She is the author of Organizing Silence: A World of Possibilities, also published by SUNY Press and winner of the National Communication Association Organizational Communication Division's Outstanding Book of the Year (2000).