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April 29 , 2011

For Ethnography


"This text is something of a masterclass in its own right. Few are as well placed to comment on the debates surrounding ethnography – debates which the author had been instrumental in shaping – and to offer a clear and authoritative call-to-arms to future, aspirant ethnographers. It is a passionate but realistic manifesto for those wishing to undertake the craft of ethnography and to do it well. All who read it will benefit."
- Sam Hillyard, Durham University

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This major book from one of the world’s foremost authorities recaptures the classic inspirations of ethnographic fieldwork in sociology and anthropology, reflecting on decades of methodological development and empirical research. It is part manifesto, part guidance on the appropriate focus of the ethnographic gaze.

Throughout Atkinson insists that ethnographic research must be faithful to the intrinsic and complex organization of everyday life. An attempt to rescue ethnography from contemporary ‘qualitative’ research, the book is a corrective to the corrosive effects of postmodernism on the analysis of social organization and social action. Atkinson affirms the value of fieldwork, while incorporating contemporary perspectives on social analysis.

Paul Atkinson is Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at Cardiff University, where he is also Associate Director of the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics.

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