The Cultural Experience: Ethnography in Complex Society

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David W. McCurdy;James P. Spradley;Dianna J. Shandy

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Product Overview

The Cultural Experience has helped generations of undergraduates discover the excitement of ethnographic research through participation in relatively familiar cultures in North American society. Grounded in the interviewing-based ethnographic technique known as ethnosemantics, the latest edition continues to treat ethnography as a discovery process. Students are taught how to set up an ethnographic field study, choose a microculture, and find and approach an informant, as well as how to ask ethnographic questions, record data, and organize and analyze what they have learned. Detailed instruction on how to write an ethnography is also provided. The guidelines are followed by ten short but substantive, well-written student ethnographies on such microcultures as exotic dancing, firefighting, pest extermination, and the work of midwives and police detectives. The Second Edition of this popular classroom volume has been expanded to include boxed inserts that offer suggestions to aid in the research process, new material on how to use observation and narratives with the ethnosemantic approach, greater emphasis on how to find cultural themes and adaptive challenges by analyzing ethnographic field data, and more extensive strategies for writing the final ethnographic paper. The latest edition also presents an expanded treatment of ethical responsibilities as well as a discussion of the significance of ethnographic research and its applications in the workplace.

Titles of related interest also available from Waveland Press: Angrosino, Doing Cultural Anthropology: Projects for Ethnographic Data Collection, Second Edition (ISBN 9781577664642); Angrosino, Exploring Oral History: A Window on the Past (ISBN 9781577665687); Angrosino, Projects in Ethnographic Research (ISBN 9781577663690); Babbie, Observing Ourselves: Essays in Social Research (ISBN 9781577660194); Crane-Angrosino, Field Projects in Anthropology: A Student Handbook, Third Edition (ISBN 9780881336856); Emerson, Contemporary Field Research: Perspectives and Formulations, Second Edition (ISBN 9781577661856); and Marti, Starting Fieldwork: Methods and Experiences (ISBN 9781478632955).


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