You are here

Being Ethnographic

Being Ethnographic
A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Ethnography

Second Edition

Other Titles in:

September 2017 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Being Ethnographic is an essential introductory guidebook to the methods and applications of doing fieldwork in real-world settings. It discusses the future of ethnography, explores how we understand identity, and sets out the role of technology in a global, networked society.

Driven by classic and anecdotal case studies, Being Ethnographic highlights the challenges introduced by the ethnographers' own interests, biases and ideologies and demonstrates the importance of methodological reflexivity. Addressing both the why and how questions of doing ethnography well, Madden demonstrates how both theory and practice can work together to produce insights into the human condition. This fully updated second edition includes:

  • New material on intersubjectivity
  • Information on digital inscription tools
  • A practical guide to qualitative analysis software
  • New coverage of cyberethnography and social media
  • Expanded information on ethnographic possibilities with animals

Filled with invaluable advice for applying ethnographic principles in the field, it will give researchers across social sciences everything they need to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

Section One: Key Concepts and Theoretical Frames
Chapter 1: ‘Definitions’, methods and applications
Characterising ethnography  
Practical and conceptual origins  
Applications and ethics  
Chapter 2: Ethnographic fields: home and away
Making place: what is an ethnographic field?  
Some favourite fields  
Ethnography at home  
Multisited and un-sited ethnography  
Section Two: Doing Ethnography
Chapter 3: Talking to people: negotiations, conversations and interviews
Chapter 4: Being with people: participation
Immersion ethnography  
Step-in-step-out ethnography  
Embodiment and the ethnographer  
The ethical participant  
Chapter 5: Looking at people: observations and images
The ethnographic gaze  
The systematic eye  
Visual ethnography  
Seeing is believing  
Section Three: Inscription
Chapter 6: Description: writing ‘down’ fieldnotes
Writing ‘down’  
The systematic hand  
What goes into notebooks  
Examples of fieldnotes  
Chapter 7: Analysis to interpretation: writing ‘out’ data
Organising primary data  
Organising secondary data  
Writing ‘out’ data  
Chapter 8: Interpretation to story: writing ‘up’ ethnography
The storied reality  
Author and audience  
Writing as the continuation of interpretation  
Structure in an ethnographic story  
Style in ethnographic writing  
Section Four: Expanding Ethnography
Chapter 9: Conclusion: ethnographic horizons
Cyber Ethnography  
Non-human ethnography  

With a vivid writing style, Madden uses stories from the field to illustrate how fascinating conducting ethnography can be.

Hanne Kirstine Adriansen
Education, Aarhus University

This new edition is an even more excellent addition to ethnographic literature than the previous edition. With an accessible, stimulating style, it draws richly on the author’s ethnographic experiences, identifying their benefits and pitfalls, and discusses ethnographic uses of technology, virtual environments and different aspects of non-human ethnography.

Peter Sercombe
Applied Linguistics and Communication, Newcastle University

an excellent book for students who are interested in using blogs as a means of qualitative research. This book is easy to understand and useful at all levels of research

Patsy Morgan
Southampton Solent Business School, Southampton Solent University
October 22, 2018

An excellent ethnographic text. Informative, interesting and extremely well-written. Am enjoyable read and at the same time an informative 'how to' for those conducting ethnographic research.

Mrs Angela Mazzetti
HRM and Organisational Studies, Newcastle University
May 26, 2018

one of my favorites!

Ms Roswitha Kersten-Pejanic
Department Of Slavic Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin
January 9, 2018

The book is very student-friendly and provides a stimulating and rich introduction to ethnography. It draws from the experience of the author and its many case studies are particularly useful for students from various disciplines (e.g. geography, tourism, leisure studies) interested in anthropology.

Mr Nick Naumov
Northampton Business School, Northampton University
September 8, 2017

An excellent and well-written introduction to a very complex area of research using many relevant examples drawn from the author's own practice.

Mr Paul Demetriou-Crane
Education, Havering College of Further and Higher Education
September 8, 2017

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: ‘Definitions’, methods and applications

Preview this book

Raymond Madden

Raymond Madden is an anthropologist in the School of Social Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He has taught ethnographic methods, applied anthropology, and human and animal anthropology for over a decade. He published textbook, Being Ethnographic in 2010 and a second edition in 2017 (SAGE). He has also worked extensively in the area of native title research in South East Australia and has an emerging interest in human and animal sociality. More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781473952157
ISBN: 9781473952140