19 SES 11, The Role and Experiences of Writing in Ethnographic Research
The writing of ethnographic field-notes is an essential part of the ethnographic process. A major concern regarding observational notes written in the field relates to the nature of these field-notes; whose reality do they represent, how is this reality portrayed and who judges its validity. Qualitative research, unlike quantitative research, does not have a mathematical scientific epistemology upon which to validate its activity. Ely et al (1992) argue that ‘Narrative is a method of enquiry and a way of knowing – a discourse and analysis – just as scientism and quantitative research have methods and ways. The ethnographer is the analytical instrument; their perspectives, analyses and re-presentation are the main methodological instrument that carries out the research. The validity of their representation cannot be seen as ‘a true account’, but it can be a ‘subtle reality’ (Hammersley, 1992), in which the representation is seen as relevant, plausible and creditable and validated by the ethnographer’s peers through review and critique. This subtle reality will appear to the readers of these representations as a vraisemblance, a representation of a situation or context as a valid account according to their experiences in similar situations or those similar experiences described in the literature.
This symposium will commence with an introduction to the kind of writing carried out in an ethnography (Jeffrey). We will then focus on issues concerning: collaborative analysis of fieldnotes over digital connections, (Parker Webster etal); the effects on the ethnographer of a close collaborative approach to fieldnotes (Raggl), a description of an ethnographer ‘being’ in the situation and ‘with’ the participants and the effect on fieldnotes (Thomson) and lastly a paper on fieldnotes in relation to children’s perspectives and engagement (Clemente and Milstein).
Atkinson, P., 1991 The Ethnographic Imagination: textual construction of reality (London Routledge) Brewer, J, D. 2000 Ethnography, (Buckingham, Open University Press) Clifford, J, (1990) Notes on (Field)notes In Fieldnotes: The makings of anthropology, R, Sanjek (Ed.), p 47-70 Denzin, N., (1997) Interpretive Ethnography: Ethnographic Practices for the 21st Century (London Sage) Ely, M., Vinz, R., Downing, M., Anzul, M. (1997), On writing qualitative research: Living by words (London Falmer Press) Hammersley, M. (1992) Some reflections on ethnography and validity. Qualitative studies in education 5 (3): pp.193-203. Tyler S. (1986), ’Post-modern ethnography: from document of the occult to occult document’ in J. Clifford and G. Marcus, Writing Culture, (Berkley, CA. Univesity of California Press) Van Maanen, J. (1988) Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography. (Chicago, University of Chicago Press) Walcott, The Art Of Fieldwork, (1995), (Walnut Creek, CA, AltaMira Press) Woods, P. (1996) Researching the art of teaching, Routledge, London (p.98)
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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