The Ethnographic Imagination

The Ethnographic Imagination

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Description

In this book Paul Willis, a renowned sociologist and ethnographer, aims to renew and develop the ethnographic craft across the disciplines. Drawing from numerous examples of his own past and current work, he shows that ethnographic practice and the ethnographic imagination are vital to understanding the creativity and irreducibility of experience in all aspects of social and cultural practice.


Willis argues that ethnography plays a vital role in constituting 'sensuousness' in textual, methodological, and substantive ways, but it can do this only through the deployment of an associated theoretical imagination which cannot be found simply there in the field. He presents a bold and incisive ethnographically oriented view of the world, emphasizing the need for a deep-running social but also aesthetic sensibility. In doing so he brings new insights to the understanding of human action and its dialectical relation to social and symbolic structures. He makes original contributions to the understanding of the contemporary human uses of objects, artefacts and communicative forms, presenting a new analysis of commodity fetishism as central to consumption and to the wider social relations of contemporary societies. He also utilizes his perspective to further the understanding of the contemporary crisis in masculinity and to cast new light on various lived everyday cultures - at school, on the dole, on the street, in the Mall, in front of TV, in the dance club.


This book will be essential reading for all those involved in planning or contemplating ethnographic fieldwork and for those interested in the contributions it can make to the social sciences and humanities.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 12.7mm | 249.47g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 074560174X
  • 9780745601748
  • 547,259

Back cover copy

In this book Paul Willis, a renowned sociologist and ethnographer, aims to renew and develop the ethnographic craft across thedisciplines. Drawing from numerous examples of his own past andcurrent work, he shows that ethnographic practice and theethnographic imagination are vital to understanding the creativityand irreducibility of experience in all aspects of social andcultural practice.


Willis argues that ethnography plays a vital role inconstituting 'sensuousness' in textual, methodological, andsubstantive ways, but it can do this only through the deployment ofan associated theoretical imagination which cannot be found simplythere in the field. He presents a bold and incisiveethnographically oriented view of the world, emphasizing the needfor a deep-running social but also aesthetic sensibility. In doingso he brings new insights to the understanding of human action andits dialectical relation to social and symbolic structures. Hemakes original contributions to the understanding of thecontemporary human uses of objects, artefacts and communicativeforms, presenting a new analysis of commodity fetishism as centralto consumption and to the wider social relations of contemporarysocieties. He also utilizes his perspective to further theunderstanding of the contemporary crisis in masculinity and to castnew light on various lived everyday cultures - at school, on thedole, on the street, in the Mall, in front of TV, in the danceclub.


This book will be essential reading for all those involved inplanning or contemplating ethnographic fieldwork and for thoseinterested in the contributions it can make to the social sciencesand humanities.
show more

Table of contents

Foreword.
Part One: Art in the Everyday.
Chapter 1: Life as Art.
Chapter 2: Form.
Chapter 3: The Social.
Part Two: Ethnography in Post Modernity.
Chapter 4: The Quasi-Modo Commodity.
Chapter 5: Penetrations in the Post Modern World.
Chapter 6: Social Reproduction as Social History.
Chapter 7: The Ethnographic Imagination and 'Whole Ways of Life'.
Appendix.
Index
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Review quote

"Willis is at his best in this book when he turns to the data from his 30 years of ethnographic experience. He makes frequest reference to his observations in both Learning to Labor and the 1990, Common Culture, so that readers not yet acquainted with these works will not be at a disadvantage. Indeed, his observations are often so insightful that even those who have read one or both books might be tempted to take them up again." Methodology and Research Techniques "Willisa book is an intriguing attempt to pose questions about doing ethnography in our post--industrial a leisure societiesa ... it presents some genuinely interesting insights and ethnographic vignettes." Discourse & Society
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About Mr. Paul Willis

Paul Willis is Professor of Social and Cultural Studes at Wolverhampton University. He is also the Founding Editor of the journal
Ethnography.
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Rating details

16 ratings
3.12 out of 5 stars
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4 25% (4)
3 38% (6)
2 12% (2)
1 12% (2)
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