Tales of the Field

Tales of the Field : On Writing Ethnography

3.72 (203 ratings by Goodreads)
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For more than twenty years, John Van Maanen's "Tales of the Field" has been a definitive reference and guide for students, scholars, and practitioners of ethnography and beyond. Originally published in 1988, it was the one of the first works to detail and critically analyze the various styles and narrative conventions associated with written representations of culture. This is a book about the deskwork of fieldwork and the various ways culture is put forth in print. The core of the work is an extended discussion and illustration of three forms or genres of cultural representation - realist tales, confessional tales, and impressionist tales. The novel issues raised in "Tales" concern authorial voice, style, truth, objectivity, and point-of-view. Over the years, the work has both reflected and shaped changes in the field of ethnography. In this second edition, Van Maanen's substantial new epilogue charts and illuminates changes in the field since the book's first publication. Refreshingly humorous and accessible, "Tales of the Field" remains an invaluable introduction to novices learning the trade of fieldwork and a cornerstone of reference for veteran ethnographers.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 15.24mm | 294.84g
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 0226849643
  • 9780226849645
  • 82,915

Review quote

"John Van Maanen here gives us a spirited, self-reflexive guide to the rhetorical styles used in 'the cultural representation trade,' a quirky performance-art Strunk and White for ethnographers and their readers." (American Journal of Sociology) "Van Maanen has written a powerful statement, in the guise of a mere introduction, that compels us to rethink what we are doing and how well we are doing it.... This book is a terrific piece of work!" (Karl E. Weick, Administrative Science Quarterly)"
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About John Van Maanen

John Van Maanen is the Erwin H. Schell Professor of Organization Studies in the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Rating details

203 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 22% (44)
4 41% (84)
3 27% (54)
2 9% (18)
1 1% (3)
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