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Urban ethnography : Its traditions and its future

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Urban ethnography : Its traditions and its future


ethnographie, ethnologie, délinquance, emploi, société urbaine, sociologie urbaine, immigration, migrant, Anderson Elijah


From the introduction by Elijah Anderson :
The articles collected in this special issue are based on papers presented at the Yale Urban Ethnography Conference, ‘Urban Ethnography: Its Traditions and Its Future’, held at Yale University in the spring of 2008.

The ethnographic field study is founded on the observation and rendering of nuance, texture, and the lives of the subjects.Informed by sociological theory, the ethnographer employs a careful, bottom-up approach to field observations and representations of how people are actually living their everyday lives, interacting with others, making decisions, and understanding their own social situations (Junker and Hughes, 1960). This research yields qualitative data which then enriches our understanding of existing theories and provides the groundwork for the development of new concepts, informing future study. Sustained ethnographic fieldwork aims at accumulating a store of ‘local knowledge’ (Geertz, 1983) and takes seriously the study of the ways in which ordinary people make sense of their social worlds, and navigate within them.

These basic ethnographic questions persist and guide us: how do city dwellers go about meeting the exigencies of their everyday lives; what is their interpretation and ‘definition of the situation’; and how ultimately do they make sense of their social worlds? In addressing these concerns, exciting newresearch by accomplished younger fieldworkers and reflections by established ethnographers are brought together in this special issue.
Contents :
Elijah Anderson - Introduction
Gerald D. Jaynes, David E. Apter, Herbert J. Gans, Ruth Horowitz, William Kornblum and James F. Short Jr - The Chicago School and the roots of urban ethnography
James F. Short Jr and Lorine A. Hughes - Urban ethnography and research integrity: Empirical and theoretical dimensions
Waverly Duck - ‘Senseless’ violence: Making sense of murder
Colin Jerolmack - Primary groups and cosmopolitan ties: The rooftop pigeon flyers of New York City
Jacob Avery - Taking chances: The experience of gambling loss
Jooyoung Lee - Open mic: Professionalizing the rap career
Esther Chihye Kim - ‘Mama’s family’: Fictive kinship and undocumented immigrant restaurant workers
Carol Cleaveland and Leo Pierson - Parking lots and police: Undocumented Latinos’ tactics for finding day labor jobs
Robert M. Emerson - Ethnography, interaction and ordinary trouble
William Julius Wilson and Anmol Chaddha - The role of theory in ethnographic research   Elijah Anderson is William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Sociology at Yale University.  






December 2009