Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Second Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)

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In Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Robert M. Emerson, Rachel I. Fretz, and Linda L. Shaw present a series of guidelines, suggestions, and practical advice for creating useful fieldnotes in a variety of settings, demystifying a process that is often assumed to be intuitive and impossible to teach. Using actual unfinished notes as examples, the authors illustrate options for composing, reviewing, and working fieldnotes into finished texts. They discuss different organizational and descriptive strategies and show how transforming direct observations into vivid descriptions results not simply from good memory but from learning to envision scenes as written. A good ethnographer, they demonstrate, must learn to remember dialogue and movement like an actor, to see colors and shapes like a painter, and to sense moods and rhythms like a poet.

This new edition reflects the extensive feedback the authors have received from students and instructors since the first edition was published in 1995. As a result, they have updated the race, class, and gender section, created new sections on coding programs and revising first drafts, and provided new examples of working notes. An essential tool for budding social scientists, the second edition of Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes will be invaluable for a new generation of researchers entering the field.

Product Details

  • Series: Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; Second Edition edition (December 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226206831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226206837
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

Customer Reviews

A Great Reference for Qualitative Research Fieldnotes and More!

3 people found this helpful.
 on August 20, 2015
By Jessica Ward
Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, 2nd Edition, was a major asset in providing me the necessary knowledge and skills required for writing, editing, and publishing a successful dissertation. I was capable of following accepted approaches to qualitative social research and applying them in a manner that was significant in writing my fieldnotes.

super helpful.

3 people found this helpful.
 on March 1, 2015
By Gil
I wish they talked less about grounded theory and more about applying theoretical frameworks and a priori propositions in the analysis section. Otherwise, super helpful.

Five Stars

 on April 25, 2017
By Kim Haining
Very dry read but it gets the point across.

Five Stars

 on November 12, 2017
By Basharat Masih

Five Stars

 on September 7, 2017
By Carolyn Griffin
My daughter is using this text for her PhD class. She likes the book.

Good book

 on March 3, 2017
By clown

Must have

4 people found this helpful.
 on September 21, 2012
By Amazon Customer
This book is a guide that works with the beginning ethnographer to build their research skills. The authors employ techniques to ensure the reader isn’t only learning the method, but also helpful tips for coping with difficulties. I found their reassurance that doing ethnography is a craft to be personalized and modifying very refreshing for a how-to book.

Fantastic book for those who need help with their writing …

One person found this helpful.
 on June 25, 2016
By NatCanon
Fantastic book for those who need help with their writing of fieldnotes! My field journal is now so much useful than before!

Great informational and instructional book

2 people found this helpful.
 on November 18, 2014
By Eliza
Excellent book for anyone heading into the field. Read before doing fieldwork in sub-Saharan Africa this past summer. Was helpful and informative!

Deep, clear and useful…

4 people found this helpful.
 on August 15, 2013
By MapsMind Libros
This is both an academic guide and a practical advice book. It is useful even for beginners. It focuses in fieldwork, and do not go deep in theoretical concepts. It is useful as a daily work guide,

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