Interpretive Ethnography of Education: At Home and Abroad

Interpretive Ethnography of Education: At Home and Abroad

Interpretive Ethnography of Education: At Home and Abroad

Interpretive Ethnography of Education: At Home and Abroad

Synopsis

This ambitious and unique volume sets a standard of excellence for research in educational ethnography. The interpretive studies brought together in this volume are outstanding discipline-based analyses of education both in the United States and in complex societies abroad.

Excerpt

Ethnographic approaches to the study of education, as a subset of qualitative research, have surged to prominence only in the past decade. They have raised new questions and provided some answers that correlational and experimental research designs did not. As with any new movement there is a tendency to oversell, and to drift away from the disciplinary foundations that make new approaches work predictably and effectively. This volume is intended as a corrective for both tendencies, and it breaks new ground. It samples the ongoing work of eighteen authors grappling with a very wide spectrum of educational processes and problems. Some of these authors are well-established, widely recognized scholars. Some are barely out of graduate training. All are doing innovative, ethnographic, research and writing. They are also all (but one), trained in anthropology, the mother discipline of ethnography. Though ethnography is legitimately practiced by others, its situated history is in the history of cultural anthropology, with some very significant contributions from sociology.

This is not to say that the volume is intended only for educators and social scientists who have an anthropological background. Although organized and written from the perspective of educational anthropology, this book is aimed at a wider and more general audience. A quick scan of the table of contents confirms the breadth of its focus. There are chapters on how the ethnography of schooling is done, written by people who have worked in schools for much of their professional lives. There are chapters on schools abroad, studied ethnographically. There are chapters on immigrants and minorities in our own schools. There are chapters on . . .

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