What is "writing up?"
"Having notes—all neatly typed or bound, all stored safe and sound—is one thing," Rena Lederman writes. "But using notes is quite another." In this essay I examine the procedures by which fieldnotes are used in constructing ethnography. Despite the now voluminous size of the fieldwork literature, "the production of fieldnotes [and] the processes by which these are transformed into 'analysis' ... are still poorly covered" ( Ellen 1984b: 3). As an ethnographic practitioner, I am concerned more with writers and writing, with ethnographic craft, than with the art of Authors ( Geertz 1988: 17-20). More is involved than ethnographic impressionism (though that counts too), more than running off the numbers and tests of data gathered according to the experimental model (if that may also have its place). My aim is to demonstrate that "Yes, Virginia and Virgil, there is an ethnographic method."
Our problem is to make this method visible, and "this requires essentially what we might call an ethnography of ethnography: a description of exactly how ethnography is done" ( Berreman 1968: 368-69). The essays in this volume take us much of the way. Clifford and Lederman identify general and specific forms of writing in field‐ work. The Johnsons discuss the conscious and unconscious decisions