Ethnography as Work: Some Rules of Engagement

  • Van Maanen J
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Ethnography is both a methodological approach to and an analytic perspective on social research. It has a long history and pedigree in organization and management studies and well beyond. Perhaps the most distinctive features of ethnography are its pragmatic orientations and its written products. As a way of responding to Tony Watson’s essay, I look at three constitutive (and overlapping) tasks – fieldwork, headwork, and textwork – as a way to sketch out a few craft-like rules for ‘how things work’ within ethnographic circles. This is an enlargement of Tony’s argument rather than a challenge. I conclude however with remarks on two areas (i.e. the native’s point of view and the peripheral position of ethnography) where Tony and I seem to differ.

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  • John Van Maanen

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