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Ethnography Unbound
From Theory Shock to Critical Praxis
Ethnography Unbound
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Stephen Gilbert Brown - Editor
Sidney I. Dobrin - Editor
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 338 pages
Release Date: February 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-6051-7
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6051-1

Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 338 pages
Release Date: February 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-6052-5
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6052-8

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Problematizes traditional ethnographic research methods, offering instead self-reflexive critical practices.

These provocative new essays redefine the goals, methods, and assumptions of qualitative and ethnographic research in composition studies, making evident not only the crucial importance of ethnographic research, but also its resilience. As Ethnography Unbound makes evident, critical ethnographers are retheorizing their methodologies in ways that both redefine ethnographic practices and values and, at the same time, have begun to liberate ethnographic practices from the often-disabling stronghold of postmodern critique. Showing how ethnography works through dialogic processes and moves toward political ends, this collection opens the doors to rethinking ethnographic research in composition studies.

"Ethnography Unbound is a marvelously diverse collection of pieces that help us think carefully about ethical practices as we interview, analyze, interpret, and write about human behavior and teach our students to do likewise. Situated in the shifting, overlapping spaces between composition, anthropology, women's studies, eco-composition, and teacher education, critical ethnography offers us ways to describe the lives of strangers in ways that are more respectful, aware, egalitarian, and empowering than we have thought to be, before. How and when should a researcher include her own story—her emotions, her doubts, her assumptions, her upbringing—in writing about others? How closely should we identify—or claim to identify—with the people we study? How can a deeper understanding of benefits and consequences to research participants help us modify our practices? How can we become critical readers as well as critical researchers and writers of ethnographies? This volume offers ways to think about theory, argue about definitions and underlying assumptions, reflect on our research practices, and plan practical applications for our classrooms." — Helen Fox, author of Listening to the World: Cultural Issues in Academic Writing

Contributors include Janet Alsup, Robert Brooke, Stephen Gilbert Brown, Mary Brydon-Miller, Sidney I. Dobrin, Lynée Lewis Gaillet, Gwen Gorzelsky, Susan S. Hanson, Charlotte Hogg, Bruce Horner, Christopher Keller, John Sylvester Lofty, Min-Zhan Lu, Lance Massey, Mary Jo Reiff, Christopher Schroeder, Sharon McKenzie Stevens, and Bronwyn T. Williams.

Stephen Gilbert Brown is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and author of Words in the Wilderness: Critical Literacy in the Borderlands, also published by SUNY Press. Sidney I. Dobrin is Associate Professor of English at the University of Florida. He has published many books in composition theory, including the SUNY Press title, Natural Discourse: Toward Ecocomposition, (coauthored with Christian R. Weisser).

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction. New Writers of the Cultural Sage: From Postmodern Theory Shock to Critical Praxis
Stephen Gilbert Brown and Sidney I. Dobrin

I. Theoretical and Rhetorical Perspectives

2. Critical Ethnography, Ethics, and Work: Rearticulating Labor
Bruce Horner

3. Mediating Materiality and Discursivity: Critical Ethnography as Metageneric Learning
Mary Jo Reiff

4. The Ethnographic Experience of Postmodern Literacies
Christopher Schroeder

5. Shifting Figures: Rhetorical Ethnography
Gwen Gorzelsky

6. Writing Program Redesign: Learning from Ethnographic Inquiry, Civic Rhetoric, and the History of Rhetorical Education
Lynée Lewis Gaillet

II. Place-Conscious Ethnographies: Situating Praxis in the Field

7. Open to Change: Ethos, Identification, and Critical Ethnography in Composition Studies
Robert Brooke and Charlotte Hogg

8. State Standards in the United States and the National Curriculum in the United Kingdom: Political Siege Engines against Teacher Professionalism?
John Sylvester Lofty

9. Debating Ecology: Ethnographic Writing that "Makes a Difference"
Sharon McKenzie Stevens

III. The Nomadic Self: Reorganizing the Self in the Field

10. Critical Auto/Ethnography: A Constructive Approach to Research in the Composition Classroom
Susan S. Hanson

11. Unsituating the Subject: "Locating" Composition and Ethnography in Mobile Worlds
Christopher Keller

12. Protean Subjectivities: Qualitative Research and the Inclusion of the Personal
Janet Alsup

IV. Ethnographies of Cultural Change

13. Changing Directions: Participatory-Action Research, Agency, and Representation
Bronwyn T. Williams and Mary Brydon-Miller

14. Just What Are We Talking About? Disciplinary Struggle and the Ethnographic Imaginary
Lance Massey

V. Texts and (Con)Texts: Intertextual Voices

15. The Ethics of Reading Critical Ethnography
Min-Zhan Lu

16. Beyond Theory Shock: Ethos, Knowledge, and Power in Critical Ethnography
Stephen Gilbert Brown

List of Contributors


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