Ethnography as Work




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Ethnography as Work

Basic Argument

Ethnography can be primarily defined as the methodologies and analyses of social research (Moeran 2006, 17). It has distinctive features best of which are its written products and pragmatic orientations. The paper covers constitutive and overlapping ethnography tasks as a response to Tony Watson’s Essay.

Tony Watson’s illuminating remarks are very much similar to the ideologies and ode to ethnography that I behold. The orientation of the writing practices of the field and his commentary on the neglect of pragmatism as angled in his works bear great relevance.

The other very significant feature of Tony’s work is the application formulas to encourage more participants to take up ethnographic craft to fully comprehend management of organizations.

However, Tony’s essay bears a tremendous shortfall with the notion that practicing ethnography by individuals aspiring to venture in the field should not cover experiences of organizations. As if and yet, the essay further deduces that ethnographers should mainstream.

In a generalized perception toward ethnography, I handle the matters that succinctly define the features of Tony Watson’s essay with an inclusion of all contexts in a broader sense. Objectively, my essay constitutes ethnography with the social dynamics and serves as a recreation of the field (Moeran 2006, 24).

Founded on institutionalized, strategic but in a larger dimension pragmatic rules, the essay defines fieldwork as distinctive scholarly work. It also stipulates the challenges that ethnographers must bear in the procedurals of developing an ethnographic report and even its reception. The other features of the essay is the two Counterpoints with one in support of the venerable notion and the other offering advocacy for the outsider role.

The essay is an appraisal of the history and the engagement of ethnography in the studies of organizations and management of such (Moeran 2006, 29).

Philosophical Positioning

On Fieldwork;

The primary involvement of ethnography as a social practice is inclusive of the comprehension of culture and activities pertaining to such. The practice of ethnography is very hands on with direct involvement and participation of the researcher in grounds activities (Moeran 2006, 34).

The first-hand gathering of information involves direct observation and understanding of the study. That aspect of the subject makes it a fieldwork, with little left to the comfort of office and classroom situations.

The biographical and contextual variation in fieldwork practices as pointed by Tony does not show the virtual aspect of lengthy participant observation. Evolution of the fieldwork is an intuition of the vulnerability that a researcher should bear in the course of the study. A chorused agreement is created between Tony and me about the misunderstanding of continued voluntary venture into such a field that derails individuals’ dignity.

Tony’s response to that factor as the dire need to gain primary information by direct participation is high but inadequate. To meet that shortfall, the need is coupled with an attempt to decipher the cultural practices that are employed by the study population (Moeran 2006, 38).

On Headwork;

Headwork is the conceptual development and representational practices that guide a researcher toward the realization of objectives. Ethnography’s focus on the experimental has generated poor reception to generalized and abstract immersions. Pragmatists who favor fallibilism and theoretical pluralism in the approach to comprehension of human activities bear great relevance in this aspect.

Significantly, the headwork is an involvement in the creation and development of theories and concepts for research. There is the importance for the application of the social theory. Choice of the theory is very much influenced by its applicability (Moeran 2006, 45).

On Textwork;

The high demand and intensity of labor input into ethnography that is the representation of the work done by the personnel is thrown to waste unrecorded. The primary focus of an ethnographical research is to obtain a written report. Just like fieldwork, there are choices involved in fieldwork that should cohere with the presentation of the processes. Such options may include voice, interpretations or even use of imagery.

Tony’s attempt to conceptualize the use of voices of participants reduce the indignity of reporting that is very much favored by some ethnographers. Tale-telling burdens ethnography and reduces the locality in time and space. Epistemological hypochondria also derails the development of the field (Moeran 2006, 53).

The applicability of Tony’s examination of the processes of organization and management is, therefore, set to durable. However, its application to topical variation, methodological imagination and diversity of styles should have room for self-conscious selection of genres by ethnographers. As such, defense, combination and blend are made easier for the researcher (Moeran 2006, 56).

On the Native’s Point of View;

The need to decipher the perspectives be held by others in the quest to comprehend their culture and their environment should not be compromised by limitations of sharing the same environs. A full-scale understanding of the whole issue involves the psychic interpretation. Though the valuation of experiences may be different, the scale of involvement enlightens the ethnographer to greater depths (Moeran 2006, 61).

This ‘penetration’ of subjectivity that creates as much similarity as differences with the subjects is not examined by Tony. Actions of the subjects are thus not easier to come to terms with. In a sense, Tony goes back on his validation and contradicts himself.

On Mainstreaming;

Ethnography’s objective is to simplify the understanding of circumstances and are met by curiosity from the parties involved. Without a detailed conceptualized understanding of the field of study, an ethnographic report would be baseless (Moeran 2006, 88).

Tony’s proposal on mainstreaming is a threat to the practices of the field. The purpose of ethnography is not to achieve academic ovation but to create an insight into the culture around us. In no way should it be reduced to creation and comprehension of lab works (Moeran 2006, 90).

Strengths if the Approach

The approach gives a detailed comprehension of every aspect of a culture. It poles ethnography to examine every aspect of research and sieve the relevant from the irrelevant. The direct involvement gives credence to the creation of a report that is self-explanatory and explicit enough to widen the dimensions into the particular field of study (Moeran 2006, 95).

Applications of the derivatives of this report compels an ethnographer to live out the true meaning of the creed of ethnography. That is because it beats the misconceptions and reestablishes the morals of ethnography (Moeran 2006, 99).

Limitations of the Approach

Ethnography is labor intensive and very demanding. The patience involved in comprehension of the culture, selection of choices and even creation of an ethnographic report is in itself time-consuming. Following every aspect of this approach would serve to pile more burden upon an ethnographer. Examination of every aspect, even the most obvious, eats up on time.

The procedurals do not just slow down the whole process, but they come with financial strain as the durable involvement in a society so to thoroughly understand them would require more finances.

Reference List

MOERAN, B. (2006). Ethnography at work. Oxford [u.a.], Berg.