From “being there” to “being (…) where?”: relocating ethnography

From “being there” to “being (…) where?”: relocating ethnography Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to expand recent discussions of research practice in organizational ethnography by engaging in a reflexive examination of the ethnographer's situated identity work across different research spaces: academic, personal and the research site itself. Design/methodology/approach – Examines concerns with the traditional notion of “being there” as it applies to ethnography in contemporary organization studies and, through a confessional account exploring the author's own experiences as a PhD student conducting ethnography, considers “being (…) where?” using the analytic framework of situated identity work. Findings – Identifies both opportunities and challenges for organizational ethnographers facing the question of “being (…) where?” through highlighting the situated nature of researchers’ identity work in, across and between different (material and virtual) research spaces. Practical implications – The paper provides researchers with prompts to examine their own situated identity work, which may prove particularly useful for novice researchers and their supervisors, while also identifying the potential for incorporating these ideas within organizational ethnography more broadly. Originality/value – The paper offers situated identity work as a means to provide renewed analytic vigour to the confessional genre whilst highlighting new opportunities for reflexive and critical ethnographic research practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

From “being there” to “being (…) where?”: relocating ethnography

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1746-5648
D.O.I.
10.1108/17465641111188402
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to expand recent discussions of research practice in organizational ethnography by engaging in a reflexive examination of the ethnographer's situated identity work across different research spaces: academic, personal and the research site itself. Design/methodology/approach – Examines concerns with the traditional notion of “being there” as it applies to ethnography in contemporary organization studies and, through a confessional account exploring the author's own experiences as a PhD student conducting ethnography, considers “being (…) where?” using the analytic framework of situated identity work. Findings – Identifies both opportunities and challenges for organizational ethnographers facing the question of “being (…) where?” through highlighting the situated nature of researchers’ identity work in, across and between different (material and virtual) research spaces. Practical implications – The paper provides researchers with prompts to examine their own situated identity work, which may prove particularly useful for novice researchers and their supervisors, while also identifying the potential for incorporating these ideas within organizational ethnography more broadly. Originality/value – The paper offers situated identity work as a means to provide renewed analytic vigour to the confessional genre whilst highlighting new opportunities for reflexive and critical ethnographic research practice.

Journal

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 15, 2011

Keywords: Ethnography; Organizations; Identity work; Space; Place; Reflexivity; Confessional genre

References

  • Identity regulation as organizational control: producing the appropriate individual
    Alvesson, M.; Willmott, H.
  • The field worker's fields: ethics, ethnography and medical sociology
    Anspach, R.R.; Mizarchi, N.
  • Of methods and methodology
    Bryman, A.
  • Organizing: how to study it and how to write about it
    Czarniawska, B.
  • Methodological issues: the use of critical ethnography as an active research methodology
    Dey, C.
  • Observational field work
    Emerson, R.M.
  • The exaggerated death of geography: learning, proximity and territorial innovation systems
    Morgan, K.
  • Becoming an HR strategic partner: tales of transition
    Pritchard, K.
  • Gender and new public management: reconstituting academic subjectivities
    Thomas, R.; Davies, A.
  • Ethnography then and now
    Van Maanen, J.
  • Organizational ethnography and methodological angst: myths and challenges in the field
    Yanow, D.

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