Last updated: 09 Jul 2001
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fieldwork, research methods and ethnography
in sociocultural anthropology
Borut Telban Borut.Telban@zrc-sazu.si
Bibliography of fieldwork, research methods and ethnography in sociocultural anthropology
|| Introduction to fieldwork ||
Research methods ||
Ethics and fieldwork ||
Sex, gender and fieldwork ||
Writing ethnography ||
History and theory of anthropological research ||
Personal accounts of anthropological fieldwork ||
Scientific Research Centre,
Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts/Slovenska Akademija Znanosti in Umetnosti (SAZU)
The literature about fieldwork and ethnography is extensive and I have no wish
to claim that this selection is the best or the most complete possible.
Moreover, it covers primarily the field of social and cultural anthropology
(only the books and articles published in English), and neglects fieldwork in
other areas such as linguistic anthropology, physical anthropology, and
archaeology. It could be regarded as a kind of a guidance for all those who are
just beginning to set foot in social and cultural anthropology, assistance for
all those who thought of writing about fieldwork but did not yet go deep enough
into its theory and practice, and for all those who would like some new
information about the traditional and most recent sources in the field of
research methods and ethnographic practices in sociocultural anthropology.
Therefore, I do hope that all those interested in research methods, in questions
to be asked in the field, in finding the best informant, in the manners and
difficulties of writing notes, in ethics and postmodern and feminist dilemmas in
fieldwork, or in examples of how the actual fieldwork appeared to some renowned
anthropologists, will find something beneficial in this compilation. In the
British and US sociocultural anthropological tradition the term ethnography is
applied to both research in the field (participant observation) and to the final
ethnographic written product (articles, but most of all monographs). Based on
the first-hand study of society and culture - both small-scale communities as
well as large ethnic groups and nation-states - these kind of studies combine
descriptive, historical, analytical and interpretive elements, and comparatively
address other societies and cultures contextualized within different streams of
Before proceeding to bibliography I would like to mention that in 2000 Sage
became the publisher of a new interdisciplinary journal addressing ethnographic
study of social and cultural change, i.e. the identification and formulation of
the different possibilities of 'social becoming' in an era of intense change.
The aim of this new journal called 'Ethnography' (see www.sagepub.co.uk/) is to promote
embedded research that fuses close-up observation, rigorous theory and social
critique. There is also a PC/Windows (3.1, 95 or later versions) programme called 'Ethnograph' designed to
facilitate ethnographic research and text based qualitative data analysis. Its
demo version can be downloaded from www.scolari.co.uk/ethnograph/.
The selected bibliography is organized into several thematical fields - in a
similar manner to that often used by course syllabuses in field methods - both
to show the variety of highlights within the broad field of anthropological
research and to ease the exploration of the literature. A similar classification
was used by Malcolm Crick in his compilation of "fieldwork literature" in
'Anthropological Fieldwork and Field Methodology: A Selected Bibliography', a book
he edited together with Bill Geddes in 1993. The majority of publications
compiled by Crick, along with many others, are also included in this
bibliography (the first version of this selected bibliography was published in
1999 in 'Anthropological Notebooks', a journal of the Slovene Anthropological
Society). Some references, of course, could be placed into several thematical
fields at once, but to avoid repetition, I had to pick out a single one. I
divided the bibliography into the following thematical fields:
- Introduction to fieldwork
- Research methods (language learning, informants, interviews, questionnaires,
surveys, photography, film)
- Ethics and fieldwork
- Sex, gender and fieldwork
- Writing ethnography
- History and theory of anthropological research
- Personal accounts of anthropological fieldwork
Introduction to fieldwork
ADAMS, R. and J. PREISS (eds.) 1960. Human Organization Research: Field
Relations and Techniques. Homewood: Dorsey Press.
AGAR, Michael H. 1980. The Professional Stranger: An Informal Introduction to
Ethnography. New York: Academic Press.
AGAR, Michael H. 1982. Towards an Ethnographic Language. American Anthropologist
AGAR, Michael H. 1986. Speaking of Ethnography. Beverly Hills: Sage.
ALBERT, B. 1997. Ethnographic Situations and Ethnic Movements: Notes on
Post-Malinowskian Fieldwork. Critique of Anthropology 17:53-65.
BURGESS, Robert G. (ed.) 1982. Field Research: A Sourcebook and Field Manual.
London: Allen & Unwin.
BURGESS, Robert G. 1991(1984). In the Field: An Introduction to Field Research.
BUTLER, B. and D. TURNER (eds.) 1987. Children and Anthropological Research. New
York: Plenum Press.
CASSELL, Joan. (ed.) 1987. Children in the Field. Philadelphia: Temple
CARRITHERS, Michael. 1996. Fieldwork. In Barnard, Alan and Jonathan Spencer
(eds.), Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology. London: Routledge,
COLE, J. (ed.) 1982. Anthropology for the Eighties: Introductory Readings. New
York: Free Press.
CRANE, Julia G. and Michael V. ANGROSINO. 1992. Field Projects in Anthropology:
A Student Handbook (3rd edition). Morristown: General Learning Press.
DE MUNCK, Victor C. et al. 1998. Using Methods in the Field: A Practical
Introduction and Casebook. Altamira Press.
DENZIN, Norman K. 1997. Interpretive Ethnography: Ethnographic Practices for the
21st Century. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
DE SOTO, Hermine G. and Nora DUDWICK. 2000. Fieldwork Dilemmas: Anthropologists
in Postsocialist States. University of Wisconsin Press.
ELLEN, Roy F. (ed.) 1984. Ethnographic Research: A Guide to General Conduct.
London: Academic Press.
EMBER, Carol R. and Melvin EMBER. 2000. Cross-Cultural Research Methods. Oxford:
EMERSON, R.M. (ed.) 1988. Contemporary Field Research: A Collection of Readings.
Prospect Heights: Waveland Press.
EVANS-PRITCHARD, Evans E. 1951. Fieldwork and the Empirical Tradition. In: E.E.
PRITCHARD, Social Anthropology. London: Cohen and West, pp.64-85.
EVANS-PRITCHARD, Evans E. 1965. The Comparative Method in Social Anthropology.
In: E.E. PRITCHARD, The Position of Women in Primitive Societies and Other
Essays in Social Anthropology, pp.13-26.
FETTERMAN, David M. 1989. Ethnography: Step by Step. Newbury: Sage.
FLICK, Uwe. 1998. An Introduction to Qualitative Research. London: Sage.
FLINN, J. et al. (eds.) 1997. Fieldwork and Families: Constructing New Models
for Ethnographic Research. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
FOSTER, George, T. SCUDDER, E. COLSON, and R. KEMPER (eds.). 1979. Long-term
Field Research in Social Anthropology. New York: Academic Press.
FRIEDRICHS, J. 1975. Participant Observation: Theory and Practice. Westmead:
FRIELICH, M. (ed.) 1970. Marginal Natives: Anthropologists at Work. New York:
Harper and Row.
GLASER, Barney G. and Anselm L. STRAUSS 1967. The Discovery of Grounded Theory:
Strategies for Qualitative Research. Chicago: Aldine.
GUPTA, Akhil and James FERGUSON (eds.) 1997. Anthropological Locations:
Boundaries and Grounds of a Field Science. Berkeley: University of California
HAINES, D., RUTHERFORD, D. and P. THOMAS. 1981. The Case for Exploratory
Fieldwork: Understanding the Adjustment of Vietnamese Refugees in the Washington
Area. Anthropological Quarterly 54:94-102.
HAMMERSLEY, Martyn and Paul ATKINSON. 1994. Ethnography: Principles in Practice
(2nd edition). London: Routledge.
HANDWERKER, W. Penn. 2001. Quick Ethnography. Oxford: AltaMira Press.
HATFIELD, C. 1975. Fieldwork: Towards a Model of Mutual Exploitation. In P.
HAMMOND (ed.), Cultural and Social Anthropology: Introductory Readings in
Ethnology (2nd edition). New York: Macmillan Publishing Co.
HEIDER, K. 1988. The Rashomon Effect: When Ethnographers Disagree. American
HENRY, F. and S. SABERWAL (eds.) 1969. Stress and Response in Fieldwork. New
York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
HILL, C. 1974. Graduate Education in Anthropology: Conflicting Role Identity in
Fieldwork. Human Organization 33:408-12.
HIRSCHKIND, L. 1991. Redefining the "Field" in Fieldwork. Ethnology 30:237-49.
HOCKINGS, Paul (ed.) 1975. Principles in Visual Anthropology. The Hague: Mouton
HOLMES, Robyn M. 1998. Fieldwork with Children. Newbury: Sage.
HOWELL, Nancy. 1988. Health and Safety in the Fieldwork of North American
Anthropologists. Current Anthropology 29:780-87.
HOWELL, Nancy. 1990. Surviving Fieldwork. Washington, DC: American
JACKSON, Bruce. 1987. Fieldwork. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
JACKSON, A. (ed.) 1987. Anthropology at Home. London: Tavistock Publications.
JOHNSON, J.C. 1990. Selecting Ethnographic Informants. Newbury Park: Sage.
JOHNSON, John M. 1975. Doing Field Research. New York: The Free Press.
JONES, D. 1973. Culture Fatigue: The Results of Role-Playing in Anthropological
Research. Anthropological Quarterly 46:30-7.
JORGENSEN, D. 1989. Participant Observation. Newbury Park: Sage.
JOURDAN, Christine (ed.). 1997. Les Petits Princes in the Field: Essays in
Honour of Roger Keesing. Canberra Anthropology (special volume) 20(1&2).
JOY, Hendry. 1999. An Introduction to Social Anthropology: Other People's
Worlds. Houndmills: Macmillan.
JUNKER, Buford H. 1960. Field Work: An Introduction to the Social Sciences.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
KIMBALL, Solon and James B. WATSON (eds.) 1972. Crossing Cultural Boundaries:
The Anthropological Experience. San Francisco: Chandler.
KIMBALL, Solon and W. PARTRIDGE. 1979. The Craft of Community Study: Fieldwork
Dialogues. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.
KIRSCHNER, S. 1987. "Then What Have I to Do With Thee?": On Identity, Fieldwork,
and Ethnographic Knowledge. Cultural Anthropology 2:211-34.
KLOOS, P. 1969. Role Conflicts in Social Fieldwork. Current Anthropology
KOTTAK, Conrad Philip (ed.) 1982. Researching American Culture: A Guide for
Student Anthropologists. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
KUMAR, Ranjit. 1999. Researching Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for
Beginners. London: Sage.
LUNDBERG, C. 1968. A Transactional Conception of Fieldwork. Human Organization
MALINOWSKI, Bronislaw. 1922. Argonauts of the Western Pacific. London:
MANNING, Peter K. and Horacio FABREGA Jnr. 1976. Fieldwork and the "New
Ethnography." Man 11(1):39-52.
MEAD, Margaret. 1969. Research With Human Beings: A Model Derived From
Anthropological Field Research. Daedalus 98:361-86.
MICHRINA, B.P. and C. RICHARDS. 1996. Person to Person: Fieldwork, Dialogue, and
the Hermeneutic Method. New York: State University of New York Press.
NORDSTROM, Carolyn and A. ROBBEN 1995. Fieldwork Under Fire: Contemporary
Studies of Violence and Survival. Berkeley: University of California Press.
OBERG, K. 1960. Cultural Shock: Adjustment to New Cultural Environments.
Practical Anthropology 17:177-82.
PAGE, H. 1988. Dialogic Principles of Interactive Learning in the Ethnographic
Relationship. Journal of Anthropological Research 44:163-81.
PELTO, Pertti J. and Gretel H. PELTO. 1978. Anthropological Research: The
Structure of Inquiry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
PUNCH, Keith F. 1998. Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and
Qualitative Approaches. London: Sage.
RASMUSSEN, Susan J. 1996. The Tent as Cultural Symbol and Field Site: Social and
Symbolic Space, "Topos", and Authority in a Tuareg Community. Anthropological
RICHARDSON, Miles. 1975. Anthropologist - the Myth Teller. American Ethnologist
ROSE, D. 1990. Living the Ethnographic Life. Newbury Park: Sage.
SANJEK, Roger (ed.). 1990. Fieldnotes: The Making of Anthropology. Ithaca:
Cornell University Press.
SANJEK, Roger. 1996. Ethnography. In Barnard, Alan and Jonathan Spencer (eds.),
Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology. London: Routledge, pp.193-8.
SMALLEY, W. 1963. Culture Shock, Language Shock, and the Shock of
Self-Discovery. Practical Anthropology 20:49-56.
SPRADLEY, James P. 1979. The Ethnographic Interview. New York: Holt Rinehart and
SPRADLEY, James P. 1980. Participant Observation. New York: Holt Rinehart and
SRINIVAS, Mysore N., A. SHAH, and E. RAMASWAMY (eds.) 1979. The Fieldworker and
the Field: Problems and Challenges in Sociological Investigation. Delhi: Oxford
STRAUSS, Anselm L. 1987. Qualitative Analysis for Social Scientists. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
STRAUSS, Anselm L. and Juliet CORBIN. 1998. Basics of Qualitative Research:
Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory (Second Edition).
WACASTER, C. and W. FIRESTONE. 1978. The Promise and Problems of Long-Term,
Continuous Fieldwork. Human Organization 37:269-75.
WEBB, Eugene J., D.T. CAMPBELL, R.D. SCHWARTZ, and L. SECHREST. 1966.
Unobtrusive Measures: Nonreactive Research in the Social Sciences. Chicago: Rand
WENGLE, J. Ethnographers in the Field: The Psychology of Research. Tuscaloosa:
University of Alabama Press.
WERNER, Oswald and Marc G. SCHOEPFLE. 1987. Systematic Fieldwork (2 Vols.).
Beverly Hills: Sage.
WHYTE, William Foote. 1982. Learning From the Field. Beverly Hills: Sage
WOLCOTT, Harry F. 1995. The Art of Fieldwork. Oxford: AltaMira Press.
WOLCOTT, Harry F. 1999. Ethnography: A Way of Seeing. Oxford: AltaMira Press.
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