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The Professional Stranger

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Table of Contents

Ethnography Reconstructed: The Stranger at Fifteen. The Concepts of Fieldwork. Getting Started. Who Are You to Do This? Ethnography. Beginning Fieldwork. Narrowing the Focus. Informal to Formal: Some Examples. The Ethnographic Research Proposal. Ethnography in Context.

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Analyses the changes in ethnographic studies during the last fifteen years Outlines the conflict between science and interpretation Presents the politics of ethnography, both personal and global Describes the 'new' participant observation Sheds light on ethno-logic Includes methods for the non-positive

About the Author

Michael Agar received his Ph.D. in anthropology at the Language-Behavior Research Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. His recent books include Speaking of Ethnography, Independents Declared, and Language Shock. Agar has been doing ethnography for many years with a variety of people including heroin addicts, villagers inSouth India, independent truckers, and Austrian politicians.


"Agar's writing is lively and informal. He conveys the excitement of his subject while candidly sketching some of the ambiguities and problems that will challenge future ethnographers." --CHOICE "An intriguing and exciting little book... The range of methodological issues covered by Agar is impressive and thorough. Moreover, although he writes primarily for students in anthropology, Agar weaves into his discussion important methodological texts and articles from many social science disciplines, thus making his volume a concise reference for guiding students to further reading on particular issues. The excitement of the book is enhanced also by the diversity of research projects in which Agar has been involved as an ethnographer... There are points of contention that could be raised about the book, and Agar frequently acknowledges that his position on certain issues is debatable. He also intended the book to set up issues 'clearly enough so that other enthographers can agree or argue. In this, he succeeds. As an 'informal introduction, the book covers more ground than the subtitle suggests, ground enough to serve as an important stimulus and guide for students of ethnography both in sociology and in other social disciplines." --CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY "This book is one of the strongest in the field... The book appeals to an audience that grown considerably beyond anthropologists." --JOHN GUMPERTS, University of California, Berkeley

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