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Critical Ethnography


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Chapter 1 * Introduction to Critical Ethnography: Theory and Method Defining Terms: What Is the Critical in Critical Ethnography? Dialogue: Virtues and Challenges The Method and Theory Nexus Key Terms Warm-Ups Chapter 2 * Methods: "Do I Really Need a Method?" A Method . . . or Deep Hanging Out? "Who Am I?" Starting Where You Are "Who Else Has Written About My Topic?" Being a Part of an Interpretive Community The Power of Purpose: Bracketing Your Subject Preparing for the Field: The Research Design and Lay Summary The Interview Formulating Questions Questions to Get Started: Experience, Opinions, Feelings, and the Senses Creativity, Questions, and Three Favorites Memory and the Oral History Interview Rapport: How and What Is This Between Us? Coding and Logging Data A Biomimetics of Ethnography Warm-Ups Chapter 3 * Three Stories: Case Studies in Critical Ethnography Case 1: Local Activism in West Africa Case 2: Secrets, Sexuality, and Oral History Case 3: Community Theatre: Conflicts and Organization Warm-Ups Chapter 4 * Ethics Ethics Is . . . Ethics, Faith, and Environmental Activism The Question of Freedom Maria Lugones: Contemporary Ethics, Ethnography, and Loving Perception Summary Warm-Ups Chapter 5 * Methods and Application: Three Case Studies in Ethical Dilemmas Case 1: Local Activism in West Africa Case 2: Secrets, Sexuality, and Oral History Case 3: Community Theatre: Conflicts and Organization Warm-Ups Chapter 6 * Performance and Performed Ethnography Foundational Concepts in Performance and Social Theory Utopian Performatives The Performance Interventions of Dwight Conquergood Staging Ethnography as Performed Ethnography Autoethnography and/or Reflexive Ethnography Autoethnography in Performance as Critical Reflections Warm-Ups Chapter 7 * It's Time to Write: Writing as Performance Getting Started: In Search of the Muse The Anxiety of Writing: Wild Mind and Monkey Mind Writing as Performance and Performance as Writing Warm-Ups Chapter 8 * The Case Studies Case 1: Staging Cultural Performance Case 2: Oral History and Performance Case 3: Fieldwork and Social Drama Warm-Ups References Index About the Author

About the Author

D. Soyini Madison is professor of Performance Studies and Anthropology, and served as Interim Director of the Program in African Studies at Northwestern University. She is the author of Acts of Activism: Human Rights as Radical Performance (2010, Cambridge UP) and the co-editor with Judith Hamera of the SAGE Handbook of Performance Studies (2006, SAGE). Madison lived in West Africa as a Senior Fulbright Scholar and has conducted field research over the past ten years on the performance tactics of local human rights activists in Ghana.


"Critical Ethnography is, without question, the go-to guide, practically and philosophically, for anyone interested in serious discussions about ethnography's ethical, political, and epistemological implications. Madison's thoughtful and compelling book has long been central to the ways in which I work with my graduate students and undergraduates on the benefits and challenges of thinking ethnographically, and this 3rd edition makes her classic offering all the more relevant for newer audiences. I look forward to assigning it in courses!"

-- John L. Jackson, Jr

"This remains the book I wish I had written. It is grounded in fieldwork and theoretically inclusive from Conquergood to Turner, Spry to Schechner, Pollock to Pelias, Boal to Bakhtin, auto ethnography to critical performance ethnography. Politics, ethics, action, memory, biopolitics, performative writing, the global, inquiry as praxis, it is all here."

-- Norman Denzin

"This book is indispensable. No other book shows the essential connections between method and ethics so clearly and effectively. It is as much an essential introduction to ethnography as it is an enticing invitation to a way of being in the world with others."

-- Della Pollock

"D. Soyini Madison's work is the keystone of ethical performance ethnography where all practices in the field and on the stage are grounded in enfleshed theories of embodiment. The third edition of Critical Ethnography continues this scholarly foundation by offering emergent strategies to guide us through troubling times and into spaces and places of hope and possibilities."

-- Tami Spry

"The latest edition of Critical Ethnography exemplifies D. Soyini Madison(1)s exemplary ability to combine rigorous theorizing and principled field pragmatics. From its expansive discussions of ethics and handling difficult interviews to its deeply generative examinations of mindfulness in the field and multi-sensory storytelling using a variety of aesthetic modes, this book is an essential guide for critical interdisciplinary qualitative researchers at all levels. It is both a toolkit and an inspiration."

-- Judith Hamera

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