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Co-Sponsored Event: Refunctioning Ethnography: A Workshop on Qualitative Methodologies, Interdisciplinarity and the Professions

Event Date: 
Friday, January 27, 2006 to Saturday, January 28, 2006

Co-Sponsored Event:
Refunctioning Ethnography: A Workshop on Qualitative Methodologies, Interdisciplinarity and the Professions

Invited participants include Douglas Holmes (SUNY Binghamton), Christopher Kelty (Rice University), Hiro Miyazaki (Cornell University), and Annelise Riles (Cornell University)

This workshop will explore the new functions ethnography has taken on in the study of contemporary cultural, social and technological transformations. Where ethnography previously referred solely to the in-depth participant-observation and description of a social or cultural formation in situ, ethnography more recently has involved multi-sited research on social and cultural milieux that transcend particular places and involve networks of expertise and knowledge linked through new communications technologies and flows of goods, people and ideas. Ethnographers often find the milieux they would study already analyzed, as it were, by experts within the fields under investigation. Ethnographic research on such fields – generally auto-analytical or auto-documentary arenas like bureaucracy, finance, science and the like – thus takes on the character of collaboration with one's subjects rather than empathetic rapport. Second, and implicit in the preceding observation, ethnography has become a tool in policy and professional fields, particularly those fields that seek to account for themselves through various qualitative forms of auto-documentation and audit.

Co-sponsored by the School of Social Sciences, the School of Social Ecology, the Paul Merage School of Business, the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies, the Center in Law, Society and Culture, and the Departments of Anthropology and Sociology.