Ethnographies

“Ethnographies” are detailed descriptions of social life in different times and places. Traditionally, ethnographies focused in-depth on a group of people such as the Nuer or a particular North Indian Village. Today, they are just as likely to focus on a particular aspect of social life such as new reproductive technologies, meanings of the veil, home decoration or even being a Millwall football club fan! Ethnographies can be really interesting to read and give you a fascinating insight into a place or group of people. In their ethnographies anthropologists often write about their experiences of doing research; how they felt, what it was like to live in an unfamiliar place, so they are also good ways to find out what it might be like to be a professional anthropologist.

Here are some particularly accessible ones:

In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio

Philippe Bourgois (2003)

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My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student

Rebekah Nathan (2006)

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Songs at the River’s Edge: Stories From A Bangladeshi Village

Katy Gardner (1997)

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The Innocent Anthropologists: Notes from a Mud Hut

Nigel Barley (2011)

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The Sport of Kings: Kinship, Class and Thoroughbred Breeding in Newmarket

Rebecca Cassidy (2008)

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Tunnel Kids

Lawrence Taylor and Maeve Hickey (2001)

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Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society

Lila Abu-Lughod (1992)

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