Capturing linguistic and cultural diversities
This volume represents a range of work from scholars associated with the Linguistic Ethnography Forum (LEF). LEF is a large, international community of scholars with an interest in drawing on and combining theoretical and methodological approaches from linguistics and ethnography. As an organisation, LEF can be traced back to a small seminar in Leicester in 2001, funded by the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) and Cambridge University Press, which brought together 30 academics and research students to identify key theoretical and methodological issues in linguistic ethnography. From that initial meeting, an email list was set up and a committee formed to explore the possibility of organising future events and facilitating this ongoing conversation.
Authors: Zoe Nikolaidou and Stina Hållsten
Sarah Pink is a Professor of Design and Media Ethnography at RMIT University, Australia, and the author or co-editor of several books about Digital Ethnography . To approach this area, we get Sarah’s help with some conceptual groundwork about the methods, values, and history of ethnography, and its relation to neighbouring fields such as anthropology or cultural geography. But the conversation focusses on digital ethnography: Information technology changes not only the methods of ethnography by providing tools or modes of expression, but also raises new questions by changing notions of embodiment, geographic place, and social relation, all of which are central themes for ethnographers. We also talk about how an field that largely eschews prediction and hypothesis can reason about future technology such as self-driving cars.
Ethnography is becoming an increasingly popular research methodology used across a number of disciplines. Typically, teaching students how to write an ethnography, much less how to undertake “fieldwork” (or the ethnographic research upon which ethnographies are based), is reserved for senior- or MA-level research methods courses. This article examines the pedagogical strategy of engaging first-year students in ethnographic field methods and the art of ethnographic writing and suggests how the use of a short ethnographic exercise (the fifty minute mini-ethnography) can enable students who are at the beginning of their undergraduate degrees to better understand the relationships between theory and empirical data.