The Professional Stranger: An Informal Introduction to Ethnography

Paperback | June 21, 1996

byMichael H. Agar

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This new edition of a classic introductory text opens with an extensive chapter that brings ethnography up-to-date and aims it toward the next century. At a time when numerous disciplines, organizations, and communities are discovering ethnography, Agar shows how the fundamentals endure even as they adapt to a world unimagined when the research perspective developed more than 100 years ago. Contemporary discussions of ethnography are loaded with choices, primarily "either-or" options. Just as the first edition crossed the qualitative-quantitative divide, the new edition integrates classical scientific notions with new concepts such as narrative and interpretation. Agar updates the contrast between the researcher's apprenticeship to knowledgeable informants and the hypothesis-testing mode that still dominates social science, while demonstrating the complementarity of the two. Drawing extensively from his own research experience, he illustrates the stages of the ethnographic process from inception through the emergence of a focus, and toward a subsequent formalization of methods and analysis. In the process, he illustrates several approaches designed to reconcile the contradictory demands of the scientific process and human behavior.

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

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From Our Editors

This new edition of a classic introductory text opens with an extensive chapter that brings ethnography up to date and aims it toward the next century. Agar shows how the fundamentals endure even as they adapt to a world unimagined when the research perspective developed more than 100 years ago.

From the Publisher

This new edition of a classic introductory text opens with an extensive chapter that brings ethnography up-to-date and aims it toward the next century. At a time when numerous disciplines, organizations, and communities are discovering ethnography, Agar shows how the fundamentals endure even as they adapt to a world unimagined when the...

Michael Agar received his Ph.D. in anthropology at the Language-Behavior Research Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. His recent books includeSpeaking of Ethnography, Independents Declared, andLanguage Shock. Agar has been doing ethnography for many years with a variety of people including heroin addicts, villagers in...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:June 21, 1996Publisher:Academic PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0120444704

ISBN - 13:9780120444700

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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.

From Our Editors

This new edition of a classic introductory text opens with an extensive chapter that brings ethnography up to date and aims it toward the next century. Agar shows how the fundamentals endure even as they adapt to a world unimagined when the research perspective developed more than 100 years ago.

Editorial Reviews

Review of the First Edition:
"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".
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