Emerson, Fretz, & Shaw Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Writing an Ethnography

Emerson, R., Fretz, R., & Shaw, L. (1995). Writing ethnographic fieldnotes. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Chapter 7: Writing an Ethnography

•    “Thematic narratives incorporate several analytic themes or concepts linked by a common topic (page 170).”

•    Developing a Thematic Narrative
    o    Begins w/a main idea or thesis
    o    The idea is elaborated on and developed throughout the piece.
    o    The conclusion is the more precise thesis statement.
    o    Results from “an ordered progression of fieldnote excerpts (page 171).”
    o    The writer is urged “to hold off formulating an explicit thesis until the paper is finished, so that even in the process of writing, she will make discoveries about data and continue to balance her analytic insights with the demands of sticking close to indigenous views (page 171).”
    o    The researcher should “point out distinctions and interconnections between related phenomena (page 173).”

•    Transposing Fieldnotes into Ethnographic Texts

•    Editing Excerpts
    o    “In editing excerpts, ethnographers also consider a number of more general criteria, including length, relevance, readability, comprehensibility, and anonymity of informants (page 187).”