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Living the ethnographic life /

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Rose makes a passionate plea to break down the corporate mould of ethnography and reconfigure it as a democratic form of thinking and being, one in which the ethnographer is fully engaged with the subject. He links the origins of ethnography with the travel journals left by colonizing European traders, merchants and soldiers, then shows how much modern ethnography, centred on universities, has adopted this imperial philosophy and structure.By breaking away from this model he offers an alternative to `corporate' ethnography: one which is concerned with its subject, which links the life of the ethnographer to the ethnography, which experiments with new forms of ethnographic expression, which connects ethnography more directly to the world it describes. Through the use of poem, story and epigraph as well as scholarly analysis, Rose opens up the window on the possibility of ethnography as a way of life.

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