Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

#ethnography: Trends, Traverses and Traditions

ESA Midterm Conference, 27-29 August 2014

We hope to organise an interesting conference in the heart of Amsterdam, combining classic presentations with a social program that consists of a Fieldwork Experiment: Mass – Observation in the Amsterdam Red light district, interactive lunch sessions and interesting keynotes

Introduction and Conference Theme

Ethnography is often seen as one of the principal approaches in qualitative methodology. Within its long and rich history there have been various moments of and 'turns' in ethnography. Mostly these moments were theoretically inspired. However, in the last few decennia new types of ethnography were inspired by societal and technological trends as well.

Concrete questions that can be addressed are such as:

  • Is ethnography changing due to social media, such as Twitter and Facebook? 
  • Does fieldwork look different by using mobile field recording devices, Skype and Youtube? 
  • Has analysis changed as a consequence of Qualitative Analysis Software?
  • Have theoretical innovations led to new approaches in ethnography? 
  • How is the current economic crisis influencing ethnographic practices for researchers? 
  • What turn are we at now? 
  • What other trends do we see in ethnography today?

In times of digital information overload, conferences are useful venues to discuss the trending topics within our field.

The ESA midterm conference for the Research Network on Qualitative research will be on trends, traverses and traditions in Ethnography. Some of the many questions posed above could be used to approach the vast array of ‘new’ trends in ethnography. Since one of the methodological virtues of ethnography is the possibility for adaptation to local and new situations, the question might rise whether these trends are actually methodologically new.

22 August 2014