Ethnography and Tourism

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When the saints go marching in:  an ethnography of volunteer tourism in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans

When the saints go marching in: an ethnography of volunteer tourism in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans

remote, often developing countries to introduce Christianity to the natives. 110 We retrospectively look at these former missionaries as post-colonialists who are trying to impose Western culture on non-Westerners. 111 Because of the foundations of volunteer tourism in evangelizing, I hypothesized that religious groups were coming to New Orleans to convert residents. After conducting preliminary interviews and conversations with volunteer tourists and never once being asked to convert or about my beliefs, I began to question my hypothesis further. I realized that not only do we not understand what volunteer tourists are doing in New Orleans, but we also do not understand why they’re doing it. Why are religious groups coming to New Orleans to volunteer? By understanding why religious groups are coming to New Orleans, we can have a better understanding of volunteer tourists’ motivations. Understanding volunteer tourists’ motivations will also allow us to understand volunteer tourists’ role in the city and whether they contribute to the New Orleans community. Through interviews with volunteer tourists, I learned they come to New Orleans because they want to help others. But I still wanted to find out what role religion had in volunteer tourists’ altruistic motives. Through my investigation, I discovered that religion facilitates volunteer tourists’ altruism. Specifically, this chapter shows how
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The Visualization of the American Southwest: Ethnography, Tourism, and American Indian Souvenir Arts

The Visualization of the American Southwest: Ethnography, Tourism, and American Indian Souvenir Arts

Native Epistemologies and the E. Irving Couse Collection of Pueblo Pottery The E. Irving Couse and Joseph Henry Sharp Historic Site in Taos, New Mexico houses a collection of over 161 pots from the Southwest that were collected by Couse over the course of his career. 262 Couse’s collection remains important due to its association with the artist and the identifiable inclusion of specific pieces in his paintings (Figures 80 and 95). However, I argue that these pots are additionally important due to the fact that they represent a specific transitional period in the Southwest, as they were created between 1870 and 1910 during an era of swift and abrupt change for Indigenous communities in the region. With the introduction of tourism via the Santa Fe Railway, the influx of new materials and a growing demand for Pueblo pottery as a souvenir led to a shift in the motivating factors behind the creation of ceramics in the Southwest. The commodification of the medium led some potters to adapt the style and techniques employed in its production in order to appeal to the tastes of potential buyers; yet, I contend that many of the pots in Couse’s collection depict specific motifs that predate tourism. Furthermore, I suggest that the functionality of the pots is not limited to the storage and transportation of materials, but can be expanded to encompass the Indigenous conceptualization of the animistic properties inherent in clay and the spiritual significance in the manufacture, use, and external ornamentation of pottery.
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Representing 'the Real': Realism and visual culture in tourism, leisure and ethnography

Representing 'the Real': Realism and visual culture in tourism, leisure and ethnography

The collection and use of visual evidence is widespread in a wide range of academic and professional activities. The paper explores the similarities and differences of a range of related phenomena: realism, documentary and authenticity. The status of the ‘realism effect’ is evaluated in a range of leisure activities with an emphasis on tourism and the significance of realist texts in popular culture in narrative and non- narrative forms. The creative treatment of the representation of reality in the documentary tradition is highlighted. The paper emphasises the pleasures to be gained from ‘experiencing the real’ using semiotics and film theory, in particular. There is a discussion of the possible ideological effects of these pleasures as well as more fundamental matters relating to the extent to which we are able to actually experience the ‘real’ in any meaningful way. The argument develops that the pleasures of realist cultural forms may also be found in academic work too. The representations of reality using written and visual forms in ethnography are explored: consumers of academic work as well as popular cultural forms employ a series of codes and conventions and these forms may be subjected to post-structuralist analyses.
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An ethnography of the music scene in Portland, Oregon

An ethnography of the music scene in Portland, Oregon

for their works, given awards for prizes traditionally viewed as for Western Art Music, and studied at universities – yet institutional bias does remain. In Portland rock musicians have had days celebrated in their honour at request of the Mayor and are recognised regularly by local government and tourism strategies as important to the city economy. The advent of technology has also challenged the usefulness of Birrer’s definitions, with Western Art Music being accessed through developments such as streaming, a culture shift which has encouraged listeners to become eclectic in their choices of what to listen to. There has also been the adoption of popular distribution and consumption habits within Western Art Music, with many orchestras invited to play ‘the greatest hits’ of classical music in stadiums or at music festivals to reach wider audiences. Popular music has also sought to reach across social boundaries. Whilst originally thought a preserve of the working and middle classes, the ascension of popular musicians up the social ladder has seen the upper class populated with popular music- makers by virtue of their incomes.
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Institutional ethnography: A sociology for librarianship

Institutional ethnography: A sociology for librarianship

Canadian sociologist Dorothy Smith’s institutional ethnography (IE) is an ontology of the social that conceptualises ‘life as usual’ as the ongoing coordination of people’s actions across diverse sites. Popular in the health sciences and human service professions as a research strategy for understanding and explicating problematics of everyday life, it is slowly gaining traction as a critical research approach for library and information science (LIS). This article introduces IE and provides an overview of its central tenets. It outlines ways in which institutional ethnographers identify research problematics and collect and analyse data. The article concludes with three illustrations of how institutional ethnography has been used to map the linkages among activities and institutional processes, ultimately revealing how it can contribute to a critical understanding of library and information science practices and scholarship.
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Meta ethnography E&E

Meta ethnography E&E

2 To support our developing understanding of meta-ethnographic analysis we chose to place the method in the context of a wider set of responses to calls for the “deparochialization of educational research” (Lingard 2006). These demands have allowed educational ethnography to move beyond conventional research designs, and from the study of single sites and local situations, “to examine the circulation of cultural meanings, objects and identities in diffuse time-spaces” (Marcus 1995, 96). Viewed within such a context, the growing interest in the synthesis of ethnographic studies has opened up the prospect of allowing researchers to unpick the interconnectedness of different sites, which have been and are being studied ethnographically.
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Introduction : towards an ethnography of meeting

Introduction : towards an ethnography of meeting

meeting is placed at the heart of social or political innovation and reform. Take the example of the Spanish Occupy movement provided by Corsín Jiménez and Estalella. As they illustrate from their ethnography of street gatherings in Madrid, it is the form of the assembly meeting itself that is employed to demonstrate the revolutionary potential of Occupy at the neighbourhood level. In fact, figured as a public demonstration of consensus-building and ‘real democracy’, the assembly form is not merely imagined as indicative but also as generative of socio-political transformation. Corsín Jiménez and Estalella report that the performance of assembly, which in many ways replicates conventional modalities of institutional gathering, is meant to capture the attention of passers-by, to draw them into local participation. Seen as a vehicle for political expression and mobilization, this example has obvious parallels with Nielsen’s focus on the political aesthetics of collective meetings in Maputo, Mozambique. But what interests in this case is the persistence and continuing efficacy of a socialist procedural form of meeting after the collapse of the ideology that birthed it (socialism ended in Mozambique in the mid 1980s). In this example, it appears that the assigned capacity of a meeting form can survive or even supersede what seemed to be its necessary context; as if socialism was a mere supplement to the mobilizing power of meeting itself.
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Conducting ethnography in medical settings

Conducting ethnography in medical settings

Acknowledgements: I thank all the participants in the research described in this paper. I also thank my colleagues Andrew Smith, Maggie Mort, Dawn Goodwin, Nick Black, Ann Bowling, Paul Abel, Jenny Stanley and Jenny Roberts for their respective roles on the anaesthetic expertise, surgical outcomes and waiting list projects. As ever, I acknowledge my great debt to the late Phil Strong for inspiring and encouraging me to undertake ethnography. Funding: the anaesthetic expertise study was funded by a grant from NHS North-west Research and Development (RDO 28 ⁄ 03 ⁄ 05). The US fieldwork for the surgical practice study was funded by a Wellcome Trust travel grant and additional funds supplied by Lectromed UK Ltd. The
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Doctorate motivation: an (auto)ethnography

Doctorate motivation: an (auto)ethnography

This paper is based on data collected for a doctoral thesis from participants at four Australian universities. This involved the author’s personal experiences and motivations and those of three others to undertake higher research degree doctoral studies and the motivations to return after dropping out. These experiences are recorded as autoethnographic (with the researcher as a participant) and ethnographic recollections of the other participants. Autoethnography according to Ellingson (2011, p. 599), ‘is research, writing, story, and method that connect the autobiographical to the cultural, social, and political through the study of a culture or phenomenon of which one is part, integrated with relational and personal experiences’; that is, ethnography of the Self. Narratives are presented to provide phenomenographic information of the participant’s recollections of their experiences.
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Humor and ethnography in Herodotus' Histories

Humor and ethnography in Herodotus' Histories

The acknowledgement in the field of anthropology that humor plays a significant role in understanding different cultures and their self-conceptions invites a parallel question in the [r]

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Linguistic ethnography in realist perspective

Linguistic ethnography in realist perspective

configurations of structured social relations deny such opportunities to some while offering them to others. I agree with Blommaert’s claim (2003: 615) that ethnography ‘allows us to check, at the lowest level, how larger patterns and developments are set down in the actual realities of language usage,’ but I am not so sure that the issue is merely one of scale. He continues, ‘We obviously need studies of the different levels and scales – studies of linguistic variation, of history and policy – but it would be a fallacy to regard ethnography merely as “the study of small things”. It is an indispensable ingredient of a toolkit for the study of big things.’ This claim too is unexceptionable, in my opinion, but equally indispensable is a methodological means of accessing and interpreting the structural realities involved in the experiential realities of these speakers. To extend
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Charting new territory for organizational ethnography : Insights from a team-based video ethnography

Charting new territory for organizational ethnography : Insights from a team-based video ethnography

While the presence of a single fieldworker in a situation can be technologically enhanced, mediated or substituted, it can also be complemented with the presence of another fieldworker. The traditional “’I-witnessing’ ideal”, based on “personalized seeing, hearing, and experiencing in specific social settings” (Van Maanen, 2011: 222) is increasingly unlikely to capture the full complexity of fragmented and dispersed organizations. Moreover, as even the most skilled ethnographer can only be in one place at once, it constrains the extent to which ethnographies can capture simultaneous engagement of different entities with identical phenomena. For instance, being present in several reinsurance syndicates pricing the same deal at the same time provided invaluable insights into the functioning of the London market as a collective entity. Such simultaneity can only be achieved as a team effort between closely coordinated individual observers. Such team ethnography promises to be particularly valuable in the study of multinational or virtual organizations, or markets relying on remote interaction.
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Planning For Claims: An Ethnography of Industry Culture

Planning For Claims: An Ethnography of Industry Culture

However widespread the practice of planning for claims at tender stage, it is clear that many claims are planned in the course of a project itself, in response to unforeseen events.. Ind[r]

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An Ethnography of Independent Midwifery in Ireland

An Ethnography of Independent Midwifery in Ireland

Obstetricians hold the top positions of authority in the Irish maternity hospitals. Hospital and professional hierarchies give rise to a tendency for the buck to stop at, or to be passed to, the obstetrician in charge. This has become deeply engrained in the hospitalised and centralised maternity services in Ireland. The belief in the ultimate responsibility of the obstetrician is signalled by the printing of her or his name at the top of the ‘patient’s’ hospital notes. To the majority of hospital employees, of whatever profession, this arrangement is understood and accepted. In facilities where midwifery led care is in its infancy, the practice of consultant headed notes is hotly contested as symbolic of underlying and deeply ingrained dominance of midwifery by obstetrics. The symbolism and dominance is perhaps overplayed where the real issue is, I suspect, the final professional responsibility for care. The midwife may be ‘an expert’ but in the hospital setting, the obstetrician is ‘the expert’. In consultant-led units, the majority of care is midwife delivered but not midwife-led and it is questionable that it is women-centred. If all care delivered by a midwife is on her own responsibility, and for which she is fully accountable, how does the belief in the ultimate responsibility of a named consultant still hold such currency? There must be, and is I believe, a disconnection between midwifery rhetoric in this regard and the practical operational relationships in hospital maternity services, perhaps especially so in the Irish context. This ethnography is not of hospital midwifery practice and so cannot directly address this issue. What can be drawn from this ethnography is twofold; that independent midwives have found it impossible or at the very least highly problematic to practice with full autonomy in a hospital setting, and secondly, that in their subsequent domiciliary practice they have found dealings with the maternity services and obstetricians generally to continue to be pervaded by such a notion of professional dominance.
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Emotions, ethnography and crack cocaine users

Emotions, ethnography and crack cocaine users

This article discusses the methodological, emotional, practical and ethical dilemmas of using visual ethnographic methods in drug-using locations. It begins by acknowledging the role of emotions in the research process before discussing ethnography and introduces the concept of visual ethnographic methods. A brief historical overview of visual ethnography and its application with the field of drug-use studies follows. The subsequent section then outlines the aims of a research project funded by the National Treatment Agency (NTA). Some attention is given to the practical and ethical issues of the research before discussing the tensions of relationships with participants when repositioning ethnography within ‘visual ethnography’ to fit the remit of a qualitative research project. I argue that the methodological, emotional, ethical, and pragmatic characteristics of ethnography become ‘magnified’ in the process of capturing visual data. Furthermore, I suggest that many of the ‘everyday’ interactional faculties available to ethnographers are difficult to maintain when using such methods in drug-using locations because awareness of social dynamics are amplified. I conclude by offering critical reflections and reflect on the emotional consequences for the researcher when withdrawing from the field.
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Sacred rhythms: an ethnography of a Cardiff mosque

Sacred rhythms: an ethnography of a Cardiff mosque

Early in the literature review, I identified Geertz as an influence and stated overtly my intention to offer a thick description of the mosque. In Geertz’s own words, “most of what we need to comprehend a particular event, ritual, custom, idea, or whatever, is insinuated as background information before the thing itself is directly examined” (1973, 9), in other words, context is key. To use the now infamous “wink” of Clifford Gertz, the significance of a wink, its interpretation and the response can depend on when that wink takes place. The same actions, undertaken at different times, can take on entirely new meanings due to the new temporal context. Salah offered in the time before dawn is a supererogatory prayer that reflects the worshipper’s devotion. Any prayer offered before just before dusk however, when maghrib begins, is discouraged by Islamic teachings, and thus becomes either a sign of the worshipper’s ignorance of religious rulings, or else that they had been mindless of their asr prayer, forcing them to pray it at a time when it is disliked to do so. Reading the Quran in its soft melodic tones is generally considered a sign of piety, but if one does so during the Friday sermon, the other congregants present will censure the individual with tuts and grimaces. My ethnography, by virtue of being temporally extended but physically confined, stresses the importance of how transformative time can be to the meanings of space and the spatial practice. I contend that sacredness, in the case of Jamia Masjid and perhaps many other locations, is dynamic. It comes and it goes, it waxes and wanes. Is the same true of the shrine, or the urban procession? Certainly, one would think so in the case of domestic rituals such as the khatme Qur’an. Studies of sacred space which do not temporally locate their work do not allow the reader to assess whether the snapshot of sacredness presented is static or dynamic, whether it is coming or going, or whether sacred space is the rule or the exception in that place. Returning to Geertz: -
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The Rainbow Family : an ethnography of spiritual postmodernism

The Rainbow Family : an ethnography of spiritual postmodernism

The Rainbow Family of Living Light is an intentional society devoted to achieving world peace through spiritual healing.. A loose association of spiritual seekers that explicitly rejects[r]

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The music of organising: Exploring aesthetic ethnography

The music of organising: Exploring aesthetic ethnography

Aesthetic ethnography begins with this same sense of wonder in seeing the group being researched as ‘exceptional and unique’ (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984, p. 2). At this early stage of field work, there is an initial arresting emotional attachment, and the aim is to experience as much of the organisation as possible. Although because of unfamiliarity, certain elements of the site may be at first overlooked; the ethnographer develops an insatiable appetite for more, hoping to become alert to hidden elements. The enterprise charms us, drawing us into itself so that ‘we feel only that it has allured us to itself, impelled us to give attention to it, to possess it in a direct, intuitive contact’ (Ingarden, 1961, p. 296). However, much of our emotional experience is still in germinal form and we desire to sate ourselves in order to ‘consolidate the possession of it’ (Ingarden, 1961, p. 296).
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Ethnography and Big Data: A Rapprochement?

Ethnography and Big Data: A Rapprochement?

Abstract: The big data revolution and the ever increasing computational power are providing the necessary data, numerical experiments and validation tests which are finally adding a[r]

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