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Performance Ethnography

  • By: Donald S. Blumenfeld-Jones
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Performance ethnography is a melding of ethnographic and auto-ethnographic practices (the immersion in another culture for purposes of describing that culture and the treatment of one's own story as an expression of a culture) with postmodern performance theory. For curriculum studies, performance ethnography offers a specific orientation toward doing curriculum research on both curriculum artifacts and curriculum practices (designing, developing, etc.) in which the researcher is profoundly implicated in the “outcomes” of the research.

Performance theory for social scientists comes out of the work of theater scholars such as Richard Schechner and is extrapolated to everyday life. Performance theory points to “performance” in two ways. There is “performativity” in which the actual process of undergoing our lives is a performance, similar to the work done by ...

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