‘Written in a clear, accessible style, this inspirational book is both a practical guide and a survey of the different ways of doing ethnography. Drawing on wide-ranging examples and using classic and contemporary ethnographies, the authors demonstrate the importance of developing an ethnographic sensibility. A most valuable resource’

- Cris Shore, University of Auckland

Ethnography in Education

is an accessible guidebook to the different approaches taken by ethnographers studying education. Drawing on their own experience of teaching and using these methods, the authors help you cultivate an ‘ethnographic imagination’ in your own research and writing.

With extended examples of ethnographic analysis, the book will introduce you to: ethnographic ‘classics’; the best existing textbooks; debates about new approaches and innovations.

This book is ideal for postgraduate students in Education and related disciplines seeking to use an ethnographic approach in their Masters and Doctoral theses.

David Mills is a University Lecturer in Education, University of Oxford.

Missy Morton is Associate Professor and Head of School of Educational Studies and Leadership, College of Education, University of Canterbury

Research Methods in Education series:

Each book in this series maps the territory of a key research approach or topic in order to help readers progress from beginner to advanced researcher.

Each book aims to provide a definitive, market-leading overview and to present a blend of theory and practice with a critical edge. All titles in the series are written for Master's-level students anywhere and are intended to be useful to the many diverse constituencies interested in research on education and related areas.

Reading Ethnography, Writing Ethnography

Reading Ethnography, Writing Ethnography

Reading ethnography, writing ethnography

What is in This Chapter?

  • A short history of ethnographic writing and its key protagonists
  • An introduction to influential educational ethnographies
  • Advice and guidance on reading ethnographic texts
  • A reading template to structure your own reading
  • A discussion of recent debates around ethnographic representation


We begin with a puzzle. If, as we argued in our Introduction, ethnography is simultaneously about being, seeing and writing, how does one combine these together? More than a research method, more than a genre of writing, it is an approach to crafting knowledge that makes heavy demands on the researcher. It takes time, sensitivity and an acceptance that, as a budding ethnographer, you become a central part of the research. The word itself contains the etymological clues you need ...

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