The process of learning qualitative research has altered dramatically and this Handbook explores the growth, change, and complexity within the topic and looks back over its history to assess the current state of the art, and indicate possible future directions. Moving beyond textbook rehearsals of standard issues, the book examines key methodological debates and conflicts, approaching them in a critical, discursive manner.
Chapter 7: Ethnography and Participant Observation
Ethnography and Participant Observation
AW: Until I was seated in the Piper Navajo propeller plane, flying above the roadless boreal forest, I was excited to begin my fieldwork. I had finally secured a community partner for my ethnography of regulatory wildlife management; as I neared the Arctic Circle, however, my growing distance from the road system caused my excitement to cool. After touching down on the gravel airstrip, I was driven along muddy roads that haphazardly connected log cabins and HUD homes. Throughout the Koyukon Athabascan village I noticed the fluttering of ripped, soiled, and frayed tarps that were draped as if meant to shelter the smokehouses beneath them; the windows on the squat, dark cabins seemed small. I thought ...