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date: 15 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In the past few decades, some ethnographers have approached going public with their ethnographic research. In particular, they began to investigate problems of significant interest, conduct fieldwork in everyday settings, and use both form and dissemination to engage nonacademic audiences. In this chapter, the authors discern characteristics of public ethnography and doing ethnography in public settings. They begin by defining “public ethnography” and illustrating the need to record happenings of contexts that cannot be easily captured with other research methods. They then discuss practices of always being in the field, observing others, taking notes, attending to everyday conversations, monitoring social media, synthesizing ideas, identifying injustices, and engaging extant research. They conclude by identifying considerations for crafting and disseminating representations of fieldwork for public, nonacademic audiences.

Keywords: public ethnography, observations, field research, ethnography, fieldwork, nonacademic audiences, qualitative research, qualitative inquiry, qualitative methods, public scholarship

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