The Ethnographic Revisit

Michael Burawoy

in The Extended Case Method

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780520259003
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943384 | DOI:
The Ethnographic Revisit

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This chapter attempts to encourage and consolidate what historical interest there exists within sociology-as-ethnography, transporting it from its unconscious past into a historicized world by elaborating the notion of ethnography-as-revisit. This, in turn, lays the foundations for a reflexive ethnography. An ethnographic revisit occurs when an ethnographer undertakes participant observation, that is, studying others in their space and time, with a view to comparing his or her site with the same one studied at an earlier point in time, whether by this ethnographer or someone else. The scheme of focused revisits developed here derives from the author's own serendipitous revisit to a factory studied by Donald Roy, one of the great ethnographers of the Chicago School. Roy studied Geer Company during the period 1944–45, and the author studied that same factory thirty years later, in 1974–75, after it had become the engine division of Allied Corporation.

Keywords: ethnography; sociology; ethnography-as-revisit; Geer Company; Donald Roy; Allied Corporation

Chapter.  19034 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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