Paul Atkinson, one of sociology’s most distinguished ethnographers, has written a remarkable, readable work. Deeply personal and richly analytic, he demonstrates the importance of embodied experience and practical knowledge in making both craft objects and ethnographic texts. Describing his training in shaping wood, silver, glass, and other crafts, materiality and performance are exquisitely joined. This final volume of Atkinson’s methodological quartet caps a project that demonstrates how field methods in the hands of a gifted practitioner truly matter.
Through ‘thick participation’ we learn with our bodies, and our communication involves much more than words. In this lovely book, Paul Atkinson embarks on an apprenticeship of the senses to show how there can be, as he puts it, 'a lot to be learned from a little'.
This fourth of a quartet of magnificent books on ethnography explores the value of an ‘aliquot’ of fieldwork, aiming at learning much from little instead of little from (too) much data. During thick participation in various sites of craft and artistic activity detailed attention is given to the practical activities of making and doing. In their context methodological issues of the craft of (sensory) ethnography are discussed and illuminating theoretical ideas developed. This book is brilliant and a must-read for every ethnographer.
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