Introduction: Entangling Ethnography and Health

  • Joanna ReynoldsEmail author
  • Sarah Milton
  • Emma Garnett


Health can be understood as a concept, a practice and a capacity, and is inherently complex, fluid and indeterminate. Ethnography, with its attention to how relations unfold between people, places, practices and things, is well suited to explore the situated meanings of health. The introductory chapter describes the scope and purpose of this collection, which draws together contemporary ethnographies investigating health, through a variety of topics, settings and disciplines. We describe the multiple ways in which ethnography and health become ‘entangled’ with one another through the research process, and how ethnographic and health knowledge emerge, take form, shape and challenge one another. We discuss emerging directions in ethnography and health, and raise important questions about how these entanglements produce new ways of doing both.



The workshop from which this collection derived was funded through a grant awarded by the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness in 2015. We would like to extend our thanks also to all the participants of the workshop and to the many colleagues who have helped to shape our thinking in the compilation of this book.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Public Health and PolicyLondon School of Hygiene & Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  2. 2.Faculty of Life Sciences and MedicineKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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