Keeping Classic Ethnographic Traditions Alive in the Modern-Day Academy

  • Jamie J. FaderEmail author


Classic ethnographies such as Tally’s Corner (1967), All Our Kin (1975), and Code of the Street (1999) were years in the making. In the past, ethnographers were encouraged to dedicate substantial time in the field gathering rich data through observation and interviewing, establishing long-term relationships, and developing verstehen, or a deep understanding of the meaning of social situations from the perspective of participants. The modern academy, however, has ramped up expectations for publishing and sped up production of scholarly work, leaving ethnographers to wonder if these classic traditions may be abandoned. This paper discusses (1) what ethnographic traditions must be kept alive and (2) how to honor ethnography’s unique qualities and strengths while meeting the demands of today’s academic reward structure. I will discuss strategies for maximizing the data that can be drawn from field research, constructing a research pipeline that includes ethnographic work, and crafting ethnographic products that can be published in a variety of scholarly outlets.


Ethnography Research methods Publishing Professional development Academy 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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