The Multitude of Approaches to Urban Ethnography: Blessing or Curse?

  • Jerome Krase


Krase discusses the utility of traditional and more recently developed ethnographic techniques for the study of contemporary cities. Each, he notes, has unique strengths and weaknesses, and in combination with each other they are invaluable in the service of documentation, analysis and illustration of complex social activities and physical environments. In this chapter he looks at the value of ethnography for applied, public or otherwise ‘humanistic’ goals. He shows how the abstract ideas of urban theorists are made more explicit by a close-up focus on competing spatial practices: the vivid descriptions of ethnographers adding necessary texture to their broader sweeps of urban life and rendering the scenes more understandable. Krase gives examples of ethnographic practices employed to examine race, class and gentrification in Brooklyn, New York, over a period of four decades, and considers the opportunities for innovation offered by technological advances in data collection, analysis and the presentation of findings.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerome Krase
    • 1
  1. 1.Brooklyn CollegeBrooklynUSA

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