Chapter in:Ethnographies of Academic Writing Research: Theory, methods, and interpretation
Edited by Ignacio Guillén-Galve and Ana Bocanegra-Valle
[Research Methods in Applied Linguistics 1] 2021
► pp. 40–60
Narrowing the gap between text and context in ethnographic explorations of situated academic writing
This chapter draws upon work by John M. Swales (1998, 2018), which explored situated academic writing, utilising an approach he called textography. This chapter describes the variety of texts, contexts and practices which can be investigated using textographic methods through a combination of textual analysis and ethnography: textography. It argues textographic research provides scope to move beyond linguistic description and explore interpretations and practices of authors and audiences within the context providing rich data with thick description (Geertz, 1973). The chapter also argues that textography presents an opportunity for deep theorizing (Lillis, 2008) by bridging the gap between text and context. It also reflects on considerations when using textographic approaches including ethical considerations. Finally, the chapter suggests textography’s possibilities for academic writing research.
Keywords: textography, linguistic ethnography, ethnographic research methods, thick description, trustworthiness