Publication details [#8384]

Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


Ethnography, the premier data collection process of sociocultural anthropologists, entails both participation and observation on the part of the ethnographer. In the process, the ethnographer ‘writes down’ the data collected, and eventually ‘writes up’ the resulting ethnography. The task is never mere description, nor mechanical analysis, nor speculative synthesis. Rather, the best conceptual vehicle for understanding the writing-down process of ethnography as well as the writing-up product also called ethnography is translation. Ethnography as translation foregrounds issues of competence and fluency as they impact the reliability and validity or interpretation. The ethnographer, recursively translating, represents the studied society or culture, attending to the ‘emics’ of the setting in its own terms, and the ‘etics’, using analytical categories which may be outside the ken of that setting.
Source : Abstract in book