ERIC Number: ED345244
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar-20
Reference Count: N/A
Not Just Story Collecting: Towards a Critical Ethnography.
Miller, Richard E.
The struggle in the composition community regarding the place of personal narrative in academic writing became particularly acute for a class of undergraduate Critical Writing students undertaking ethnographic work. By mid-semester, students had read and produced a series of texts about culture and found themselves reading and writing about culture as if it were a text. First, students wrote position papers about whether what they had done up to that point was ethnography. In a later "thick description" assignment, students employed the work of Clifford Geertz, whose theories they had examined, as a resource. One student's essay is discussed as showing that the student had developed a certain kind of descriptive expertise; moreover, the essay showed a recognition that the work of the piece had only begun once the story of a personal experience had been recorded. The writing went beyond description of the experience to critical analysis of its significance. The use of ethnographic writing in instruction may allow a new view of the importance of teaching and learning about writing. (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Critical Writing; Geertz (Clifford)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992).