ERIC Number: ED307285
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Feb
Critical Ethnography in Education: Origins, Current Status, and New Directions.
Anderson, Gary L.
The development of critical ethnography in education is traced, and the central epistemological and methodological issues in the practice of critical ethnography are discussed. Some of the directions the field appears to be taking are considered. Critical ethnography in education began in the late 1960's and early 1970's, with roots in the interpretist movements of anthropology and sociology. By the early 1980's, ethnographic methods and critical theory and critical feminism were well-entrenched among a small segment of American educational researchers. Subfields in which critical ethnography has been used include: (1) student subcultures; (2) curriculum; (3) administration and policy; (4) teacher education; (5) comparative education; (6) gender; and (7) vocational education. A major issue in critical ethnography is that of validity, which is explored in an analysis of the relationships of theory to data and knowledge to ideology. The issue of reflexivity is at the heart of any discussion of ethnographic method. Critical ethnography is in its infancy as a genre of social analysis. New directions that the field appears to be taking include: (1) historicity and locus of analysis; (2) "critical linguistics" and the ethnography of communication; and (3) the study of progressive outliers and collaborative action research. Although there is a growing body of epistemological and methodological analysis in works concerning critical ethnography, there is yet little practical advice. A 123-item list of references is included. (SLD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A