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ERIC Number: EJ818645
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 21
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1534-9322
Anti-Ethnography?
Barnard, Ian
Composition Studies, v34 n1 p95-107 Spr 2006
The author of this article laments the gap in knowledge that he sees in composition scholarship as it relates to teaching writing students how to be both analytical and subjective within an increasingly complex world. He observes that the theory behind teaching such critical skills often lags teaching practice by decades. Moreover he describes current teaching practices in composition studies as being tied to a "commodified teaching context" that often serves to reduce what is being taught to an "easily digestible and repeatable content" at the expense of developing analytic and critical thinking skills, or a complex world view. To address this, the author developed and presented a course directed towards students in the Social Sciences that was designed to provide an intersection between ethnographic theory and pedagogical practice. Emphasizing "ethnographic representation" as the main theme, the course was seen to have a wide impact on a number of disciplines, including, anthropology, ethnography, history, political science, international relations education, women's studies, queer theory, postcolonial studies, and ethnic studies. As the course progressed, students learned to analyze and critique ethnographic methodology through reading and writing about works depicting the "Other," as seen through rhetorical, political, and epistemological contexts within Western culture. By the end of the course, students presented their final projects--personal ethnographies--that reconceptualized the relationships between the ethnographer, the ethnographic subject, and the reader. The author concludes that the course served to be beneficial for both the teacher and the students in working through difficult problems concerning both the definition and representation of groups of people, noting that no easy answers are found in writing about the "Other" as a representative subject. (Contains 4 notes.)
Texas Christian University. TCU Department of English 297270, 2800 South University Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76129. Tel: 817-257-6895; Fax: 817-257-6238; e-mail: compositionstudies@tcu.edu; Web site: http://www. compositionstudies.tcu.edu/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A