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Field Notes

A Guided Journal for Doing Anthropology

Luis A. Vivanco

Publication Date - 20 December 2016

ISBN: 9780190642198

176 pages
Spiral Bound
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

A field journal for cultural anthropology and fieldwork courses, integrating learning, guidance, and exercises into one book


Are you looking for more opportunities to integrate active learning into your cultural anthropology courses? Do you believe that anthropological fieldwork skills--listening, asking good questions, and being observant--are useful life skills? This unique book addresses both of these concerns, integrating an introduction to fieldwork methods, guidance, and practice into one book. Field Notes: A Guided Journal for Doing Anthropology provides more than fifty activities to help students learn and practice common ethnographic research techniques, to reflect on their experiences doing these things, and to examine the ethical dimensions of ethnographic research.

As they work through the book, students can fill the journal with lists, field notes, visual materials, and rough writings for use in specific class projects, as a record of skill development, or to think about future work. Each chapter includes four to six guided exercises; some are reflections or thought experiments, while others require students to practice skills by involving themselves directly in their social worlds. In order to cultivate an awareness of research ethics, a number of exercises focus on ethical dilemmas and issues.

About the Author(s)

Luis A. Vivanco is Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of the Humanities Center at the University of Vermont.


"This is the text I've been waiting for! I love the idea of a text/field journal that offers practical and thoughtful suggestions for students as they gain experience in ethnographic methods. I like that the exercises are feasible and modest, yet encourage students to tackle some of the big ethical questions of our day. This is precisely what I hope students gain as they take my course, and this book would also ensure that students undertake similar exercises that we can discuss as a class. I definitely would adopt."--Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz, Loyola University

"I like that the activities appear to be comprehensive and well thought out and I appreciate that each section dedicates discussion to the ethical aspects of fieldwork. The sample exercises are creative, thoughtful, and purposeful. They go beyond the typical exercises usually offered in most textbooks. I like that the exercises include listening, mapping (my personal favorite!), and digital methodologies. This guide has the potential to really introduce students to fieldwork."--Kimberly Cavanagh, USC-Beaufort

"This gives students a great guide for how ethnography is actually done, from preparatory phases to fieldwork to analyzing and writing up. The book is well-designed and approachable to undergraduates and it makes cultural anthropology's methods relatable and understandable. It shows how knowledge gained from such methods is scientific and systematic and not just a bunch of hunches or predetermined ideas."--Laura M. Tilghman, Plymouth State University

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Anthropology Beyond "Just Go Do It"

    Part 1: Preparing for Fieldwork
    Chapter 2: Fieldwork: A Concise and Practical Overview
    Chapter 3: Fieldwork Values and Ethics

    Part 2: Doing Fieldwork
    Chapter 4: Note-Taking
    Chapter 5: Observing
    Chapter 6: Listening
    Chapter 7: Asking Questions
    Chapter 8: Mapping
    Chapter 9: Visualizing
    Chapter 10: Experiencing
    Chapter 11: Going Digital

    Part 3: Working with Fieldwork Data
    Chapter 12: Processing Field Notes
    Chapter 13: Crafting an Ethnographic Account


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