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7118 -- DORSCH, HAUKE & MARKO SCHOLZE

Erfahrungen mit beweglichen Zielen - Anmerkungen zur Ethnographie unter Bedingungen der Globalisierung
Sociologus 55.2005:143-180
Keywords: globalization, multi-sited ethnography, participant observation

##Experiences with moving targets - Remarks on ethnography under the conditions of globalization
The debate over multi-sited ethnography in social anthropology and cultural studies has been going on for over a decade. In our point of view this theoretical discussion, although important, has established a certain dichotomy which is neither helpful nor necessary. Those supporting multi-sited ethnography hold that in times of global flows of people, objects and idea, the classic ethnographic fieldwork approach is not apt to account for this new reality. On the contrary, those supporting participant observation as carried out in one narrowly defined locality and over a long period of time argue that leaving the Malinowskian path would end in the loss of the constitutional element of our discipline. Instead, they rather call for a radicalised form of participant observation. We are convinced that the sometimes ideological character of the debate also stems from missing accounts of practical experiences with multi-sited ethnography. Our aim is to help to fill this gap. Taking case studies about West African griots and tourism in the North of Niger as examples, we explore the possibilities and limits of multi-sited techniques in ethnographic fieldwork. We will show why and how this methodological approach became relevant to us in adapting to the mobility of the people or ideas studied. As ethnographers who have to come to terms with new fieldwork situations, we are supporting a pragmatic perspective on the discussion about multi-sited ethnography. The methods chosen in the field should be guided by the subject and research questions only, leaving the ideological stance behind.##

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