The geographic ‘field’ of a thin ethnography. Five fieldwork experiments

Author/s Alberto Valz Gris, Chiara Iacovone, Astrid Safina, Andrea Pollio, Francesca Governa
Publishing Year 2022 Issue 2022/1
Language Italian Pages 27 P. 5-31 File size 0 KB
DOI 10.3280/rgioa1-2022oa13364
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Over the last 20 years, ethnographic practices have progressively entered geographic research, becoming an essential part of it. Yet ‘doing ethnography’ in geography is neither straightforward nor easy: it requires an adaptation to the needs and the aims of geography, but also to the complexity of the “field” of research in contemporary social sciences. In particular, the times, places and forms of a thick ethnography (Geertz, 1973) seem unsuitable to capture the space-time complexities of current socio-spatial dynamics, the transformations of the research field, of the researcher and of the context in which research is carried out, but also, and more radically, to address the limits inscribed in the colonial legacies of ethnographic research. Presenting five radically different experiences of fieldwork, the article raises the question of doing ethnography in geographical research and explores the possibilities of its critical rethinking in the direction of a positive and necessary thinness.

Keywords: ; ethnography, thin description, field, method

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Alberto Valz Gris, Chiara Iacovone, Astrid Safina, Andrea Pollio, Francesca Governa, Il ‘campo’ geografico di un’etnografia sottile. Cinque esperimenti di fieldwork in "RIVISTA GEOGRAFICA ITALIANA" 1/2022, pp 5-31, DOI: 10.3280/rgioa1-2022oa13364