Review: Didier Fassin (Ed.) (2017). If Truth Be Told: The Politics of Public Ethnography


  • Colin Hastings York University
  • Leigha Comer York University
  • Eric Mykhalovskiy York University



ethnography, engaged anthropology, public anthropology, public sociology


Didier FASSIN's new edited collection brings together public anthropologists and sociologists who reflect on the challenges and stakes related to the dissemination, promotion, reception, and utilization of their ethnographic research. The book centers on two questions. First, what kind of difference does ethnography make when research findings are transported into the public domain? Second, what happens in this encounter between ethnographers and their publics? In order to address these questions, contributors offer ethnographic accounts of the public reception of their ethnographic research. As the book illustrates the variety of public encounters and diverse issues that arise in the process of ethnography "going public," it offers valuable contributions to multidisciplinary discussions related to ethnographers' political and ethical commitments.


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Author Biographies

Colin Hastings, York University

Colin HASTINGS is completing his PhD at York University in Toronto. His research centers on HIV and criminal law. His dissertation study is an institutional ethnography of crime reporting related to HIV non-disclosure in Canada.

Leigha Comer, York University

Leigha COMER researches the social organization of health care for the treatment of chronic diseases in Canada. She is interested in the organization of health care for chronic pain, but also the impact of chronic pain on sufferers' lives and identities.

Eric Mykhalovskiy, York University

Eric MYKHALOVSKIY is a medical sociologist with expertise in institutional ethnography. His current work focuses on the intersection of HIV, public health, and the criminal law.




How to Cite

Hastings, C., Comer, L., & Mykhalovskiy, E. (2018). Review: Didier Fassin (Ed.) (2017). If Truth Be Told: The Politics of Public Ethnography. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 19(2).



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