Review Essay: "If Somebody's with Something Every Day They've Gotta Learn Something—Or They're Just Out to Lunch": The Dialectics of Ethnography as a Way of Being

Wolff-Michael Roth


Ethnography: A Way of Seeing addresses itself to students in anthropology and researchers in other professional fields, intending to help them in understanding what is distinctive about ethnography as a discipline rather than merely being another fieldwork technique. Although I contest the claim to the particular audience—experienced researchers will much more appreciate the different points Harry Wolcott makes—I found this a highly enjoyable book, the textual nature of which I attempted to reflexively capture in this review. Drawing on my own fieldwork in a fish hatchery as an interpretive horizon and on the techniques of ethnographic writing, I articulate a dialectical framework that allows readers to situate a number of contradictions that have become salient during my reading. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0303142


ethnography; culture; dialectics; general and particular; production and reproduction

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2003 Wolff-Michael Roth

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.