What Would Wallace Write? (if he were an ethnographer)

David Foster Wallace and Installing (Social) Order on ‘Being Reflexive’ … we wrote this after blogging about these issues for a while regarding excessive hygiene, actor-network attitudes and ethnography, and about style in STS.

Ethnography Matters

Editor’s Note: Jan-Hendrik Passoth ( @janpassoth) is a Post Doc at the Technische Universität Berlin interested in Sociological Theory and Science and Technology Studies. His fellow writer, Nicholas J. Rowland, is an associate professor of Sociology at Pennsylvania State University, as well as a visiting scholar at Technische Universität Berlin. Both work on the sociology of infrastructures, about which they blog at installing (social) order, exploring the sociotechnical nerves of contemporary society.

In this other piece of our “ethnography and fiction” edition, these two researchers give an interesting follow-up to the contribution by Anne Galloway by focusing on a well-known fiction writer: David Foster-Wallace. They compare his work with ethnographic field report and use that as a starting point for a discussion about the importance of reflexivity.

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Comparing David Foster Wallace and an average ethnographic field report seems unfair at first. And, it does not get better…

View original post 2,206 more words

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This entry was posted in Methods, New Ideas, Old Ideas, STS, Teaching, Theory, Uncategorized by Nicholas. Bookmark the permalink.

About Nicholas

Associate Professor of Sociology, Environmental Studies, and Science and Technology Studies at Penn State, Nicholas mainly writes about understanding the scientific study of states and, thus, it is namely about state theory. Given his training in sociology and STS, he takes a decidedly STS-oriented approach to state theory and issues of governance.

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