The construction industry as a workplace is commonly seen as problematic for a number of reasons, including its worrying health and safety record, the instability of its workforce, and the poorly regulated nature of the sector. It is surprising therefore, that the sector and its working practices remain so under-theorised.
Now though, there is a growing interest in and awareness of the utility of an ethnographic approach to the construction industry. Ethnographic Research in the Construction Industry draws together in one volume a set of expert contributions which demonstrate how social science perspectives, rooted in ethnographic research on construction sites and with construction workers themselves, can generate fresh insights into the social, cultural and material ways that the industry and conditions of work in it are experienced and played out.
Each chapter develops discussion on the basis of an ethnographic case study to examine how theoretically informed ethnographic research can help us understand industry problems, and can challenge common perceptions of the construction industry. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of anthropology, sociology, geography and organization studies, as well as those from the built environment and related applied fields.
Sarah Pink is Professor in the School of Communication and Media and the Design Research Institute at RMIT University (Australia). She specialises in developing interdisciplinary research and scholarship rooted in social and visual anthropology. Her work usually involves digital visual methods and media, and often seeks to connect applied practice, methodological development and theoretical scholarship and she has authored, edited or co-edited 10 books. Her research projects and collaborations at Loughborough University (UK) focus on domestic energy consumption and digital media, and occupational safety and health in organisations. Dylan Tutt is a Senior Research Fellow at the Innovative Construction Research Centre at the University of Reading. His publications reflect a strong interest in the social shaping of technology, workplace studies, ethnographic interventions, construction sociology and the sociology of the family. Andrew Dainty is Professor of Construction Sociology and Associate Dean (Research) within the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University. He is co-author/editor of seven books and research monographs and is co-editor of the journal Construction Management and Economics.
1. Introducing Ethnographic Research in the Construction Industry by Sarah Pink, Dylan Tutt and Andrew Dainty 2. The Labour of Refurbishment: Space and Time, and the Building and the Body by Dawn Lyon 3. "We've Got Our Own Language": The Communication Practices of Migrant Workers in the UK Construction Industry by Dylan Tutt, Andrew Dainty, Sarah Pink and Alistair Gibb 4. `On the Tools': The Physical Work of Building and Renovating Houses in Perth, Western Australia by Philip Moore 5. Ethnography and Flux: Identity and Epistemology in Construction Fieldwork by Darren Thiel 6. Building Contacts: The Trials, Tribulations and Translations of an Ethnographic Researcher in Construction by Daniel Sage 7. Where's the Action? Challenges of Ethnographic Research in Construction by Nick Marshall and Mike Bresnen 8. Contributions of Ethnographic Practice to Community-Engaged Research in Construction Management by Andreas Hartman 9. From Interpretation to Action: Unique Adequacy as a Common Standard for the Evaluation of Research in the Built Environment by John A. Rooke and Clementinah N. Rooke