'This is an Excellent textbook and a valuable addition to the growing field of 'how to' books providing advice and guidance for practitioners and students wishing to undertake fieldwork of an ethnographic nature.... this books deserves to be high on your reading list'
- Active Learning in Higher Education
`Gray's book tells us an important story, starting from the epistemological and methodological background of a number of key studies in the Birgmingham tradition, it explores how to make use of these research experiences and how to deploy "experience" as a tool for research' -
Roberta Sassatelli, School of Economic and Social Studies, University of East Anglia
How is culture `lived'? What are the best ways of investigating cultural life? This timely, assured and accessible book has three objectives. First, it seeks to give a critical selective account of the main ethnographic methods that have influenced cultural studies. Second, it offers practical guidance on the craft of research, from formulating a topic to presenting it in written form. Third, it provides help with key questions of evaluative criteria and values in the research process.
This is one of the first cultural studies books to address the question of the research process in detail. Students who want to do empirical research will find the book to be an indispensable resource that will enable them to focus on the correct issues and ask the right questions for effective research. The book develops a set of research practices that are appropriate to a critical understanding of culture, power and everyday life. It will rapidly establish itself as the lecturer's stand-by and the student's friend for all issues relating to qualitative research in cultural studies.
Ann's main research interests are in media and popular culture but she has focused more recently on television studies in particular. Her first book Video Playtime: the gendering of a leisure technology was a study of the uses of the video cassette recorder in the home, relating this to an understanding of media use in everyday life with particular reference to gender. In addition to writing on aspects of gender, feminist cultural studies and audience studies she has also written about the intellectual and institutional politics of research methods most particularly in her book Research Practice for Cultural Studies. Ann has a strong interest in the history of cultural studies, having worked for a number of years at the Department of Cultural Studies in Birmingham. In 1993, with Jim McGuigan, she edited Studying Culture: an introductory reader and in 1996 with Helen Baehr Turning it On : a reader in women and media and was lead editor of the recently published two volume collection of the original CCCS Working Papers in cultural studies. In 2005 Ann, working with her colleague, Dr Jirina Smejkalova secured a British Academy grant for their project `Re-thinking Cultural Studies in the New Europe' (link) which has established a European network of cultural researchers who are bringing different intellectual histories and perspectives to cultural studies.Ann's main research focus is now on how television represents the past for which she secured a substantial AHRC grant for the four year project `Televising History - 1995-2010'.( http://tvhistory.lincoln.ac.uk ) Ann is a founding Editor of the European Journal of Cultural Studies(link) and she was a founder member of the International Association of Cultural Studies. She sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of British Film and Television, Memory Studies and, Mediana Studia, Czech. She is a member of the Midlands Television Research Group at the University of Warwick, on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Culture Identity and Education at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and an Honorary Associate of the Centre for Media History at Macquarie University, Sydney. Ann currently supervises PhD students in the fields of television and new media and welcomes proposals for research topics in any of the above areas.
PART ONE: ETHNOGRAPHIC METHODS Grasping Lived Cultures Articulating Experience Imagined Communities The Spectacular and the Ordinary A Question of Research PART TWO: THE RESEARCH PROCESS Locating Instances and Generating Material I Want to Tell You a Story Tying in the Texts Strategies and Tactics in Analysis Writing Sources of Knowledge and Ways of Knowing