Insider and a close-up view: notes on urban ethnography

By interrelating two lines of analysis, one having to do with the city and the other with ethnography, this paper seeks to discuss possibilities which are opened by an anthropological approach to the study of urban dynamics.Discussion of analytical charts for study of contemporary urban phenomena allows for a characterization of what may be termed as an "outsider and long-distanced view". A contrasting "insider and close-up view" is outlined. Theoretical presuppositions are explicated and research strategy is proposed. As a way o demonstration, recent ethnographic examples are used. Finally, it is suggested that a "distanced" view may effectively broaden and complement the proposed perspective, making possible an articulated project involving well delimited ethnographic research design and more general levels and models of analysis.

Anthropology; Ethnography; Metropolis; Urban culture; Circuit


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