Ethnographies of Academic Writing Research

Theory, methods, and interpretation

Ignacio Guillén-Galve | University of Zaragoza
ORCID logoAna Bocanegra-Valle | University of Cadiz
ISBN 9789027210067 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027210074 | EUR 33.00 | USD 49.95
ISBN 9789027258410 | EUR 95.00/33.00*
| USD 143.00/49.95*
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This book illustrates the use of ethnography as an analytical approach to investigate academic writing, and provides critical insights into how academic writing research can benefit from the use of ethnographic methods. Throughout its six theoretical and practice-oriented studies, together with the introductory chapter, foreword and afterword, ethnography-related concepts like thick description, deep theorizing, participatory research, research reflexivity or ethics are discussed against the affordances of ethnography for the study of academic writing. The book is key reading for scholars, researchers and instructors in the areas of applied linguistics, academic writing, academic literacies and genre studies. It will also be useful to those lecturers and postgraduate students working in English for Academic Purposes and disciplinary writing. The volume provides ethnographically-oriented researchers with clear pointers about how to incorporate the telling of the inside story into their traditional main role as observers.

Winner of the 9th edition of the AELFE's Enrique Alcaraz Research Award

[Research Methods in Applied Linguistics, 1] 2021.  xi, 162 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Individually, all seven chapters are well-written, and I enjoyed each of the perspectives that they offered.”
“Throughout this collection, readers develop deeper understandings of what insights ethnographic methods can offer, with special emphasis on those that might not otherwise be accessible to other kinds of researchers. On one hand, chapters like Manchón’s and Ávila Reyes’s provide clear examples of the invisible and (especially in the case of Ávila Reyes’s underrepresented students) sometimes suppressed processes and perspectives surfaced by ethnographic work. Similarly, Albero-Posac and Luzón’s suggestion that ethnographic methods offer important reorientations to texts and writers in digital spaces illustrates the potential for seeing beyond what mere text-based research might. But on the other hand, the collection’s emphasis on deep theorizing and reflexivity also highlights several ways that ethnographic methods can deepen researchers’ understanding of their own positionality vis-à-vis their own work. Such attention to theoretical rigor is bound up in the push for researchers to take on a reflexive stance that, as Khuder and Petrić’s chapter makes clear, is ongoing and might be considered a requirement for research to be described as ethnographic. Similarly, Tardy suggests that a more theoretically-attuned approach to thick description might be a prerequisite for fulfilling the more specifically Geertzian requirements of ethnography. Thus, for both novice and experienced researchers, this collection provides a rich range of opportunities to continually deepen their approaches to this theoretical and reflexive work.”
“The volume constitutes a clear, well-organized contribution that covers the most relevant dimensions of academic writing in today’s world: online academic discourse, writing in second and third languages, student writing, refugees’ writing, reflexivity, participation, textography, emic perspectives, rich, textured, dense identities and descriptions. [...] This is a key resource book for researchers, teachers and students in the fields of applied linguistics, discourse genre studies and writing studies, among other disciplines.”
“Overall, the volume makes an important contribution to methodological debates in the field of applied linguistics, and the overlapping areas of second language writing and academic writing. The various perspectives collected in this volume demonstrate that ethnographically-oriented research can be conceptualized at various levels. The volume clarifies and problematizes key terms associated with ethnography (e.g. thick description, researcher reflexivity). The different perspectives of the volume and issues or dilemmas raised in individual chapters invite the reader to further reflection, which is in line with ethnographic reflexivity. The volume thus responds in a considered manner to the ‘social turn’ in writing studies.”
“This volume provides a comprehensive and insightful review of the key methodological and ethical issues in ethnographically-oriented research in the context of academic writing. Given its rich and thought-provoking contents, it is undoubtedly a valuable resource for, and I would thus highly recommend it to, ESP or EAP researchers and practitioners interested in writing research and pedagogy. Novices who are “not trained anthropologists and are learning to do ethnography
through doing it” (Lillis, this volume, p. ix) would especially benefit from developing a thorough understanding of ethnographic approaches.”
“[...] this book offers a comprehensive overview of what ethnographic approaches can bring to the study of academic writing, covering theory, methods, and providing practical examples of actual studies and their interpretation. It introduces tools that can be adopted in order to gain greater insight into the perspectives of writers with regards to their writing products and processes, offering the potential to challenge implicit academic norms and deficit framings. Further, the volume emphasizes the ways in which participative research and sustained engagement with participants in turn necessitate careful attention to ethical concerns and continuous re-examination of our roles and assumptions as researchers.”
“This book will serve as a valuable resource for both experienced and novice researchers interested in deepening their knowledge of ethnography as an approach to studying academic writing and advancing their practice from using ethnography as a method (e.g., incorporating interviews into academic writing research) or methodology (e.g., following the precepts of ethnography, such as sustained immersion in the research context) to realizing its potential for deep theorizing, that is, “closing the gap” between text and context by exploring the interconnections between a text and the social meanings that it indexes (Lillis, 2008). It should also be commended for its attention to ethical issues that arise in ethnographic research as well as for the diversity of ethnographic approaches, settings, and participants that are represented in its pages.”
Cited by

Cited by 3 other publications

Hossein Kashef, Seyyed & Abdolreza Khalili
2023. Perspective Chapter: English for Academic Purposes Teacher Education – Prerequisites, Predicaments, and Perquisites. In Education Annual Volume 2023 [Education and Human Development, 8], DOI logo
Kudritskaya, Marina I., Lyudmila V. Kushnina & Alua Қ. Amangeldі
2023. Diploma Research Approbation in Internet Resources Integration Into Teaching English. Bulletin of Nizhnevartovsk State University :4  pp. 67 ff. DOI logo
Tuck, Jackie
2024. Defamiliarizing assessment and feedback: exploring the potential of ‘moments of engagement’ to throw light on the marking of undergraduate assignments. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 49:1  pp. 72 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 28 april 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFC: Literacy

Main BISAC Subject

LAN005010: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Writing / Academic & Scholarly
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2021036139 | Marc record