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January 2022

The myth of silent authorship: Self, substance, and style in ethnographic writing

Author(s): Mitchell, R. G.

Journal/Book: Symb Interact. 1996; 19: 55 Old Post RD-#2, PO Box 1678, Greenwich, CT 06836-1678. Jai Press Inc. 285-302.

Abstract: Voice, the animus of storytelling, the author's presence in written works, concerns both sides of the modernist fence. Authors are urged to restrain and regulate their voices in deference to disciplinary expectations. We advocate developing an audible writer's voice that reflects our empirical experiences. Voice ranges from the evocative to the analytic and varies according to: (a) the freshness of the inquiry, (b) relationships with respondents, and (c) the place of the studied phenomena in larger systems of meaning and practice. Two different examples of our writing illustrate how fieldwork influenced the emergence of evocative and analytic voices.

Note: Article K Charmaz, Sonoma State Univ, Dept Sociol, Rohnert Pk, CA 94928 USA

Keyword(s): SOCIOLOGY

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