The Art Of Play

Ethnography and Playful Interventions with Young People

Authored by: Larissa Hjorth , William Balmford , Sharon Greenfield , luke gaspard , Amani Naseem , Tom Penney

The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138940918
eBook ISBN: 9781315673974
Adobe ISBN: 9781317377788


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Ethnography, as the writing up of cultural practice, has, much like culture itself, taken on various manifestations. Once a method used by sociologists and anthropologists, ethnography is now a widely deployed approach and conceptual framework in contemporary media research. Throughout this evolution, the reflexive negotiation of self, power, labor and participation have remained central to ethnographic practice. Given ethnography’s commitments, it is not surprising that ethnography—as a way in which to frame cultural practice—has been embraced within the visual arts. In particular, the significant increase of the socially engaged practices in late twentieth-century art—identified in the 1990s by Hal Foster in “The Artist as Ethnographer” (1996) and Nicolas Bourriaud’s “Relational Aesthetics” (1998 [2002])—foregrounds art as a social/cultural encounter (Hjorth and Sharp 2014, 128).

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