Fieldnotes for Amateurs

Nolas, Sevasti-Melissa and Varvantakis, Christos. 2019. Fieldnotes for Amateurs. Social Analysis, 63(3), pp. 130-148. ISSN 0155-977X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In this article we develop the idea of ethnography as a practice of desire lines. Lines of desire are pedestrian footpaths that are at once amateurish and playful, and that deviate from the grids and schemes of urban planners. We argue that ethnography has always been so at the same time as also being highly professionalized. The article explores these tensions between desire lines and professionalization as they became evident to us during a funded, international multi-modal ethno- graphic study with children—a study, we argue, that rendered us child- like. We conclude that being childlike and ‘out of line’ is an appropriate and necessary response for knowledge creation at a time of heightened professionalization in the academy.

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desire lines, ethnography, neo-liberal university, playing, researchers’ agency

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22 March 2019Accepted
1 September 2019Published Online
18 October 2019Published

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Date Deposited:

24 Oct 2019 15:08

Last Modified:

15 Jun 2021 23:19

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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