This book was mandatory reading for a methodology class I had in January. I knew most of the things described already from different classes, and manyThis book was mandatory reading for a methodology class I had in January. I knew most of the things described already from different classes, and many of the topics had come by in lectures already, but I'm still glad I had to buy Ethnographic Methods. The language is clear, the layout is simple, it is an overal very effective book with practical tips and theory. I also loved the 'further reading' sections of the book, because it allowed for more information while remaining clear and to-the-point. Definitely a book I will be keeping with me. ...more
If I could choose to give this 3.5 stars, I would. Since the books I've given four stars are notably better (in my opinion of course), I decided to goIf I could choose to give this 3.5 stars, I would. Since the books I've given four stars are notably better (in my opinion of course), I decided to go with three. I have mixed feelings about Netherland. I would not have chosen this book of my own accord, but was asked to read it for one of my classes at university. I was told to focus on the themes of community, national belonging and stereotypes, among others, and for this the book is perfect. If you have any interest in the aforementioned themes, as well as the role sport plays and has played (think colonial cricket) in national identity and power-relations, this book is very interesting. If you like investing emotionally in the characters, this book might not be for you. Though there are definitely a number of interesting characters, I did not feel much of a connection to them. Hans, the protagonist, is very real - in a bleak, business-man-without-hobbies sort of way. The random use of Dutch words also irked me. I understand Dutch, and could have appreciated some typical Dutch expressions being used in Dutch (gezellig, patatje met or pech), but the author has a tendency to throw in random, non-important words or phrases in Dutch that add nothing and - I can imagine - only confuse those who do not speak the language. Perhaps I have it wrong and it does add something for non-Dutch speakers, but I, as well as some of my classmates, just found it a distraction from the narrative. I also found the first quarter or maybe even third of the book difficult to get through. It was boring. However, after that everything steadily improves. The events Hans remembers begin to fall in to place, the descriptions become very vivid and real and detailed and the characters become much more human (in a good way). There are a number of beautiful lines: 'I strained the summer through a strainer that allowed only the collection of cricket. Everything else ran away.' I can only describe it as the narrative starting off in greyscale and the colour slowly seeping back in to the pictures.
In conclusion, if you can appreciate just 'looking at the scenery' when reading a book as opposed to becoming emotionally invested in the characters, and/or have an interest in the aforementioned themes, read this book. It's worth the struggle through the first part. ...more
He makes a number of very good and interesting points.. however, these points are made very clear in about a paragraph worth of text per chapter. My mHe makes a number of very good and interesting points.. however, these points are made very clear in about a paragraph worth of text per chapter. My main problem with this book is that I feel that because people are quick to agree with Hage (or are afraid to disagree with him), he gets away with being completely unobjective and often biased (for example his ways of citing people he agrees with vs. those he disagrees with, and the large amount of assumptions most of his arguments/examples are based on). Read this book to gain some new ideas, but please keep in mind that just because you agree does not mean you cannot be critical....more