Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography” as Want to Read:
Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  188 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
For more than twenty years, John Van Maanen’s Tales of the Field has been a definitive reference and guide for students, scholars, and practitioners of ethnography and beyond. Originally published in 1988, it was the one of the first works to detail and critically analyze the various styles and narrative conventions associated with written representations of culture. This ...more
Paperback, 190 pages
Published May 15th 1988 by University Of Chicago Press (first published February 29th 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tales of the Field, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tales of the Field

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Jono
Feb 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Van Maanen provides examples of three different styles of ethnographic writing:
- Realist tales (kind of matter of fact, authority assumed)
- Confessional tales (acknowledging the personal foibles and journey of the ethnographer with the result of actually increasing trust in the findings)
- Impressionist tales (dramatically telling the story of a key event - Geertz' Balinese cockfight story being perhaps the most famous example)

I know I'll find this taxonomy useful as I think about ethnography
...more
Caitlin
Dec 05, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: qualtitative researchers
Written in 1988, this book is considered a classic account of how to report ethnographic research data. Writing ethnography was historically considered a matter of "style," but Van Maanen challenges this notion and presents three methods for writing up fieldwork and participant observation data.
Kristen Ghodsee
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing-advice
This is an extended rumination of various forms of ethnography, and the nature of different kinds of "tales" that ethnographers can tell. The book is heavy on theory, and lacks practical writing advice for those trying to write a dissertation or first book. However, it is an important theoretical contribution to the field and an important counterweight to Writing Culture. Overall, I recommend this to all students of cultural anthropology, especially the very useful epilogue in the second edition ...more
Trish Bodine
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Van Maanen did an excellent job of sorting many of the various types of ethnographies. He provided information on how each ethnographer would gather, coalesce, and publish findings, WITH examples of how it would look in the real world. Van Maanen also has a wicked dry sense of humor, so that helps make the read an easier one.
Ann Yanchura
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How can a text like this be amusing? And yet it was. I was entertained and surprised by Van Maanen's writing. Even better, this has given me some ideas for my own writing.
Kelly
Jan 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: masters-program
Ethnography is not my favorite subject so I am a bit biased in my review. I honestly skipped whole huge parts of the book.
Theresa
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography
Maanen, John Van
required text for college courses in australia, looked at the ideas of learning about culture with an open mind
Nicole
Jan 04, 2008 added it
There is a funny story of a police chase.
Meiver
rated it really liked it
Apr 07, 2011
Kristine Andrule
rated it really liked it
May 20, 2013
Sam Ladner
rated it liked it
Sep 29, 2014
Julia
rated it liked it
Dec 14, 2014
Rachel Nickens
rated it really liked it
Apr 20, 2015
Stephane Ethier
rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2014
Alan Cordova
rated it did not like it
Aug 28, 2007
Lorena Gibson
rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2017
Mark Hawker
rated it really liked it
May 09, 2013
Victoria
rated it it was amazing
Oct 21, 2014
Robert Aston
rated it really liked it
Jan 29, 2015
Yu Shaun
rated it really liked it
Mar 03, 2015
Hooman Attar
rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2007
Melanie
rated it really liked it
Feb 26, 2017
Kris
rated it really liked it
Feb 16, 2012
Carl
rated it liked it
Aug 09, 2015
Mollie
rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2015
Chahrazad
rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2016
Aaron
rated it really liked it
Jul 24, 2007
Helena Handbasket
rated it it was ok
Jul 22, 2015
Jennifer Eakins
rated it liked it
Aug 01, 2017
William Matthews
rated it it was ok
May 05, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes
  • Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco
  • Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography
  • Return to Laughter: An Anthropological Novel
  • Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide Through Qualitative Analysis
  • The Forest of Symbols: Aspects Of Ndembu Ritual
  • Righteous Dopefiend
  • Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland
  • The Innocent Anthropologist: Notes from a Mud Hut
  • Anthropology and Social Theory: Culture, Power, and the Acting Subject
  • Never in Anger: Portrait of an Eskimo Family
  • Anthropological Theory: An Introductory History
  • The Rebirth of History: Times of Riots and Uprisings
  • Nest in the Wind: Adventures in Anthropology on a Tropical Island
  • Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places
  • The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart
  • Toward An Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams
  • Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society)

Nonfiction Deals

  • Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn: Life's Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Funny In Farsi: A Memoir Of Growing Up Iranian In America
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir
    $11.24 $1.99
“...tales in search of an excuse for their telling.” 1 likes
More quotes…