Conducting ethnography in China

Leung-sea, Lucia SIU

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Researchpeer-review

Abstract

Conducting ethnography in modern China can be highly fruitful, yet there are special-care items that seldom appear in methodology literature. Drawn from the author’s fieldwork in China’s futures markets in 2005, the first part of this paper discusses a list of practical items that ethnographers are likely to face: field access, the organizational culture of public and quasi-public institutions, obtaining trust, the scenarios of gifts and banquets, reliability of statistical data, politically sensitive areas, and personal safety. The second part is a reflection on standpoint issues, namely Orientalism and nationalism. Ethnographers usually face tensions that arise from their roles, as they are both insiders and outsiders of their target communities. The tension can be acute in the case of Hong Kong researchers; yet it is possible to turn this into a methodological advantage.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2008
EventThe 10th Hong Kong Sociological Association Annual Meeting - , Hong Kong
Duration: 6 Dec 20086 Dec 2008

Conference

ConferenceThe 10th Hong Kong Sociological Association Annual Meeting
CountryHong Kong
Period6/12/086/12/08

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ethnography
futures market
China
orientalism
public institution
organizational culture
gift
nationalism
Hong Kong
scenario
methodology
community
literature

Cite this

SIU, L. L. (2008). Conducting ethnography in China. Paper presented at The 10th Hong Kong Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hong Kong.
SIU, Leung-sea, Lucia. / Conducting ethnography in China. Paper presented at The 10th Hong Kong Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hong Kong.
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SIU, LL 2008, 'Conducting ethnography in China' Paper presented at The 10th Hong Kong Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hong Kong, 6/12/08 - 6/12/08, .

Conducting ethnography in China. / SIU, Leung-sea, Lucia.

2008. Paper presented at The 10th Hong Kong Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hong Kong.

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Researchpeer-review

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N2 - Conducting ethnography in modern China can be highly fruitful, yet there are special-care items that seldom appear in methodology literature. Drawn from the author’s fieldwork in China’s futures markets in 2005, the first part of this paper discusses a list of practical items that ethnographers are likely to face: field access, the organizational culture of public and quasi-public institutions, obtaining trust, the scenarios of gifts and banquets, reliability of statistical data, politically sensitive areas, and personal safety. The second part is a reflection on standpoint issues, namely Orientalism and nationalism. Ethnographers usually face tensions that arise from their roles, as they are both insiders and outsiders of their target communities. The tension can be acute in the case of Hong Kong researchers; yet it is possible to turn this into a methodological advantage.

AB - Conducting ethnography in modern China can be highly fruitful, yet there are special-care items that seldom appear in methodology literature. Drawn from the author’s fieldwork in China’s futures markets in 2005, the first part of this paper discusses a list of practical items that ethnographers are likely to face: field access, the organizational culture of public and quasi-public institutions, obtaining trust, the scenarios of gifts and banquets, reliability of statistical data, politically sensitive areas, and personal safety. The second part is a reflection on standpoint issues, namely Orientalism and nationalism. Ethnographers usually face tensions that arise from their roles, as they are both insiders and outsiders of their target communities. The tension can be acute in the case of Hong Kong researchers; yet it is possible to turn this into a methodological advantage.

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SIU LL. Conducting ethnography in China. 2008. Paper presented at The 10th Hong Kong Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hong Kong.