In a relevant article at Qualitative Sociology (Issue 29:2006), Javier Auyero notices that even though ethnographic methods have returned to the forefront of sociological research and are being used more and more by researchers of social phenomena, the same does not stand true when it comes to the study of political ones. Political parties, activists, NGOs and social movements, are largely absent from the “repertoire” of sociological ethnography. That absence is double, claims Auyero: “…of politics in ethnographic literature and of ethnography in studies of politics”. When it comes to anthropology now, it also stands true that political anthropology has rather lost steam in the last two decades at least. “Culture” has largely replaced “politics” in the discipline.
This interdisciplinary workshop intends to re-examine the relevance and importance of political ethnography and anthropology in an effort to bridge anthropology and political sociology through the use of ethnographic research methods. The invited speakers, coming from the fields of political ethnography and political anthropology, will explore the relevance of ethnography in the study of social and political phenomena, its challenges, opportunities and limitations, through their own research experiences.