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Revisits: An Outline of a Theory of Reflexive Ethnography

Author(s): Michael Burawoy
Source: American Sociological Review, Vol. 68, No. 5 (Oct., 2003), pp. 645-679
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1519757 .
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University of California, Berkeley

This paper explores the ethnographic technique of the focused revisit-rare in soci-
ology but common in anthropology-when an ethnographer returns to the site of a
previous study. Discrepancies between earlier and later accounts can be attributed
to differences in: (1) the relation of observer to participant, (2) theory brought to the
field by the ethnographer, (3) internal processes within the field site itself, or (4)
forces external to the field site. Focused revisits tend to settle on one or another of
these four explanations, giving rise to four types of focused revisits. Using examples,
the limits of each type of focused revisit are explored with a view to developing a
reflexive ethnography that combines all four approaches. The principles of the fo-
cused revisit are then extended to rolling, punctuated, heuristic, archeological, and
valedictory revisits. In centering attention on ethnography-as-revisit sociologists
directly confront the dilemmas of participating in the world they study-a world that
undergoes (real) historical change that can only be grasped using a (constructed)
theoretical lens.

BACKWARD and forward cipline of anthropology.After four decades
through 40 years of field work, Clifford of expansion, startingin the 1950s, there are
Geertz (1995) describes how changes in the now many more anthropologists swarming
two towns he studied, Pare in Indonesia and over the globe. They come not only from
Sefrou in Morocco, cannot be separatedfrom Western centers but also from ex-colonies.
their nation states-the one beleaguered by a They are ever more skeptical of positive sci-
succession of political contestations and the ence, and embrace the interpretive turn, it-
other the product of dissolving structures. self pioneered by Geertz, that gives pride of
These two states, in turn,cannot be separated place to culture as narrativeand text. "When
from competing and transmogrifying world everything changes, from the small and im-
hegemonies that entangle anthropologists as mediate to the vast and abstract-the object
well as their subjects. Just as Geertz's field of study,the world immediately aroundit, the
sites have been reconfigured, so has the dis- student, the world immediately around him,
and the wider world around them both-
Direct all correspondence to Michael there seems to be no place to stand so as to
Burawoy,Departmentof Sociology, University
of California,Berkeley,CA 94720 (burawoy@ Hanks,Gail Kligman,Louise Lamphere,Steve
This paperwas launched
socrates.berkeley.edu). Lopez, Ruth Milkman, Sabina Neem, Sherry
in a dissertationseminarwhereit receivedspir- Ortner,Mary Pattillo, Melvin Pollner, Leslie
ited criticism from Bill Hayes, Linus Huang, Salzinger, Ida Susser, Joan Vincent, Loi'c
Rachel Sherman,and MichelleWilliams.Since Wacquant,Ron Weitzer,andErikWright.I also
then I have takenit on the road and picked up thankthe fourASRreviewers,in particularDiane
commentsandsuggestionsfrommany,including Vaughan,whoseinspiredcommentaryled to ma-
Julia Adams, Philip Bock, Patricia Clough, jor revisions,and ReviewerD, whose persistent
MitchellDuneier,Steve Epstein,Jim Ferguson, critical interventionskept my argumenton an
Maria Patricia Ferndindez-Kelly, Marion even keel. This venturewas madepossibleby a
Fourcade-Gourinchas, HerbGans,Tom Gieryn, year at Academy's Arcadia,the Russell Sage
TeresaGowan,RichardGrinker,Lynne Haney, Foundation,to which revisits are rightly, but
Gillian Hart, Mike Hout, Jennifer Johnson- sadly,barred.

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locate just what has alteredand how" (Geertz terrogation of an already existing ethnogra-
1995:2). This is the challenge of the ethno- phy without any further field work.
graphic revisit: to disentangle movements of Colignon's (1996) critical reexaminationand
the external world from the researcher'sown reinterpretation of Selznick's (1949) TVA
shifting involvement with that same world, and the Grassroots or Franke and Kaul's
all the while recognizing that the two are not (1978) reexamination of the Hawthorne
independent. studies are both examples of reanalyses. A
With their detailed ethnographicrevisits to revisit must also be distinguished from an
classic sites, the earlier anthropologists ethnographic update, which brings an earlier
tended toward realism, focusing on the dy- study up to the present but does not reengage
namic properties of the world they studied, it. Hollingshead's (1975) empirical account
whereas more recently they have increas- of changes in Elmstown is an updatebecause
ingly veered in a constructivist direction in it does not seriously engage with the origi-
which the ethnographerbecomes the central nal study. Gans (1982) updates The Urban
figure. They have found it hard to steer a Villagers, not so much by adding new field
balanced course. On the other hand, sociolo- data as by addressing new literatures on
gist-ethnographers, grounded theorists in class and poverty. These are not hard and
particular,have simply ducked the challenge fast distinctions, but they nonetheless guide
altogether. Too often they remain trappedin my choice of the ethnographic revisits I ex-
the contemporary,riveted to and contained amine in this paper.
in their sites, from where they bracket ques- There is one final but fundamentaldistinc-
tions of historical change, social process, tion-that between revisit and replication.
wider contexts, theoretical traditions,as well Ethnographersperennially face the criticism
as their own relation to the people they that theirresearchis not trans-personallyrep-
study. While sociology in general has taken licable-that one ethnographerwill view the
a historical turn-whether as a deprovincial- field differently from another.2To strive for
izing aid to social theory or as an analytical replicability in this constructivist sense is to
comparative history with its own mission, strip ourselves of our prejudices, biases,
whether as historical demography or longi- theories, and so on before entering the field
tudinal survey research-ethnography has and to minimize the impact of our presence
been slow to emancipate itself from the eter- once we are in the field. Ratherthan dive into
nal present. My purpose here is to encour- the pool fully clothed, we stand naked on the
age and consolidate what historical interest side. With the revisit we believe the contrary:
there exists within sociology-as-ethnogra- There is no way of seeing clearly without a
phy, transportingit from its unconscious past theoretical lens, just as there is no passive,
into a historicized world by elaborating the
notion of ethnography-as-revisit. This, in 2 Or even worse, the same ethnographer will
turn, lays the foundations for a reflexive eth- have divergent interpretationsof the "same"
events. Thus, Van Maanen(1988) describeshis
nography.1 field work amongpolice on patrolsuccessively
Let me define my terms. An ethnographic
as a "realist"talethatstrivesfor the "nativepoint
revisit occurs when an ethnographerunder- of view," as a "confessional"tale thatis preoc-
takes participantobservation, that is, study- cupiedwith the field worker'sown experiences,
ing others in their space and time, with a and as an "impressionistic" (from the painting
view to comparing his or her site with the genreof Impressionism) tale thatbringsthe field
same one studied at an earlier point in time, workerand subjectinto a dynamicrelationship.
whether by him or herself or by someone Wolf (1992) similarlypresentsherfield workon
else. This is to be distinguished from an eth- shamansin Taiwanin three differentways: as
field notes, as fictionalaccount,and as profes-
nographic reanalysis, which involves the in- sional article.Whilerecognizingthe importance
1 A reflexive ethnographycan also be devel- of experimentalwritingandthe contributionsof
opedthroughsynchroniccomparisons-compar- the postmoderncriticismof ethnography,Wolf
ing two factories,communities,schools, and so ends up defendingthe professionalarticlewith
on-in different spatial contexts, as well as its rulesof evidenceandinterpretation. Suchpo-
throughthe diachroniccomparisonsof the tem- lyphony calls for a vocabularyand framework
poralrevisitthatformthe basis of this paper. beyond"replication."

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and at the same time Thomas ety of cases. so ad hoc. other hand. pothesis: that the early ethnographies in so- ciology were so poorly done. ing conquered the world. lands in 1915. or reanalyzecanoni. generations of sociologists have tions of historical change. Christian- This content downloaded from 128. sociologists are always re- mas of participating in the world we study. in particularto the case of archeologists there are only so comprehend difference over time. but rarely. and they have accu. Sociologists have been quite Anthropologists routinely revisit their own capable of superbly detailed ethnography. Franz Boas the effects of our interventions. a vast stock of classic civil war since Evans-Pritchardwas there in studies to revisit. We replicate a study in order to show Malinowski first set out for the TrobriandIs- that the findings hold across the widest vari. As we shall see. the ethnographic revisit champi. shall see. Hutchinson's (1996) Nuerland tion in their discipline. does not its. This minimizing intervention to control research second hypothesis doesn't work either. though. to revisit. that press. make sense. in vain. sites and those of others. flawed field seldom revisit their own sites. Where replication is concerned with they have no need to retread the old. and America. sites are more enduring. the purpose of the revisit is the exact with sociologists (Susser and Patterson opposite: to focus on the inescapable dilem. our purpose is not to seek con. let alone those work does not discourage revisits. colonized. Replication means searching for simi. tors. As in stand and explain variation. turningto the same places to do their ethnog- on the necessity of bringing theory to the raphies. but that did not stop her using sociology that there are few worthy classic Evans-Pritchardas a baseline to understand studies to revisit. There is also. a second meaning of replication Kwakiutl in 1886. even in their own backyards. Sociologists.hav- however. to re. whereas anthropological to why anthropologists are so fond of revis.251. but. field. it would seem. too. ethnography's connection to social science This brings me to a third. 2001). This. many sites to excavate. have changed so dramatically that the sites ciplinary stereotypes. has been invaded. A fourth hypothesis is that the worlds matically? It is worth considering a number studied by early sociologist-ethnographers of mundanehypotheses. on The Philadelphia Negro. began his first field work among the however. have so many unexplored sites to ons what replication strives. but never. That is. cially now that anthropologists have spread sity of cases to secure the constancy of find. therefore. When we revisit. This hypothesis doesn't the impact of decolonization. cultivate. to place the revisit ratherthan replication at have they systematically comparedtheir field the center of ethnography is to re-envision work with that of a predecessor. as sociologists be self-conscious and deliberate about the have been doing systematic field work al- theories we employ and that we capitalize on most as long as anthropologists. Moreover. espe- conditions and with maximizing the diver. into advancedcapitalism where they compete ings. Moreover. as are unrecognizable. that -to use one of Hughes's and Znaniecki (1918-1920) were collecting (1958) examples-the need to deal with dirty data for their The Polish Peasant in Europe work applies as much to physicians as jani. A second hypothesis might turn the ana- larity across difference.235. or almost never. just as anthropologists can be guilty of cal works. while sociologist-ethnographers sloppy field work. The first hypothesis. if only to dispel dis. and beset by mulated. Ethnographyis so new to the 1930s.Anthropologists. studied Chicago. hy- and to the world it seeks to comprehend. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Bronislaw ings.160 on Sat. all with a view to developing explana. is that field work has long been a tradi. it often stimulates them! Why should the two disciplines differ so dra. visit old sites (or study themselves). only a little more than a that concerns not controlling conditions of decade before Du Bois ([1899] 1996) worked research. ratherbleak. on the In short. that WHAT SOCIOLOGY CAN LEARN they are not worth revisiting! I hope to dis- abuse the reader of this idea by the time I FROM ANTHROPOLOGY have finished. as we of their forbears. The revisit demands that we stand up to scrutiny. REVISITS 647 neutralposition. can now only re- stancy across two encounters but to under. war. Even reanalyses are rare. but testing the robustness of find. lytic eye to the present.

in the search for singular descriptions of mi- flexive-more likely to ask who they are and cro-situations. an One might simply argue that anthropologists inductive science of close observation.235. Becker. let alone history. 7) argues that the Chi- and then making it normal again! cago School ethnographies were "historical" in Still. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . server as participant. Davis. ductive grand theory these sociologists nographer-sociologist. par- studies. micro-analysis. are not all demolished. Burawoy. Gans. revisiting other people's To put their best positivist foot forward. and transnational capital. workers are irrevocably implicated in the So my sixth hypothesis is that anthropolo. rituals. To survey research. Burawoy. His point. It began as the general cyclical theories of social change as- the dominant approachin the field when the sociated with Robert Park.160 on Sat. But this fifth hypothesis doesn't ex. less likely to think revisits I will provide correctives along all about themselves and their traditions. codi- invest so much in their research site-learn. Here we with the past or the sociologist's attachment find the great studies of Goffman. (3) internal processes. Similarly. other people's sites. creating an alterna- become factors in revisits.251. was that sociology had lost touch the other hand. Chicago School prevailed. This content downloaded from 128. in turningto the discipline for an ex. of survey research and structuralfunctional- Colson (1971) followed the Gwembe Tonga ism-what Mills (1959) called abstracted after they had been displaced by flooding empiricism and grand theory. Freidson. (2) the reconstruction gists have a trained capacity to exoticize of theory. the practices. are less reflexive. but Whyte's North this challenge. Sociological sites. The drama Strauss into what Fine (1995) has called the of change and the dissolution of old sites do Second Chicago School.648 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW ity. some would say that was their craft-making the normal abnormal 3 Abbott (1999. that they were concerned with process. If process or history the mark. and covery of Grounded Theory and reaching its so on-that they are drawnback to their own apotheosis in Becker's (1998) craft manual.3 In studying ethnographic ety). they ied then perhaps the distinction lies with the counterposedfield research based on in situ observer-the anthropologist's romance observation of the micro-social. Chicago ethnographies were largely bereft of process. participantobservationturnedinward. (3) as exotic (or they came to anthropologywith sometimes even eclipsed processual change this in mind) and they are therefore more re. In my planation. and (4) ex- those they study. it succumbed to the twin forces 1998. fied in Glaser and Strauss's (1967) The Dis- ing the language. Indeed. the Chicago School had taken up West End (Gans 1982). even if they are next-door principles of reflexive ethnography. reconstitutingitself underthe End (Whyte 1943) is still recognizable de. I think one may be getting nearer view. influence of Everett Hughes but also Anselm spite the changes it has sustained. of from the KaribaDam. Even before he wrote his sure urbanrenewal overtook HerbertGans's polemic. their own soci. but with the 4 These four principles are also the defining mo- spread of sociology and the expansion of the ments of the extended case method (Burawoy university.4 neighbors. to the present. 1991. (2) repressed preexisting gists have been trained to study the "other" theory as a dangerous contamination. such an essentialist and unlikely psychology. the empirical data. world they study. But four dimensions-thematizing (1) the ob- here too the difference is not clear-sociolo. They reclaimed ethnographyfor science. and others. ones. counterposed grounded theory discovered in If it is not the natureof the site being stud. chap. Sociologists. as though they come from ternal forces-thereby establishing the four a different world. Ethnographyin American sociol- entered the Chicago School it was in the form of ogy has followed a twisted road. One does not have to resort to Gusfield.e. on course.. insiders and thus silencing the ways field ary projects of anthropology and sociology. but this does not tive to theoreticism and empiricism. To de- distinguish the anthropologist from the eth. Forced to carve out its own "scientific" plain the anthropologist'srelish for studying niche. To be with social reality. sites rather than driven to excavate new Tricksof the Trade. Burton et al. ticipant observers (1) pretendedto be neutral Perhapsthe answer lies with the disciplin. and (4) suspendedas unknow- where they came from. because able the historical and macro-context of the they study the familiar (i.

the ex-colonial subject was released from 5 bracedhistory.came as naturalto the practice of the anthro- tions of scientific knowledge. Mead. that emerged from these hitherto unstated tion but also a warning. They discipline and from changes in the world. 2000). opened the floodgates of world history. theory. Fujimura1996. so stream.buttheseelementsare the anthropologists forsook science as they brought into a differentrelationwith eachother.Theextendedcase methodstressesthe Vincent 1990. As an they no longer controlled. studies that were their canon and that. Acknowl- taining this marginaltechnique in face of the edging how dependent they were on forces ascendancy of quantitative research. tive guardianship of colonialism-condi- creasingly concerned with longitudinal tions that remained silent in the original analysis. and of the way their texts al- Within anthropology the trajectoryof eth.nographer retreated into secure enclaves in phy stressesthedialoguebetweenconstructivism both the discipline and the community. augmentation of social processesstudiedthrough While the anthropologist was thrown into participantobservationwith externalforces and a turbulent world order. Reflexiveethnography andthe extendedcase method. Wolf 1982). willy-nilly became exceedingly conscious sulated themselves both from changes in the of the world beyond their field site. the trope of revisit be- Mertonianclaims about the normativefounda. had been conducted under the protec- imperial. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . should not be misunderstood. framework to critically appropriatethe clas- dations (Epstein 1996.It then turnedto pology as it was to the movements of its sub- the daily practiceof laboratorylife (Latourand jects. The isolation of the village. heightened historical consciousness came a pologists. of the the day.The ethnog. thropology reverberatedin shock. Latour sic revisits of anthropology and to bring so- 1988). history. participantobservation should come tribe. Simultaneous with this ciologists have much to learn from anthro. long tradition of community studies. Marcus 1986). Radcliffe-Brown. domi. REVISITS 649 My criticism of sociologist-ethnographers ciology returns again and again to Marx. when survey research is itself in. the widercontextthatshapedscienceandits his. so anthropology has be studied and gleaned from the present.5In this project so. Malinowski. when historical sociology is main. participantobservers in. and theory.There is much Weber. Once At least in one area ethnography has em. when grand theory is no longer so often. was a conjuring act that depended on out from its protected corner to embrace his. Thus. an- ticipant observation to great advantage.but withoutlosing theirethnographicfoun. when globalization is the topic of studies. anthropologists embattled minority. from both their insights and their questioning of the anthropological theories oversights: Anthropologists offer an inspira. and Durkheim. revisited (and reanalyzed) the innocent Today. the sociologist-eth- the reconstruction of theory. was threatened by anticolonial revolts.around their sites to ward off accusations nal forces). has made enor. sus. Just as so. These laboratorystudies then relocatedthemselvesin nificance and variety of revisits.235. conditions. and context came to be deeply impressed upon the anthropologist's sensibility (Comaroff Blumet al.251. The (observer as participant and reconstructing sociologists threw up false boundaries theory)andrealism(internalprocessesandexter. In other words. tions of colonial domination (Clifford and nonical texts were ethnographic.reflexiveethnogra. Mintz 1985. the extendedcase that they did not practice "science.differ in their and Comaroff 1991. and the nated by the Chicago School. 1992.theory.160 on Sat. Evans-Pritchard. urban life. In the remainder of this essay. it takes a sociologist to exhume the sig- drawingon strainsof ethnomethodology. tration (Asad 1973). The symbolic interactionists and When the very possibility of ethnography the ethnomethodologists have deployed par.anthropological confinement and allowed to raphy of science began as a reactionto grand traverse the world. This content downloaded from 128. rest-and will continue to do so as long as mous contributions to our understanding of they define the anthropological tradition. The returned to Boas. I design a tory.however." while methodandreflexiveethnography sharethesame fourconstitutiveelements. ready contained within them particularrela- nography has been very different. the coercive presence of a colonial adminis- tory. ciology-as-ethnography out of its dark ages. context. Taken-for-grantedby the anthropolo- Woolgar 1979)-a resolutely micro-analysis gist. Its ca.andcontext. emphases.

portraitsof shop floor games.the morero- bustit becomes. and lathes. Like Roy I was employed as a machine I painstakingly examined Roy's (1952b) operator. namely "gold. set. In turn. after it had be. ested in promoting human relations on the The scheme of focused revisits I develop shop floor. his rich Revisits come in different types. the old authoritarianrelation be- place. ings of capitalism or the way state and mar- visit (Burawoy 1979) to a factory studied by ket impressed themselves on shop floor re- Donald Roy. and Kendall 1956). seemingly everlastingdebatebetween pluralist and elite perspectives on community power. portant in shaping the shop floor. before it (Merton. while the auxiliary workers (inspectors. one of the great ethnographers lations. For all the talk of science. in pursuit of piece rates dial drills. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . However.importanceof infor- mationtechnology.235.6 There were the machine op. I was reminded of other piecework tween management and worker had dissi- machine shops.but one replication but from originality!8 My first that takes on very differentmeanings because instinct was reactive-to denounce Roy as a of changes in historical context and the inter. This content downloaded from 128. crib attendants. tory. seemed to be the same! Or was it? tion." same piece work game of "making out" 8 Whena findingis controversial. As Merton (1957) confirmed long ago. bricking" (slowing down when piece rates Hunter(1953). chargefor the elite perspective.) madethe replicationall made it even more exceptional was the rare the morepersuasive. esp. ex- landed in his factory 30 years later. The very differentconditionshe left me in no doubt that I had miraculously foundin Atlanta(emergenceof a blackelite. mills. indeed. First.Becausethe conditionsof Roy's 6 I was familiarwitha numberof otherstudies and my ethnographieswere so similar. dispatchers.revisitedAtlanta ing to Roy's (1952b) dissertation I discov.The morediversethe con- quality of Roy's 546-page dissertation. his familiarity with industrial work. let alone a job. and I studied that same factory 30 market to produce different experiences in years later in 1974-1975." 1953. truck HughesconsideredRoy's dissertation"oneof the drivers) were on hourly rates.replication mightpayoff. academia the real reward comes not from ture an alreadyinvestigated situation. But if external context was so im- of the Chicago School. inter- ests and perspectives of the revisitor. I observed the best he had supervised. 1952b. In fact Roy's findings were so compelling visit. who did not understandthe work- here derives from my own serendipitous re. But everything come the engine division of Allied Corpora.etc. Lupton1963). working at their ra. For both of us it was a source of dissertation and discovered. in the early 1970sto confirmhis originalfinding ered a series of remarkablecoincidences that (Hunter1980). What pansionof the downtown. a series income as well as our dissertation field of small but significant changes in the fac- work. not the least Roy's classic pated. and the same pat- terns of output restriction. 7 Accordingto Chapoulie(1996:17).251. who would clock operators'jobs when their erators on piece rates.650 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW DISSECTING THE FOCUSED had planned to do a revisit I could not have REVISIT-MANUFACTURING chosen a better predecessor than Roy-the CONSENT exhaustive detail. This change was marked by the dis- accounts of output restriction (Roy 1952a.160 on Sat. myopic Chicago participantobserver. Fiske. then one 1953. 1954). speed drills. If I ditionsunderwhicha findingholds.7 the most comprehensive is the focused re. whosereputational study(an eth- were too difficult) or "quotarestriction"(not nographyof sorts) of Atlantain 1950 led the busting rates when they were easy). tion of smallchanges. raphy of the same site. would expect changes in the state and the 1945. backs were turned. As I grew accustomed to the work. usually conducted by I knew that to replicate Roy's study would someone else. 1954) studied Geer Companyin 1944. in the focused revisit takes as its point of depar. the brilliant use of events.. could contribute.replica- of piece rates that showed similar patternsof tion was less interestingthan was the explana- "outputrestriction"(see. appearance of the "time and study men. 1974 compared with 1944. A case in pointwasthe heatedand (making the piece rate). Roy (1952a. Everett up men. Like the focused interview not earn me a dissertation. which entails an intensive comparison that I was at a loss to know what more I of one's own field work with a prior ethnog.

horizontal conflicts had other operator on the shop floor going intensified. only the fourth one.it turnedout. the same way-at least that was what both planations for our different experiences. race and gender.235. and others. workers understood economic and. I tried to demonstratethat cies between Roy's experiences and mine. eral relations with other workers and bound Habermas. I ing consent. ideological apparatusesof the state. easy. regardless of their habitus. He was the human relations school. but within the were importantfor explaining the discrepan. those we studied that shaped our different periences at Geer and Allied. If piece rates were than I. He argued accepted by his fellow workers as I-an En. we came to the shop floor with not new to blue-collar work like I was. Roy and myself gleaned from all the emo- though at the time of my study I considered tional talk aroundus. rationality much better than management. more nal this by slowing down. their lo- scribed. Roy was doubtedly. Roy's and my experiences were dif. was being irratio- have criticized Manufacturing Consent nal by introducing counterproductive rules (Burawoy 1979) for not giving weight to that impeded the free flow of work. counterpartwithin production. he different theories. Miliband. experienced management as authori. If rates ease. ers? Our divergent biographies and resulting which was always putting obstacles in the habiti. RECONSTRUCTING THEORY OBSERVER AS PARTICIPANT If it was not the different relations we had to My first hypothesis is that Roy's and my ex. I was a miscellaneous machine managerialexpectations without compromis- operatorwho could roam the shop floor with ing their own economic interests. was an arena for manufactur- thing very different because. and experienced its victories and defeats in ences? I now consider four hypothetical ex. were impossible to make. REVISITS 651 that could be tightened. theorized by Gramsci. "making out. it is not obvious that either Like Roy. Roy was a dissident within was a veteran of many industries. or their race. Instead of the collusion between through the same shared and common expe- operators and auxiliary workers that Roy de. Work was organized as Truck drivers. experiences of work. the cooperation of auxiliary work. I was a dissident. crib attendants a collective game. would lead to rate cutting. Poulantzas. workers would sig- No wonder. Second.Althusser. rather than the locus for the we were both white and male. I observed hostility and antagonism. could more effectively obtain the respect Roy argued. if vertical work because both of us observed every tension had relaxed." We all played the same game ferent. in my crystallization of class consciousness hostile time whiteness might have signified some. so fondly This racial moment may have disrupted lat.160 on Sat. he. Still. Not workers. to capitalism. but so might our location in the tors cleverly circumvented in order to meet workplace. Marxist tradition. Perhaps his blue-collar pride flared up product of workers failing to understandthe more easily at managerial edicts. workers would be sure not to draw at- tarian.To the contrary. nor embodiment-could of class compromise and the constitution of explain the difference in our experience of the individual as an industrial citizen. Bor- This content downloaded from 128. Although many management. a third set of factors might tention to the fact by rate busting for fear it have intervened-our embodimentas racial. inspectors. but what to make of those differ. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . thus. perhaps he rules of economic rationality. al.It was here on I argue that none of these factors-neither the shop floor that I found the organization habitus. and each worker evalu- were the bane of my life.251. As we reported ated others as well as themselves in terms of them. might explain our different way of their "makingout"-obstacles opera- experiences. Finally. perhaps it was the differed because we had a different relation theory we each brought to the factory. found their me closer to white management. against the findings of the Western Electric glishman and a student to boot-could never Studies that restriction of output was the be. therefore. while Roy was stuck to his radial drill. unlike Roy. I showed how the political and was working alongside African Americans. After all. location. but ized or gendered subjects. one might conclude. rience. cation. as the workplace. Un- to the people we studied. respectively.

251." theoretical or practical engagement with the If our theories were so different. why he battled Roy (1952b) did observe internal processes with time and study men whereas in my time of a cyclical character. impervious to the influence of consciousness brought to the shop floor from without. one that favors despotism to hegemony was an artifactof our coercion over consent. therefore. with fewer institu. grievance machinery. and in exchange obtained application or nonapplication of rules but more worker cooperation. changes were consolidated by the pattern planations for the differences we ob."or the being studied (rather than products of our "hegemonic regime of production." and the second to "externalforces. in. We must turn.Rules would be im- they were nowhere to be found." foci.235. or embodiment). also involved the introductionof completely mained. but over time workers accounts. I now turn to the realist ex. When I scended from on high. machinery and collective bargainingbecame tion. collective bar- I am not saying that theories can never ex.LOGICAL REVIEW rowing from Gramsci. years? It is conceivable that the shift from potic workplace than Allied. Besides. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . But this explanation does not work. binding their interests to the company. Like constructivist explanations. bargainingbetween tradeunions and leading served-that is. But at least in this Is it possible to explain the shift from des- case theoretical differences cannot explain potic to hegemonic regimes of productionby why I experienced more lateral conflict and reference to processes within the factory? Roy more vertical conflict. EXTERNAL FORCES cluding our own sociological theories! The shift from despotism at Geer Company to hegemony at Allied Corporationis com- INTERNAL PROCESSES patible with a shift reportedin the industrial So far I have considered only constructivist relations literature. Differences re. or explanations that common features in the organized sectors of focus on the theories we used to make sense American industry after WorldWarII. could site). Whereas at Geer. but in this case. intensified rules and their relaxation during ceived a more participatory management my year on the shop floor. the expanded worker rights and extended more shift over 30 years cannot be reduced to the human respect. even as we each take our new sets of rules regarding the bidding on own theory to the workplace of the other. real- they explain our-Roy's and mine-differ. These of what we saw. The system of internal explanations for the difference in our expe. I discover a more des. jobs. If theory posed from above to restrict informal bar- alone were the explanation for our different gaining and collusion. were Roy to have trainedhis human I too observed a similar oscillation between relations lens on Allied he would have per. therefore.652 AMERICAN SOCIO.160 on Sat. workers were the possibility that Roy and I were simply at treated as "yardbirds. explanations that consider corporationswithin the major industrial sec- This content downloaded from 128. Could such cyclical focus my theory of hegemony onto Geer change explain a secular change over 30 Company. because Equally. ist explanations are also of two types: The ent experiences of the workplace? Certainly first attributes divergence to "internal pro- different theories have different empirical cesses. our accounts to reflect attributesof the world gemonic organization of production. labor markets (both in terms of bidding on riences-that is. ing) as well as the elaboration of grievance low workers (whether due to habitus. gaining. select different data. So this rules out culture. Annual cyclical change plain discrepancies in observations made by could not explain the overall shift in the 30 two researchers. explanations that focus on jobs and the system of layoffs throughbump- the relations that Roy and I had to our fel. I called this the "he. however."Allied's management different points in the cycle. loca. factors to explain the secular shift to a hege- nized that our lived experiences were largely monic regime. work was years. then Allied Corporation would would stretch and circumvent the rules until look the same as Geer Company if examined anotheravalanche of managerialdecrees de- through the same theoretical lens. to external so tightly structured and collectively orga. and so on. different placement in the cycle between bu- tions constituting workers as individuals or reaucraticimposition and indulgency pattern.

and realist explanations-the former focus- ing the site yet existing largely outside the ing on changes in knowledge of the object control of the site. Marxism (c) Embodiment(language. External edge (whether these changes are due to in- context. shap. Both of these forces originated ethnographies of the same site.251. Here then were my twin explanations for the The "internal"and the "external"are com- shift from despotism to hegemony: (1) Geer bined within a more general theory of the Company's move from the competitive sec. local Company into the multinational Allied Cor. theory tor to the monopoly sector. Along one dimen- the environment is experienced as powers sion I distinguish between constructivist emanating from beyond the field site. Table 1 assembles the four hypothetical What do I mean by "external forces"? I explanations for the discrepancy between use the term "external forces. external) composed of markets and states. from beyond the plant itself. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." to underline the way Geer/Allied shop floor. PossibleExplanationsfor the DivergencebetweenRoy'sOriginalEthnographyand Burawoy'sRevisit Explanations Internal External Observeras Participant ReconstructingTheory Constructivist (a) Habitus(work experience) Humanrelations (b) Location(in production) vs. planation for change between successive tional level. and the latter in ways that are often incomprehensible and focusing on changes in the object of knowl- unpredictable to the participants.160 on Sat. in addition. Roy's (1952b) and my own account of the say. and was thereby protected from competition. and extra-local. between "internal"and "external" explana- This brings up another question: From tions of change-between relations consti- among the myriad potential external forces tuted in the field and theories imported at work. This content downloaded from 128. The static. how does one identify those that from outside. While the overall their delimitation and conceptualization. then to an environment (the extra-local or the very pressure that stimulated despotism. theory directs one first to the firm and its gine division had a guaranteed market and labor process (the local or internal).race. Allied's en. REVISITS 653 Table1. tors. or between internal processes are most important? They cannot be deter. But theory is necessary not just to grasp the lated industrialrelations was one factor gov. forces operative beyond the site. is a more passive. In sum. the absorptionof the independentGeer tion between internal and external. Marxist poration was the second factor. They appear and disappear field or alternative theory). transformation of the system of state-regu. and inertial concept that misses the second dimension refers to the distinction dynamism of the social order. age) InternalProcesses ExternalForces Cyclical imposition (a) Absorptionof factory Realist and relaxation into monopoly sector of rules (b) Secularnationalshift in industrialrelations Sources:Burawoy(1979). and (2) the trans. Roy (1952b). I drew on the literaturethat documented mined from the perspective of participant the more corporatist industrial relations to observation alone but. is a sine qua non of both types of realist ex- formation of industrial relations at the na. require explain what had happened on the shop floor the adoption of a theoretical framework for since Roy's field work. and external forces." rather than. it is also erning the move from despotism to hege. by contrast.235. development of capitalism. For example. These forces are not fixed (whether due to different relations to the but are in flux. necessary to conceptualize the very distinc- mony. "externalcontext. ternal processes or external forces).

states and markets change.9 tions in advanced capitalism was actually on the verge of disappearing! 9 Similarly. most recently in a sym- janitorsandphysicians. Indeed.but rialserviceshaveeachchangedovertimeor why few beardirectlyon my revisitto Geer. markets (which in fact led to the disintegra- exemplified by Roy's (1980) review of tion of Allied) and (2) the Reagan state's of- Manufacturing Consent (Burawoy 1979). The impact of those exter.160 on Sat. fensive against trade unions. Far from it.The problemwith bothRoy andBecker is not their critique of Manufacturing Consent eties of newly gendered and racialized labor but their anodyneassimilationof the studyto a methodology it opposes: the methodology of each variesfromplaceto place. method(VanVelsen 1967). sent it organized.The hegemonic regime that tors that might explain why "skinning"took I saw as the culmination of industrial rela- one form earlier and another form later.he overlooksmy exami- nationof externalforces as the source of such preciated the peculiarities of manufacturing that were being replaced by ascendant vari- change.654 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW CRITIQUEAND AUTO-CRITIQUE If there are limitations to Roy's Chicago method. cies between our accounts.First. or in placing our labor pro. I change from Geer to Allied but my failure to take sufficiently seriously the other three el- didn't studythe same problembut the opposite ements in Table 1. thematizedby Becker (1998). These and be gainedby examiningwhy medicalandjanito.10 Even though I nation for the discrepancy between my own still believe that "external forces" offer the account and Roy's (1952b). soon after I left mediation of social processes within the Allied in 1974 the hegemonic regime came workplace. I am not saying most accurate explanation for the discrepan- that the other three dimensions are unimpor.butthereis also muchto posium edited by Gottfried(2001). there are also limitations to my use In claiming "external forces" as the expla. eternal. I should have deployed problem.Markets and only have had their actual effects via the states do change. othercriticismsincludeexcellentreanalyses. referringto theManchesterSchool thatsearchesinductivelyfor whatis commonto of Social Anthropologyand its extendedcase the most disparateof cases ratherthanexplain. or in evaluating how our re. of some theoretical framework."He evinced no interest in the fac.third. In forging class Roy was curiously uninterested in explain. overlooking that they are themselves could only have been detected with the aid the product of unfolding social processes. If I had been more attentive to litical contexts. This content downloaded from 128.Becker(1998:89)reducesmy re.he misses the historical produced those "external forces. I ent light on what had happened over those would have noticed that the hegemonic re- 30 years.251. More than that." I was guilty of text of the company-could only have been reifying "external forces" as natural and observed through participant observation. without. Marxist theory I would have recognized that spective theoretical frameworks shed differ. our two studies merely gime sowed the seeds of its own destruction showed that there are different ways to "skin by disempowering the workers whose con- a worker. For Roy. however.To be surethereare insightsto 1 There have been numerouscriticisms of be gleanedfromshowingthe similaritybetween Manufacturing Consent. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . had I problematized my own embod- changes on the shop floor between 1944 and ied participation at Allied I might have ap- 1974. in hindsight the tant."In so doing he misses the distinc- tiveness of my extendedcase method." Further- focus of the study. workers vulnerable to such offensives from cesses in their respective economic and po. he ignores my inversion of Roy's theoreticalframework (from the human re- "theoretical reconstruction" to recognize lations question-why people don't work possible "internal processes" (elsewhere harder-to the Marxistquestion-why people within the economy or state) that might have work so hard).That is. and could Here I was indeed shortsighted. ing changes and continuities in the organi. 10I amhere Hughes (1971). My approach here. deeply problematic. compromise and individualizing workers.Second. of the Manchester method.namelymy attemptto explain more. The problem was not with the choice of visit to studyingthe "sameproblem"under"new "external forces" as the explanation of conditions. the hegemonic regime made those very same zation of work. way I conceptualized marketsand states was nal forces-changing state and market con.235. Therefore. is under assault from (1) the globalization of very different from the Chicago School's. ing divergences.

12 Following Bourdieu tween observer and participantand they tend (1990). I believe that interrogating one's re.as (1983) denunciation of Mead's (1928) Com- ing of Age in Samoa.3) haswrittena delight. claims of the predecessor.235.Second. but it is one that we can only know Not only do focused revisits tend to fall through our constructed relation to it.13In particular. I do not to reconstruct the theory of the predecessor. we get four possible ways of ex- The four elements in Table 1 define reflex. FROM ELEMENTS TO TYPES OF Once again. (b) Lewis (1951) -- Whyte (1943) Redfield (1930) TypeIII: Empiricism TypeIV: Structuralism (a) Lynd and Lynd (1937) -. cessor tends to use the revisit to refute the stacle but a necessary condition for under. (b) Moore and Vaughan(1994) -- Lynd and Lynd (1929) Richards(1939) processes. to be "refutational.160 on Sat. world. and constructivist approaches provide each Type I revisits focus on the relations be- other's corrective. and Boelen's (1992) 12Abbott(2001. we face human limitations elements of Table 1. an approachto par. That is. TypeH revisits focus on theoretical differ- out the other.a reflexiveethnographyis eth. Reflexive or another of these four explanations. giving ethnography presumes an "external" real rise to four types as shown in Table 2. which makes the distinction be- tween internal and external inescapable. Such is Freeman's standing and explanation.that is. (a) Hutchinson(1996) -- Realist Lynd and Lynd (1929) Evans-Pritchard(1940) (b) Caplow (1984) -. each corrects the other. It so happens that ticipant observation that recognizes that we actual focused revisits tend to emphasize one are part of the world we study. nal study and its revisit. reproduceeach other. ethnographerswe are only part of the world mand that ethnographers consider all four we study. on what we can study through participant observation. Type III revisits focus on internal pro- cesses. tion of Malinowski's (1922) Argonauts of First. REVISITS 655 Table 2. and Examples. cross-classifying these two di- FOCUSED REVISITS mensions. have to a body of theory we share with other scholars. chap. and they tend to be "empiricist. vilification of Whyte's (1943) Street Corner ful account of how constructionism and realism Society. a reflexive ethnographyis reflexive not the WesternPacific and Lewis's (1951) his- only in the sense of recognizingthe relationwe toricist reconstruction of the Redfield's have to those we studybut also the relationwe (1930) Tepoztldn:A Mexican Village." should be clear that. like Bourdieuand That is to say the successor uses the revisit Wacquant(1992) or Morawska(1997). reducereflexiveethnographyto the relationship between observer and informant(as Rabinow Such is Weiner's (1976) feminist reconstruc- [1977] and Behar [1993] do in their accounts). 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Lynd's (1937) revisit to their own first study This content downloaded from 128. 13 It ences.251. and they tend to be "reconstructive. of Classic (Focused) Revisits Explanations Internal External TypeI: Refutation TypeII: Reconstruction Constructivist (a) Freeman(1983) -4 (a) Weiner(1976) -4 Mead (1928) Malinowski(1922) (b) Boelen (1992) -. the successor tends to describe ratherthan cial processeswe observeandthe externalforces explain changes over time. plaining the discrepancy between an origi- ive ethnography. The lesson here is that revisits de. There into one of four types but each type assumes is no transcendence of this dilemma-realist a quite distinctive modal character. Typology. is."That is to say the suc- lation to the world one studies is not an ob."That nographic in the sense that it seeks to compre- hend an external world both in terms of the so. Such is Lynd and we discern.Each is incompletewith.

Mead knew little about Samoa forces to explain the discrepancy between before she arrived. Labour and Diet in Northern Samoa. Mead was lend- the different theory that the ethnographer ing support to the importance of culture as brings to the site (Type II) that accounts for opposed to biology. she relied on self-re- porting of the teenage girls. Samoan adolescents. revisitorsexemptthem- of missionaries and explorers. she focused narrowly on adoles- are Hutchinson's (1996) revisit to Evans. by biases due to rebellious adolescence found in the United habitus. far from placid. those in the West."and a "contingent" dis- Perhaps the most famous case of "refuta. We find the samedoublestandardsin TypeI re- placid transition to adulthood. she lived with expatriatesratherthan Rhodesia. wrong? Freeman (1983) had a long list of they rely on a configuration of external indictments. Caplow and Bahr 1979. with her informants. said the discrepancy in observations. Caplow and Freeman claimed. This content downloaded from 128. How could Mead (1928) have been so and they tend to be "structuralist. change. so different from proach. her Pritchard's'(1940) The Nuer and Moore and field work was short. and Chadwick and rape was common. and own field work--but the groundsfor such ex- 1981-Freeman claimed Samoans were a emptionare more presumedthandemonstrated. 1982). knowledge of the site but not the site itself This attack on a foundational classic of that changes. It is our Freeman. they were defi. and CONSTRUCTIVIST KIND finally hoaxed. and marredby flawed field work. Showing that the traumaof ado- of the ethnographer to the site (Type I) or lescence was not universal. Here my two main examples language. political.as for the scientistsstudiedby Gil- bertandMulkay(1984). cused Mead of dogmatic defense of the cul- ied at two points in time does not itself tural research program of her supervisor. 1968.In these cases States. unprepared. and the contingentdiscourseto theiropponents. while the predecessor's research is the anxious. inexperienced. social sciences. Far from easygoing. 1983. course that attributes"errors"to noncognitive tion" is Freeman's (1983) revisit to Mead's (social. theirnonscientificpracticesis notconfinedto the pher. vindictive. who later de- clared that they were just teasing her. ebrated sexual liberation. 14This strategyof indictingone's adversaries structivist because they depend upon the in. Caplow. marked by a visits. and here we see The distinguishing assumption of the con."That is.'4 Worse still. but ratherit is the different relation FranzBoas. Caplow et al.or embodiment. We call these revisits con. The revisitor's research is beyond re- relaxed and free sexuality.656 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Middletown: A Study in Modern American often more bellicose. Mead claimed that Samoans had an easeful. Type IV revisits focus on external forces. did not sustain her claims. among them adulteryexcited rage.location. entangledin disputesabout"the truth. Gil- bert and Mulkay(1984) show how biochemists. 1965. and the sub. his colleagues (Bahr."deploy TYPE I. But the evidence. she never mastered the the two studies. and competitive Criticseasily turnthe tables on the revisitorby people. Coming of Age in Samoa.251. Freeman ac- structivist revisit is that the site being stud. far from their cel- Culture (Lynd and Lynd 1929). Mead FOCUSED REVISITS OF A was naive.In OpeningPandora'sBox. how theory enters the picture. were as delinquent as Chadwick 1979. Samoans prized sequentrevisit to Middletownby Caplow and virginity. punitive. archives and selves from such biases or inadequaciesin their his own field work in 1940. tists applythe empiricistdiscourseto themselves In her iconic. playingthe same game and revealinghis or her ant individuals. by stressingtheir extra-scientificmotivationor volvement or perspective of the ethnogra. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . tension-filled. that is upon his or her agency. they were biases. cents without studying the wider society. lasting only three Vaughan's (1994) revisit to Richards's months out of the nine months she spent on (1939) Land. REFUTATION two typesof discourse:an "empiricist" discourse thatdeals in "thefacts.Scien- (1928) study of Samoan female adolescents. proud. in the first instance through cultural anthropology reverberated through refutationand in the second instance through reconstruction.160 on Sat.235.and personal)interests. Based on multiple sources-accounts of refutation. guilt-ridden.

tion in a realist manner. In Whyte's account. he knew 15 Journalsdevotedspecialsections(American Italian better than did the gang members. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. field work was especially harmonious. In the cept that he knew the language better than area studied by Freeman. His critics considered him to have differences between the communities. and poor ethics. making him appeareither period. The same narrow but only half way. 2. biological or of ethnographerto the field. no.'" Social and cultural anthro. REVISITS 657 the discipline. 1983. Refutation in. 2000. Boelen was fixated on refu- ized play was producedof this high dramain the tation without proffering her own theory or academy(Williamson1996).251.proposing that Mead tions of her own field notes. versy. and tendentious interpreta. went a long way to recon- frenzy that lasted from first field work until ciling the divergent accounts. Freeman's obsessive focus on upon himself by refusing to offer an alterna. ans. collected from anywhere in Samoa between ering the sex lives of female adolescents 1830 and 1987 were grist for his refutational than the 23-year-old Mead. He did not distin- of sources opportunistic. his ethical stances were clear and 1. We are here he died in 2001. Mead-type features in some situations and who died 5 years before Freeman's book was Freeman-like features in others. pp. Popper (1962) insisted "refutational" focus can be found in that refutationsbe accompaniedby bold con. refutation. published. based on the distorting relations tive theory of adolescence. of sins-from not knowing Italian.235. considering the possibility of historical This content downloaded from 128. Yet. Based on a series of would have entailed moving to a Type II re. family. did not consider the family or the Italian vil- thropology. his theory of books have appeared (Caton 1990. For Freeman to have done that Street Corner Society. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." In refuting Mead. 29. and suggested that the period of her more gullible than Mead or simply cynical. 1980s. Whyte 1992). Freeman the slum. change as strategies to reconcile predeces- per.they wondered how guish the Samoa colonized by the Dutch from he (a middle-aged white man) and his wife the Samoa colonized by the Americans.Holmes1987. 5) to the controversy. short visits to Cornerville in the 1970s and visit-theory reconstruction. lage as immediately relevant to street corner sues (Canberra Anthropology. and.a documentary organization theories. Other anthro. moving in the direction of realist revisits. nos. Unlike Mead.Orans1996). 609-22). 6. They accused mill. Freeman was forced spired refutation. varied with the influence of missions. Critics found his citations to homogenize all Samoa. Such real Mead. occluded both other. displaying cago School theories of gangs. posed a richer theory of Samoan ethos than pologists regrouped largely in defense of did either Mead or Freeman. Mead. vol. and a fictional. 1983. He followed Pop. not understandingItalian village life. or even wholeis. Whyte was still alive to rebut Boelen's accusations (Orlandella 1992. been gripped by a pathological refutational Weiner claimed. where that Samoans trustedhim more than they did there was only a single mission. to whom he dedicated his 1983 book.2000. was its refutation! film was made(Heimans1988). they turned the and Freemanwere studying different "Samo- spotlight back on Freeman. Boelen's (1992) revisit to Whyte's (1943) jectures. 908-47. sor and successor studies. They were skeptical of his claim several denominations led Samoans to be that being made an honorary chief meant more defiant than in Mead's Manu'a.Like Freeman. pp. Current An. far from embracing Chicago's dis- 1999. he Anthropologist. They complained that he said little about his Weiner (1983) argued that Samoan character own relations to the people he studied. to defending flawed Chi- moan character was ambiguous. He pro. ignoring structions. partial resolutions of the contro. Data might have been more successful in discov. finally. Thus Shore (1983) argued that Sa. Freeman brought further vituperation In short. even Mead herself recognized ma- him of relying on informants who had their jor changes that overtook Samoa during this own axe to grind.160 on Sat. While recognizing possible flaws in Others have tried to resolve the contradic- her field work. vol. that would explain the data that he had the reconstruction of theory and historical mobilized against Mead.A numberof beyond reproach.competition among Mead did. Boelen accused Whyte of all manner pologists have come up with such recon. society. ex.

and female to boot. it is always an uphill task to re. student. dence brought to bare in the refutation must These two objects of exchange represented be either especially compelling or resonant different spheres of power: control of the with alternative or emergent disciplinary intergenerationaltransfer of property in the powers. While men worked in the yam gar- discredit the refuting successor. at which bundles of spe- to refutationif he was to make any headway. dens. Islands. It is reconstruction that distin. iconic ethnographybarely rippled the disci. Women monopolized a power domain of visitors. Thus. As a graduate in a neighboring village in 1971 and 1972. changed by men (Levi-Strauss 1969). The classic feminist re- poorly executed. Even if Boelen had ap. women labored over their bundles. and control over ancestraliden- size or trampling them into the ground. seen women as powerless objects. generational linkages through the distribu- tion of property. visit. deeper understand- Colin Turnbull. They pur. however. Diane Weiner showed them to wield significant Vaughan made this point. to put pologists had reduced gender to kinship or up their own alternative theory. Malinowski did his field work be- ciological establishmentmobilized to defend tween 1915 and 1918." which is the strategy of the next set of those concerned with reestablishing inter- revisits-the reconstructionof theory. by distributing bundles of banana leaves. sitioning women in Trobriand society. therefore.658 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW change between the time of Whyte's study One cannot be surprised that feminist and her own observations. in subjectifying their experiences). cially prepared banana leaves and skirts In the business of refutation the balance of (also made out of banana leaves) are ex- power usually favors the predecessor. ported arbitrarytheory at the behest of an Weiner (1976) committed herself to repo- influential teacher or as a devotee of a fa. theory is at the forefront of theoretical re- Boelen's (1992) critique of sociology's construction of the classic ethnographies. immortality in cosmic time. There have been feminist reanalyses of ca- plinary waters. and Weiner did hers its archetypal ethnography. Her revisit. fering a more complete. Weiner dwelt on "mortuary cer- derstanding. As Freeman sacred site. Rather than cutting them down to case of men. of death similarly divided into two types: ants. and those concerned with TYPE II: RECONSTRUCTION repairing one's "dala" identity. she would have had to confront a so. such as Gough's (1971) fa- is more marginalin sociology than in anthro. she would have Although by no means the first to revisit this been at a severe disadvantage.16 The evi. Hithertoanthro- above. Weiner's is a dramatic recon- discovered. One might say that Freeman emonies.251. We have seen how some refutational re. or ancestry. (1994.235. Malinowski's (1922) study of the Trobriand ness. Where Malinowski focused on the pillar of the discipline. So too did Richard power. is Weiner's (1976) revisit to proachedher revisit with Freeman's serious. the rituals often easier to stand "on the shoulders of gi.160 on Sat.e. (i. their own. changed among the female kin of the de- cially if he or she is alive to undermine or ceased. and vored school of thought. the revisitors failed. ing the perspective of these supposed objects guishes Type II revisits. not content to highlight the distort. ing of the power relations between men and This content downloaded from 128. 16 In her comments as a reviewer. however. espe. it is tity in the case of women.. of yams. with men in historical time. mous reconstruction of Evans-Pritchard's pology and in part because the critique was work on the Nuer. ex- sued the destruction of theory but not its re. rituals and ceremonies around the exchange a monument to America's cultural self-un. Grinker and elaborate rituals. In the examples by extension to all societies. struction from the perspective of Trobriand fute an entrenched study that has become a women." conducted by women after the had to develop a pathological commitment death of a kinsman. 2000) revisited the Central African sites served to reconstruct a classic study by of- of the famous and controversial anthropologist. institutionalized in material practices Grinkerin private remarksto the author. they shared control of the material world also claimed that their predecessors im. and in Mead's case. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . In tak- construction. while ing effects of poorly conducted field work. in part because ethnography nonical works.

Weiner's (1976) study lage. we know this from folk to urban forms. but one that.17 structMalinowski's account of the Trobriand For Lewis (1951) to stop here would leave Islanders as they were in 1915-a daunting his revisit as Type I. Mexican Revolution. Community. In. Lewis stressed (1951) focused revisit! He agreed with the individualism of the villagers. it overlooks the internal dynamics and is curiously ahistorical in that she made no diversity of villages. ostensibly to line to assess social change. acontextual approach to histori- over the 17 years as sufficient to explain cal change. The turn to her particularunderstanding nities do become more secular and individu- of gender was shaped by feminism. therefore. This content downloaded from 128. Thus. in particular improved transportation. studying Mexicans in Chicago under the direc- ences between his account and Redfield's tion of Burgess! So one cannot be surprised by (1930)? First. as we shall see. While Lewis did grant the women anthropologists who preceded some validity to Redfield's theory-commu- her. he ruled out historical change his ahistorical. the 17Vincent(1990. country and an illusory isolation of the vil- At the same time. But he became Redfield's ethnographywas based on a mis- much less interested in studying the change guided theory of history. Lewis.235. but he advances to Type task. chap. some Type II by providing his own broadly Marxist IV revisits have attempted. His criticisms of other foibles that could be gleaned from were multiple: The idea of a folk-urban con- his diaries. their discrepant portraits of Tepoztlin. glossing over "violence. land re- Lewis's (1951) classic revisit to Redfield's form. Indeed. spired to develop her reinterpretationby vir. I also note.4) situatesLewis's cri- struggles between the landed and landless. theory of history. she attended to its theoretical tinuum creates a false separationof town and limitations. Lewis situated the village in a was deeply influenced by the Chicago School of web of wider political and economic forces urban ethnography.commerce. in 1943. such as new roads and used by the predecessor. Redfield marriedPark's daughter and started out How did Lewis (1951) explain the differ. which he. suffering and maladjust. their lack of cooperation. homoge. In The Little village. disruption. quently offered a reanalysis of Lewis's ment" (Lewis 1951:428-29). derstandingof history. isolated. tique of Redfield in much broader moves toward and conflicts among villages in the area. Lewis attributed Redfield's little attention to mortuary rituals. in the cult for Weiner. It would romanticization of Tepoztlhinto his myopic have required her. and Redfield substitutes position between her own study and Malinowski's. While Weiner may have been in. on a continuum from rural to urban for the Determining change might have been diffi. Rather Lewis criticized Redfield's folk-ur- tue of being a woman and living with ban continuum-the theory that historical women. Like Weiner (1976).251. and smoothly-functioning The story does not end here. Rather alized over time-he held the folk-urban than impugn Malinowski's (1922) field work continuum responsible for Redfield's senti- as limited by his focus on men and a myriad mental portrait of Tepoztlin. as Malinowski had paid so final analysis.Redfield (1960:132-48) subse- cruelty. Redfield studied schooling. these were not sufficient conditions change can be measured as movement from for her gender analysis. and Lewis studied the not use Redfield's (1930) study as a base- village 17 years later. to first recon. new technology.ig- attemptto consider what changes might have nores the impact of broader historical taken place in the 55 years that had elapsed changes. that Redfield Tepozthin. For him discover what had changed. in Tepoztlainthan in taking Redfield to task replaced with his own context-dependentun- for his portrait of an integrated. REVISITS 659 women. historicalanalysisthat preoccupiedpostwaran- stead of upholding Redfield's isolation of thropology in both England and the United States.160 on Sat. parenthetically. their po- litical schisms. and most important. and the expansion of Tepoztlin (Redfield 1930). He situated Tepozt- Still there are Type II revisits in which the lin within an array of historically specific successor reconstructs the theory of history external influences. disease. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Lewis did Tepoztlin in 1926. at that time dominated by and traced features of Tepoztlin back to the Robert Park and Ernest Burgess. neous. theory of social change. study of real historical change.

focused revis- social change. Today we find anthropolo.18We are back to a Type II the apotheosis of constructivism. taking "the road to the light" description. can a purely internalfocus be sus- This content downloaded from 128. 'What do these School teleology with an anti-theory that people suffer from?"' (Redfield 1960:136). tion to internal processes. they bring to the site. deepens rather than dis- Bock (1980). changes in the world. generating yet anotherType I divide realist revisits into two types: II revisit. casting its spell as an inadequate synchronic theory of To the simpleminded realist. Ferguson replaced Manchester behind Dr. 153). beyond pure refutation (Type I) to theory re- mentary perspectives on the same site. Only if the revisit is an empirical Redfield puts it. however. cataloging changes in a com- chap. Each construction (Type II). Redfield continued. as ies is long. corrects rather 18 In a further revisit to Tepoztlhn in 1970. count of deindustrialization. its pretend there is no change. the light being Chicago! This is munity's economy.culture. this is how it cial change. Construc- that questions derive from theories. earlier.19 its are designed specifically to study histori- When Lewis (1951) claimed some theories cal change. or mention others. In other words. that re- have a better grasp on social change than visits may never mention history. repudiating the realist endeavor. locking ferences between predecessor and successor themselves into Type II revisits that rule out accounts are due to the ethnographers'par- explanatory history altogether as either im. external world without having a relationship ology of urbanization and industrialization with it. than discounts. and so on. But this misses Lewis's point. We have seen. and a raging AIDS epidemic. 7. social structure. The constructivist perspective tional Monetary Fund-sponsored structural brings a needed note of realism to the realist adjustment. its embryo was A REALIST KIND already there in the early study. But he denied the relevance of subscribing to a theory of underdevelopment the folk-urban continuum because he hadn't and decline. This is a hard distinction to sustain. Interna. In what follows. focuses on the continuing potency lodges the realist revisit. an unreal realist revisit of Type III. p. of the symbolic life. ticipation in the field site or to the theory possible or dangerous. and tivism. Lewis' book is. constructivism dis- turbs rather than dismisses.160 on Sat. however. reconstructing the interpretations of Type III revisits. disengaged from any causal account of so- And. and the dif- gists taking a constructivist turn.251. explicitly reanalysis. which give more weight to external his own revisit to a village he studied 17 years forces. and theory. and Type IV re- 19In 1948. Although there are realist mo- differences to the question each posed: "The ments to his ethnography.235. retrenchment. Even if the folk-urban continuum did not spring FOCUSED REVISITS OF fully formed from Tepoztlin. Rather than Tepoztlin. The revisits I now con- Ferguson (1999) revisited the Zambian sider start out from the opposite presump- Copperbelt. In his ac. Redfield (1950) actually conducted visits. Constructivist revis- alist direction.A VillageThatChoseProgressreadslike a Durkheimian fairy story of a community mov. now topples over. some theories are superiorto others. especially when the time span between stud- ing along the folk-urban continuum or. 'What offers could be reinterpretedthrough a real- do these people enjoy?' The hidden question ist lens.660 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Lewis: Historical change cannot explain the (Gluckman 1961) that would be adopted as discrepancy between their two portraits of a mythology of development. revisit by insisting that we cannot know the Ferguson discredited the Mancunians' tele. but the new theory is has its own truth.Instead he attributedtheir mythology. In the late 1980s. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . it only too discount it. he was undoubtedly heading in a re. brought to a head. but as we shall see. which give primary atten- both Redfield and Lewis. his revisit went should be-we need multiple and comple. some 30 years after the famous tion-that discrepant accounts are due to studies of the Manchester School. they are often modified by considering the and return migration to the rural areas-the effects of the ethnographer's participation result of plummeting copper prices. Ferguson refused any even developed the theory at the time he theory of history for fear of generating a new wrote Tepoztldn. and the data he hidden question behind my book is.

diate the effect of external forces. and declining chances of up- in the regionwere a productof politicalinstabil. which I call Middletown I. was most unusual for its time in focusing on so- 20 Evenapparently robustinternalexplanations cial change. Type I refutationalrevisits by themselves are The first Middletown study (Lynd and Lynd 1929).235. making a home." As soon as the focus shifts to ex. I. newspapers. but Lynd and Lynd's (1937) revisit to count of the cyclical movement of concen. R. their own study of Middletown is at least a tration and dispersal of land ownership partial case. to Middletown.were a functionof a community life into six domains: getting a rangeof forcesemanatingfromthe widerpoliti. Schorske(1955).21Revisits that thematize the configu.and contestationbe. But the emphasis on "external much as recognizing it. I call structur. In other words. living. H.20 Even the most bril. Middletown's change between 1925 and der trenchant criticism for ignoring wider 1935.22To capture a total picture of how the bureaucratictendenciesof the German Middletown. The expansion of industry 21 Nugent's (1982) reanalysis of The Political entailed deskilling. forces beyond the community.Asad (1972) had shown the limitations of Barth'sHobbesianmodelof equilibriumpoli.the empiricalbasis of anthropologist W. an "archeologicalrevisit. lar). Taking their base-line year as of social change. Without so alist revisits. for example. Insofar as they described among the Swat Pathanshave both come un. or cultural. requir- beyond the field site. therefore. they adopted a scheme used by Social DemocraticParty. and context.Before ganized around the automobile. they reconstructed forces" should not come at the expense of the theory they had used in the first study- the examination of internal processes. un- Systems of Highland Burma showed that changes employment. of homemaking (with new gadgets and tics by refocusingon class dynamics.160 on Sat. and II constructivist explanations as well as atize it but without relinquishing it. REVISITS 661 tained. cesses. long arm of the job increasingly shaped all nomiccontextof his gypsumplant. Thus. religious practices."havebeen subject to punishingcriticismfor bracketinghistorical ing 35 years from diaries.changingpatternsof rewards. The exigencies of industrial tween British and Burmesearmiesas much as productionled to new patternsof leisure (or- they werea productof internalprocesses." whether eco. other domains. in particu- Nugent. ward mobility. training the young. the ethnographeris revisits that dwell on internal processes are almost inevitably driven to consider forces equally unsatisfactoryby themselves. community.251. type of historicaldigging yond the immediateregion. the rise of advertising (in lar the secularconcentrationof landownership 22 Below I call this and how this was shapedby colonialforces be. consumption. Rivers that divided the iron law of oligarchy. unsatisfactory and requireincorporationinto piricist. fewer servants). cal field. and money became the arbiter of long distanceopiumtrade. ostensibly an investigation of internal pro- Sustaining the distinction between "inter. call these revisits "em. Coming closer to ethnography.showed oral histories. Leach's (1954) ac- TYPE III: EMPIRICISM count of the oscillation between egalitarian gumlao and hierarchicalgumsa organization A compelling empiricist revisit is hard to in Highland Burma and Barth's (1959) ac. monotonous work. I organizing leisure. their revisit.so Type III plaining social change. the Lynds reconstructed the interven- 1962) "ironlaw of oligarchy. political. bleeds in all directions into Type I nal" and "external"compels us to problem. ing incorporation within Type IV revisits liant ethnographers have failed in their en. Employment lost its intrinsic ity in neighboringChina.in particu." deavors to reduce historical change to an in- ternal dynamics. Just as Type IV structuralistexplanations. and (Burawoy 1982) inveighed against Gouldner's community activities. find. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . they confined their attention to the forces." This content downloaded from 128. The a reconstruction that can be traced to their mark of the best structuralistrevisits is their own biographies and their changed relation attention to the way internal processes me. but as soon as they ventured ration of "external forces. such as Michels's ([1910] 1890. that thematize "externalforces. Type II revisits of reconstruction. into explanation they were driven to explore nomic. They argued that the (1954) classic case studyof the dynamicsindus- trialbureaucracy for bracketingthe externaleco.

and in influence over gov. planation of the changes. der disappeared. making and a business class that manipulatedhuman the power of big business all the more vis- beings (stretching all the way from the low. and practices in opposition to ment. so they the description. transparent class system. and change emanating from outside. counter-ideology based on working-class the growth and centralizationof relief for the consciousness. Middletown into greater America. Middle- Transition. medical services. the expansion and then contraction of The second anomalous chapter deals with unions as big business fought to maintainthe the "Middletown Spirit. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . ward mobility as rungs on the economic lad- fare. Middletown in umns. govern- customs. but Lynd was struck by continuity have no parallels in Middletown I. Capitalist competition and claimed. laissez faire. a growing division between a work. The team set about examining selves to internal processes. women gained employment and men lost tion). the economy. capitalism bound by an ineluctable logic of If we should congratulate the Lynds on competition. wel. and came about "internally"throughincreases in patriotism. charity. (2) uncertainemployment for the work- est clerical workers to the highest corporate ing class. city." examining the rul- open shop in Middletown. syndicated newspaper col- to Middletown in 1935. Al- ernment. must have been transparentto all. With the depression. crises of overproduction produced (1) the ing class that manipulated physical objects disappearance of small businesses. while from distant places came radio more reason to focus on the Lynds' revisit transmissions.235. government changed more slowly. big business as a controlling force in the even then. model had to be replaced by six classes. although its power. The influence of Marxism is clear. a team of five graduatestudents but without The Lynds (1937) could not confine them- Helen Lynd. ity of religious practices that provided con- derwent major changes. and funding public (1947) study of Yankee City. eral government was delivering relief. which set the rhythmfor the other stratificationof leisure patterns. education. in Middletown II. which I call Middletown II. while religion and solation and security. which was living from hand to executive).251. adaptation of the family as of culture as social relations. Lynd and Lynd (1929) dis.160 on Sat. especially after historian Thern. and public opinion. while the working class became the division of labor. theoretical system: In Middletown I. the expansion of education. Yet Family X was barely men- mented the emergence and consolidation of tioned in Middletown I. the stranglehold ing-class ideology and the possibilities of a of big business on government and the press. This is all the works. ever more atomized. the press. overproduction. interwoven with previous 35 years had witnessed.the continu- domains-leisure. So much for the Lynds' empiricist ac- In all realms. ible. theoretical perspective? Two long and strik- nance of the economy had become even ingly anomalous chapters in Middletown II stronger. count. The pace of change was greatest in the prestige. promot. but how self- the same six arenas of life that structuredthe conscious were they of the shift in their first book. Middletown II This content downloaded from 128. But there is a second register. resulting in (4) a more mestic division of labor. reading. civic loyalty. sup- spective history found in Warnerand Low's porting trade unions.Market forces were absorbing content. leisure. in particular by anomalous chapter is devoted to Family X. and polariza- adopting a historical perspective. bereft of an alternative change was produced by the dynamics of symbolic universe. the fed- strom (1964) demolished a similar retro. town was being swept up in a maelstrom be- Robert Lynd returnedto Middletown with yond its control and comprehension. trade unions. and home un. re. but also be cautious in endorsing their study's unremarked. we should tion. The. media. If Middletown I was a study unemployed. (3) diminished opportunities for up- divide in access to housing. which dominatedthe local economy. in patterns of the do. Middletowners' reassertion of old values. The first rather than discontinuity. change ing progress. The two-class ligious practices. an ex- cerned the profound effects of class. schooling. the domi. Lynd docu. They discovered a growing class mouth. The ready one can discern a change in the Lynds' business class controlled ideology. and standardized education. education.662 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW newspapers that had expanded their circula.

24 The original surveys in Middletown I were tions of plagiarism and suggesting alternativerea. point was at odds with the people he studied. 4). As we know from his were they interested in explaining the sig- Knowledge for What (1939). In short there's more necessarily overlooked questions of class domination at the center of Middletown II. sons for Lynd's change of focus in Middletown II in part. Robert Lynd styles of the working class and the business started out by declaring research without a class had converged (Bahr. He had begun to participate in the Caplow et al. had modified their theo. II. or to investigate the by his adoption of a theory of capitalism that impact of forces beyond the community. Lynn Perrigo. but they were not interested in explaining sory Board. theoretical perspectives select different em. communication. Caplow. and that trade unions should be sup. largely based on the "replication"of two sur- does the world simply stamp itself onto the veys the Lynds administered in 1924-one sociologist who faithfully reports change? of housewives and the other of adolescents. fault. Helen Lynd. but choices nonetheless: techniques of ply that Lynd drew his ideas about the importance investigation that define the researcher's re- of Family X from a term paper written by a resi- dent of Middletown. (1982) noted that despite was unworkable. and IV revisits in reproducing relations of power. that planning was neces. I suspect. namely increased solidarity. state. Caplow et al. retical framework. While the researchers did spend time-seri- But why? Did the refocused theory simply ally-in Middletown.251. If the Lynds were never the empiricists pirical foci: Instead of the inordinately long they originally claimed to be. 23 Anotherexplanationfor Lynd and Lynd's and in particular the power of Family X.24 (1937)focuson FamilyX is thatRobertLyndwas Indeed. The intellectual ambience of Middle. and he had been influenced by its persistence-how and why it persisted what he regarded as the successes of Soviet alongside changes in other domains. Robert Lynd nificant changes in the family that they did took up an ever more hostile posture toward observe. dia. Different this ostensibly Type III revisit to Middletown.235. Middletown Families. lurking behind their empiricism criticized by residents for omitting it from was a set of choices--choices made by de- Middletown I. (1982) debunked the idea New Deal as a member of the National Re. the second re- chapter on religion we find one on the hege. chap. That was the Lynds' position in 1925 when Leaving aside possible changes in the mean- they described themselves as simply record. and closer marital way from the declared empiricism in Middle. 6). capitalism. and viewpoint as impossible. changed much over 50 years and that the life town II was entirely different. their results were mirrorchanges in the world? In other words. or at rators. REVISITS 663 became a study of culture as masking and than a whiff of Type I. covery Administration's Consumers Advi. within Middletown. Caccamo 2000. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . ported. scription of changes within Middletown. questioning his insinua. In thematized the power of forces beyond choosing to focus on replicating the Lynds' Middletown and patterns of domination (1929) Middletown I surveys. In their best In those 10 intervening years Lynd had be. and that his view.160 on Sat. that was criti- lation to the community. Chadwick 1983. visit (Middletown III). Caplow and Bahr 1979. Nor planning (Smith 1994). because of the absence of (also see. and his revisit was shaped by his own them to examine the relations between fam- transformationas much as by Middletown's. come persuaded that laissez faire capitalism Caplow et al. Such a task might have led town I. Merton (1980) wrote a letter to Bahr. the family maintained its integrity. known volume. he had come a long smaller generation gaps. conducted between mony of Family X!23 It's not just that 1976 and 1978 by Caplow and his collabo- Middletown had changed-the Lynds. changes in the economy. ily and other spheres. ing of questions or the differential bias in the ing "observed phenomena" with no attempt samples themselves. This content downloaded from 128. that the American family was in decline. values that deter- cal of the first Middletown study. Caplow and his col- to "prove any thesis" (Lynd and Lynd 1929: laborators concluded that values had not 4. and mass me- sary. In 10 years. did attempt a purely empirical de- least Robert Lynd. Caplow and Chadwick 1979). Bahr (1982) goes so far as to im. not replicated by Robert Lynd in Middletown II.

but. and ing from without-labor migration to other that is in their failure to explain what has or islands. for their return to Middletown was not about to deconstruct or reconstruct was indeed a replication that attempted to his own original study." of particular interest is Bahr. replicationwithrespectto theirown Middletown TheTikopianswouldcite Firthbackto heras the III studies. ization. causing widespreadfamine. In short. Indeed.skilfulcollection. a test which for the survey instrument. As a counterpart sponses to a survey reflect something "real" to the depressions that hit Middletown. In the Middletown itself. Collins and Pinch there was one-had devastated the island. the influx of Westerncom- structingratherthan refuting theories. and so on. Smith (1984) reviewed the contingency of external forces as well as the Middletown III studies as betraying Robert deep schisms these forces induce within so- Lynd's project of critical sociology.and manipulationof data are worth no more than the problem to the solution of homogeneous Tikopian society. the focused revisit cerned to discern long-term tendencies.235. There is a second provoked.examininghypotheses ing in the world they study. and describingthe impact on the world that is revisited. were mediated by the social processes of a ganization. chiefly power was less ceremonial but 25As RobertLynd(1939) himselfwrote:"The also strengthened as the basis of colonial currentemphasisin social science upon tech. money economy. isolated and small Polynesian island that he futed and reconstructed.andthey authenticinterpretation This content downloaded from 128. an principles remained in spite of pressure on land. of course. face of these irreversible forces of "modern- niently. of theirsociety. and finally. He emphasized Tikopian society's sense.251. in- confronts these questions of realism and dependent of the hurricaneand the famine it constructivism head-on. gift exchange and TYPE IV: STRUCTURALISM barterheld money at bay. in which the replication selective incorporation of changes emanat- studies of Middletown III are limited. 26In the extensiveliteratureon "replication. rule.26 from without. Having constructed Tikopia "parallel"sample of the population-all for as an isolated and self-sustaining entity. but the is Firth's (1959) classic revisit to Tikopia. the that can be used to test a hypothesis or to hurricane became Firth's test of the resil- what extent they are a "construction"of the ience of the social order. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Like the light on the distinction between replication Lynds' in their revisit to Middletown. Firth arrivedjust after The trouble is. as in the natural a rare hurricane-an external force if ever sciences (Collins 1985. over the 24 years that had elapsed between tions under the "simulated"conditions of a the two studies. and even their put forwardby the Lynds. the expansion of commerce and a has not changed. They think more deeply about the (1984) respondedthathe andhis colleagueswere implication of the original ethnographersliv- just good social scientists. the intrusion of colonial rule. which they are addressed. That is. But Firth was more con- control all conditions. Making no pretense to most part was met.Its lineage system attenu- ated but didn't disappear. life style. Firth and revisit.27 complexsocial changessince 1924. If the problem is More recent structuralistrevisits problem- wizened. the expansion of Christian mis- course. and 27Macdonald(2000) writes aboutthe effects Chadwick's(1983) discussionof the problemsof of Firthhimself on her own revisit to Tikopia. however.the dataare but footnotesto the insig. to Type IV revisits. un- niques and precise empiricaldata is a healthy explored external forces had their effects but one. they asked the "same" ques. Ratherhe took it as a control the relation of observer to partici.or. That would mean recon. They examine the nificant"(p. it would entail going beyond sions. Caplow cieties.664 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW mine what not to study. and of modities." the Tikopian social order still re- tained its integrity. 202). the the purpose of isolating and measuring impulse to social change came primarily changes in beliefs. theories to be re. atize Firth's assumptions.160 on Sat. Caplow. This brings us conve. baseline from which to assess social change pant.25 first studied in 1928-1929 (Firth 1936) and Caplow and his collaborators shed further to which he returned in 1952. an array of unexplicated. as alreadynoted. 1993) one never knows to what extent re. residence and kin- Parallel to the Lynds' returnto Middletown. ship patterns were less ritualized.

Rather than cattle be- sic studies of the 1930s (Evans-Pritchard ing commodified. but this was only possible by Hutchinson's (1996) revisit is the most regulating and marginalizing the role of comprehensive attempt to study what has money. We. droughts. and thus the in- tensity of war. money was "cattle-ified. Finally. When guns replaced spears or when the still in the midst of the devastating war. sacrifice was contested as communities be- Pritchard'soriginal studies. Her intensely contested. Hutchinson focused on the latter. continued to ce- phers bring to their field work.251. wars. Equally. where it concerned the integrity of the local ence and asked what had changed over 60 community. The SPLA promoted in the western Nuer territory that more Christianityboth to unite the different South- closely approximated Evans-Pritchard'sen. threat- eases. international theatre. ened the existing order by refusing scarring Where he looked for the peace in the feud. just before the out. following their unex- 1936). Indeed." Hutchinson endowed them with title to his first book. of bloodwealth. and then two civil wars. Nuer youth exploited in the functional unity of the Nuer commu. Still. 1956). and states. independent. she focused on discord cattle wealth and women to human procre- and antagonism in order to understand the ation. with the succession of Change may have taken place within the a national government in Khartoum(North. while it was emy. despite being swept into war. even undergoing modernization with societies be. Hutchinson did her first As in the case of bridewealth. and dis. Hutchinson took Evans-Pritchard'saccounts bloodwealth was still retained but only of the Nuer as her base-line point of refer. as Western medicines became in their world-historical context. the discovery grated into wider economic. so in the case field work in 1980-1983. viewing it as an isolated order. relocating them came poorer.insulated cation. contestation. As the Nuer say. Administered by the (that could environmentally ruin southern Sudanese People's LiberationArmy (SPLA). tying men to and ritual slayings. The chiefs in particu.160 on Sat. cattle continued to be means break of the second civil war between the of payment. and indeter. lar embracedthe portraitFirthhad paintedof a Rather than reifying and freezing "exter- proud and independent people. different theoretical lenses that the ethnogra. captured in the nal forces. As war accelerated Nuer questions were entirely different from those integration into wider economic. markets. men. ern factions in waging war against the North. Initiation the integrative effects of human animosities lies at the heart of Nuer society. and of oil and the building of the Jonglei Canal cultural fields. terms of the old order. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . bull-boys as they were called. REVISITS 665 Hutchinson (1996) and Moore and Vaughan the West became a bastion of resistance to (1994) replace Firth's homogeneous society Islamicization from the North.Where he was interested and social structures.but nonetheless it was ern Sudan).235. 1951. came a maelstrom of global and local forces. new opportunities for mobility through edu- nity. "Money does not happened to the Nuer of South Sudan-those have blood. Sudan) increased the stakes. cattle were for- "African" South and the "Arab"North. She feited as compensation for slaying one's en- returned to Nuerland in 1990. Exchanging cattle. political. An emergent class of educated Nuer from colonialism. especially as bridewealth. In Nuer feuds. medium of exchange. set by domination. Thus the newly educated classes were transformation of the Nuer community. precisely because it is a universal immortalized by Evans-Pritchardin his clas. Hutchinson more effective in the face of illness and dis- deployed the clever methodological device ease. southern Sudan be- treated her as his daughter. These revisits reflect the profoundly their cattle-based society. the Nuer managed to maintain minacy. ment the Nuer.cattle-mindedwarriors relations." 1940. of Evans-Pritchard. closed world and anotherin the eastern Nuer and as a world religion to contest Islam in an territory that had been more firmly inte. years of colonialism. Nuer began killing those they did not know. the Tikopia(Firth their own historicity. there. marks of initiation (scarification). and as the spreadingChristianitysought of comparing two Nuer communities-one to desacrilize cattle. cattle Instead of reconstructing Evans. pected twists and turns but also recognizing This content downloaded from 128. at the center of controversy. political." It cannot recreate complex kin isolated.

as light of the data Richards (1939) herself Richards and conventional wisdom had it. Labour and Diet in Northern Rhode. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . So it was said by Bemba chiefs and cial processes had a profound openness-a colonial administratorsalike-citimene was cacophony of disputing voices opened the responsible for the decay of society! future to multiple possibilities. how.this compulsory labor caused well! Why was Richards so wrong and yet women to wean their children prematurely. workers returningfrom the Copperbelt. another of anthropology's African clas. and then both external forces and internal processes contributed to their reproduction. which Mead shaped the world she described..e.Her second sin was drawing out the link between power and one of commission. stamp out citimene. but the regulation of female labor by male ered by subsequent anthropologists. ing themselves. tem. She does The conventional wisdom Richards(1939) not try to deconstruct or reconstruct Evans. turn "home"(i. an obsession that stemmed from the Moore and Vaughandid not sacrifice history. Land. where they She attributed her postulated "breakdown" were offered incentives to begin farming hy- to the slash and burn agriculture (citimene brid maize. Labour and Diet all with different and unstable outcomes in was forged in a particular configuration of different areas. Richards (1939) postulated the "break. The radical indeterminacyof social forces and extant knowledge. Moore and Vaughan (1994) system) that could not survive the absence show how it was this returnof men (not their of able-bodied men to cut down the trees. which wished to prophets and evangelists. Zambian government's agrarianreforms as- sia. sumed that citimene was moribund. whether ceded. On the other hand.where so. absence) that led to impoverishment as the Moore and Vaughan (1994) returned to the farmers now demanded enormous inputs of Northern Province of Zambia (Northern female labor. state of "breakdown"-was deployed by co- ever. delivered at the expense of Rhodesia) in the 1980s only to discover that subsistence agriculture and domestic tasks. the citimene system was still alive. Hutchinson's came part of that history. namely. elude the control of their overlords. that control be to extract taxes or tribal obli- out but also from within Nuerland. guns and spears. way the Bemba used shifting cultivation to They were still able to offer an account of This content downloaded from 128. the Land. On one ered that Bemba women were more re. who also proposed ways in lonial administratorswith the citimene sys. to ruralareas). or male absen- to reexamine Land. Moore and Vaughandiscov.As a par- had a realism of terrifying proportions.235. to locate cajole men-folk into cutting down trees. In agriculture. recognizing its contribution to looked the significance of female labor and the history the successor study uncovers. Labour and Diet in the teeism that threatenedBemba livelihood. propagated-that Bemba society was in a Pritchard's account. Moore and Vaughan (1994) did to sourceful than Richards had given them Richards (1939) precisely what the Lynds credit for being-they cultivated relish on did not do to themselves and Hutchinson did their own land and found all sorts of ways to not do to Evans-Pritchard-namely. Uncertaintycame not only from with. Our next revisit. cessive administrations. compiled and then in the light of data gath. does precisely that-it problematizes lonial and postcolonial administrations to the original study much as Freeman did to justify their attempts to transform Bemba Mead and Weiner did to Malinowski. so widely believed? leading to higher infant mortality. production. (1996) revisit is realist to the core.251. This the original study in the social context of its was Richards' sin of omission-she over. she endorsed knowledge. Unstable Richards not only reproduced the reigning compromises were struck between money interpretationbut gave ammunition to suc- and cattle. It was not Moore and Vaughan's(1994) first task was the cash economy. Even as late as the 1980s. its power of adaptation. gations. This is a most complex revisit.666 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW the appearanceof new forces as old ones re. includ. citimene. Nuer religion and Christianity. sponded to the Zambian copper industry's down" of Bemba society as its men migrated steep decline by encouraging miners to re- to the mines of southernAfrica in the 1930s. man (1983). if not In particular.160 on Sat. ticular account of Bemba history it also be- For all its indeterminacy. It re- sics. unlike Free- the obsession of both Bemba chiefs and co. hand.

Type I from Type II revisits. their tween the studies of the successor and pre- own interaction with the Bemba. Where I froze exter. attempt to explain change. and their dynamics- predecessors. Hutchinson did not processes of change. to historical indeterminacy. Such a confinement study the strategies of war in the Sudan or proves possible only in so far as there is no the World Bank's development schemes. In all from the 1930s. the historical change in the "object of knowl- openness of the future stems from a refusal edge"). But first to recap: The fo- relation to the Bemba.160 on Sat. revisits aim to show how misguided the first sal or alternative paths. They had no theory to struction-of "knowledge of the object") or help them step outside themselves. decessor. But here is the final paradox: Moore theories to grasp the limits of the possible and Vaughandid not consider the ways their and the possibilities within limits. which is the focus of Types III and processes behind state transformation or IV. These of history" and had no conception of rever. framework of explanation. whether it be the static func. rather than This content downloaded from 128. thereby discrediting it without nal forces to produce a structural over.e.e. that is only if we Moore and Vaughan did not attempt an limit ourselves to describing it. As in the whether they were realist (i. own analysis might have been one-sided. governed by specific feminist and EXTENDING THE REVISIT TO Foucauldian assumptions. they write all cused revisit entails a focused dialogue be- too little about their own field work. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .235. sis of the focused revisit to other dimensions they did not locate themselves in their own of ethnography. but the source was the tive theory. The Type II revisit focuses on forces in the hands of the gods to produce a the theory brought to bear by the original structuralunderdetermination.to of the other.. cused on the advance-refutation or recon- scious theorizing. beyond orienting proposi. ironically Moore and dated four explanations for the divergence of Vaughanplaced themselves outside history. and knowledge. We need to deploy our ture. While they We are now in a position to extend the analy- located Richards in the world she produced. Hutchinson (1996) and The peculiarity here is refutation without re- Moore and Vaughan (1994) left external construction.. Type analysis of the declining copper industry or IV revisits admit external forces into the the Zambian state's strategies of ruraldevel. In the constructivist class. I distinguished revisits based on the final step toward grounding themselves whether they were constructivist (i. Indeed. and thereby con- ALL ETHNOGRAPHY tributed to discourses that would shape the Bemba world of future revisits. just as my failure to take I have argued that the nine revisits dis- Marxist theory sufficiently seriously led me cussed here tend to fall into. Type I revisits Both these revisits contrast vividly with my focus on a claimed distortion in the original own structuraliststudy in which I viewed the study brought about by the relation of eth- hegemonic organization of work as the "end nographerto the people being studied. of external forces. without limits. These anthropologists' aversion which even the effects of the original study to explanatory theory led to an empiricism may contribute. determination. I did not examine the change. In restor.My errorwas ethnographerand replaces it with an alterna- the opposite of theirs. tionalism of the one or imminent breakdown more usually. taking their reconstruction cases. Bemba reversed the determinism of their and disappearance. study was.251. I distinguished tions about gender. Here ignorance opment. Finally. Type III revisits concentrate on internal market globalization. power. focused on indeterminacy of outcomes in Nuerland. fo- because they did not engage in any self-con. accounts of the "same" site at two points in Moore and Vaughan (1994) did not take time. In neither case is the revisit it- same-an ignorance of the processes behind self exploited for its insight into historical the external forces. the problem was the undertheorization of Richards's classic study as point of depar. substituting an alternative interpretation. From this dialogue I have eluci- ing Richardsto history. The revisits to the Nuer and the of those external forces-their appearance. leads either to structural determinacy or. REVISITS 667 the transformation of Bemba agriculture to reification without possibilities. of theorization.

connected to previous and subsequent ones. tween observation and theory. "visits" to the field are viewed as a from what lies beyond that arena. Every entry into the field is tified in terms of the theories they deploy. I have flexive ethnography at work in the focused shown how realist revisits continually face revisit. writing down ev- all four moments. field notes are a continuous dialogue be- raphers are part of that world (internal mo. The prac. they are just less glaring and actual practice of focused revisiting. hypotheses are formulated. Theorizing cannot begin tabula FIELD WORK-THE ROLLING REVISIT rasa with every new field work-it's not fea- sible for ethnographers to strip themselves I begin with the mundane routines of field of their prejudices. theorizing cannot context. Even if it were feasible work. but ethnogra. In his appendix to Street Corner Society. sure. theless unavoidable. cheological and valedictory. each inter- sity of the demarcationbetween internal and vention separated from the next one to be external is therefore practical-ethnogra. history. the four types. gesturing to. ourselves (realist moment). This suggests that the titioners of other sociological methods have dimensions I used to define the four types no reason to gloat-the same dilemmas also have a certain robustness with respect to the apply to them. followed not just by writing about what hap- In short. on the other tinguish the arena of participantobservation hand. On the other hand. I delineate five other types external is a veritable river of blood.160 on Sat. In this conception. underliningthe di. field work is regarded as a collectivity if they insisted always on return. and sorting it into folders. sorted. If there is phy be conceptualized more broadly through bleeding across the constructivist-realist di. reflexive ethnographyrecognizes pened but also by an analysis in which ques- two dilemmas: (1) There is a world outside tions are posed. of revisit-rolling. Simply put. Here my intent piricism to structuralism.235. and em. can these principles be applied to lemmas of participatingin a world while ex.668 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW across. a rolling revisit. and theory is elaborated-all to be checked phers can only know it throughtheir relation out in successive visits. but only part of it (external moment). but each in conversation with the pre- phers are part of the world they study. tion depends on the relatively autonomous so in the final analysis visits are aggregated logics of each. phers can say to their scientific detractors: structivistrevisits seem to be able to suspend "De te fabula narratur!" historical change. deploy these in their ethnographies. also writes of the conversation between This content downloaded from 128. even if in the final analysis erything. Ethnogra- structivism and realism. succession of discrete periods of "observa- ing to ground zero-they necessarily come tion" that accumulate in field notes.251. ologists. but vious ones. In a topic of study: An ethnographermust dis. Still the less invasive. punctuated. the be coded. be reduced to the ethnographer'srelation to the field.heuristic.However fluid and is to show how sociologists have begun to permeable the line between internal and ex. succession of experimentaltrials. field work is only part of it-but it is representedand jus.Take the fies and anticipates the methodological chal- more imposing distinction between con. Second.The neces. the boundarybetween internal and focused revisit. which is still ratheresoteric for soci- constructivist challenges. later to to the field bearing theory. everything cannot be as though they were independent events. but he it concentrates on only one or two. and analyzed when all the mutually enhancing dialogue between par. that precisely is their Having demonstratedthe principles of re- shortcoming. the reflexive view of field work. and (2) ethnog. the lens of the "revisit"? In addition to the mension. the elementary form of ethnography. thereby ternal may be. researchers wouldn't get far as a scientific Conventionally. ment). Reflexive ethnography clari- distinctions are far from watertight. and even embracing. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . First. While our con. ar- tion easily leads to reconstruction. other aspects of field work? Can ethnogra- ternalizing and objectifying it. to it (constructivistmoment). lenges facing all social science. Refuta. and theory. the distinction itself is none. Whyte (1955) describes the detached pro- and so reflexive ethnography must consider cess of accumulating data. There is no way to transcendthese dilemmas. Every "visit" to the field is un- ticipant observation and theory reconstruc. In this rendition. "data"are in.

But. which the gangs were embedded. and his connection to Harvard for making Still. the roll- aware of the significance of his ethnicity.and among place in the gang. either as individuals or as a team. Thus. But it also altered as his interests LONG-TERM FIELD RESEARCH- shifted from gangs to racketeering and poli. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . of the Norton Gang. when.160 on Sat. (1979) have advanced the idea acting as secretary of the Italian Community of long-term field research in which ethnog- Club. the field itself. their own that often erupt with outside inter- sations between particular individuals. raphers. how those relations stood as always in flux. but he theory. his ing revisit demands attention to disruptions large physical size. Foster et al. had in encouraging his focus on observing participant! social interaction among particularindividu. those he or she studies. calls atten- way embodiment. the field. Fields have dynamics of came filled with detailed events and conver. in short. and even organizing a demon. These then are constructivist moments in als and how that interaction reflected the so. he cured Long John of his was able to tease out the relations between nightmares by restoring him to his former individuals and social structures.235.251. He car. Whyte theories. as of the field from outside. ternal events as election campaigns and po- At the same time thatfield notes are a run. the evolution of politi- to the disruption of customary roles. field work is a running interaction definitely pointed to the wider world in between ethnographerand participant. and the continuing struggles ried out experiments in the field to test his over the control of gambling houses. Doc's dizzy spells) ian CommunityClub. His relation to the through the ethnographer'sinteractions with community changed with his status. THE PUNCTUATED REVISIT tics. volves a self-conscious recognition of the Reflexive field work. Whyte (1955) was only too the site itself. becoming part of local election cam. more than that. It would have happened much earlier dynamics and life trajectoriesof individuals. It demands that the field be under- people studied. Throughout he was strategic in how he positioned himself within the community. its relation to the Ital- lated mental illness (e. They focus on the way knowledge cial structures in which they were embed. lice raids. Whyte renew his grant-his field notes did indeed averred. The assumption of frame that Whyte was to so famously elabo. and habitus af. revisit a field site regularly over many years peat voting). REVISITS 669 theory and data. tion to realist as well as constructivist mo- fect the ethnographer's relations to the ments. Once Whyte realized what social structuresthemselves. Largely a function of internal data. Arensberg provided the theoretical self remains unchanged. location. he began his research as a non- ence that the anthropologist.g. (they arbitrarily say more than 10) with a stration at the mayor's office. and thus. his new wife came to live with him. remember that this field-in-flux can be and sustaining contact with the various grasped only through theoretical lenses and groups in Cornerville. a fixed site is a useful but ultimately prob- rate.. through analyzing their change become more like a dialogue of theory and through time. Human behav- his project was about-after 18 months in ior and the groups to which individuals be- the field he was forced to write a report to long could only be understood. Conrad participating observer and ended as a non- Arensberg. which shift its well as his upper-middle-class background character and take it off in new directions. Again Whyte (1943) was far ahead epiphany came when he discovered the link of his time in focusing on the dynamics of between performance at bowling and posi. the idea of the rolling revisit. Whyte's extensions to macro- ning dialogue between observation and structures and history were limited. Thus he writes of the influ. admission. His ventions. and his relative youth. lematical fiction. as though the field it- ded. of the field changes. Whyte's field notes be. By studying the rise and fall tion within the gang and later when he re. cal campaigns. so that the rolling influence what is observed and the data that revisit records the processual dynamics of are collected.It in. paigns (one of which led him into illegal re. By his own view to understandinghistorical change and This content downloaded from 128. for example. ratherthan stumbled these changes were also affected by such ex- upon. if he had subscribed to. Accordingly.

One might say. into the labor market and to discover how quently studied how the Tonga fared under the gangs had sustained themselves. namely middle-class Vil. withdrawal of state services (especially the A subspecies of this long-term research is withdrawal of police and the destruction of what I call the "punctuatedrevisit. while the both constructivist and realist senses. licating the same result across space and torically self-conscious. in favor of rep- from one community to the other. study of change.160 on Sat.28 Their collection of cases of over a 10-year period. At the same time he decentered the "old heads" by the young drug dealers.251. and of mothers' (1979) account of the Harvard Chiapas groups) to rising unemployment and the Project (1957-1975). Then settlement of the Tonga. She and her poor Mexican-American neighborhood of colleague. Although technically a punctuatedrevisit. Quite the contrary.235. between 1975 search to reveal the stabilizing effects of an- and 1989 Anderson (1990) studied uneven other constant-the defiant individualism of urban development in Philadelphia within gang members. followed the re. changing patterns of social control and eti. plotting the rise and long-term field research ranges from fall of the modern ghetto. became gentrified and whiter. and spillover effects processes or external forces. Jankowski (1991) studied 37 gangs in same time. the same ethnographer conducts separated Not all punctuatedrevisits exploit the tem- stints of field work in the same site over a poral extension of field work to study social number of years.670 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW continuity. he mobilized reflexivity in pursuit 28See Phelps. of informal economy. one side. With the same. it was not to suggest quantitative longitudinal research. the wider individualism of American society. and from servations on a fixed site. Thus. Stints shifted from a focus on kinship and ritual to of field work were undertakenand data col- the absorption of the Tonga into a national lected as though they were independent ob- and regional political economy. after the completion she returned in 1977 to follow their paths of the Kariba Dam in 1959. exodus of manufacturingfrom the surround. he sought poorer and blacker. He deployed his long-term field re- are unashamedlyrealist." in which public housing). More his. At the stant. lower-class Northton. Chicago for three years. Reaf- the postcolonial dispensation (Scudder and firming the clash of community culture and Colson 1979). He dwelt on what stayed the what he called Village-Northton. became unobtrusive participant observer. he was not interested context. political and economic contexts shifted over Most punctuatedrevisits within sociology time. Jankowski's (1991) goal was replication in lage. whether through internal changing sex codes. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . inducing theory from his neutral observa- quette on the streets. the replacement of the tions. despite change and through change. All four dimensions of reflexive in how the gangs changed over time or var- ethnography were at work as this project ied between cities or how their ties to the evolved over three decades. that time and place explained their different This content downloaded from 128. 1971 to 1974. change. Anderson described to establish replicable conditions of research. ing area. they are often scribes her own multiple revisits to the used to extract what does not change. para- doxically. their theoretical framework three cities over a period of 10 years. Focusing on their there to the broadest analysis of resettlement common organizational form and their com- patterns and refugee problems in a global munity embeddedness. for the fate of the Tonga intensified but also Even more determined to focus on the con- as they and their informants aged. Colson (1989) de. As an other side. and subse. Thayer Scudder. tions with the Tonga shifted as their concern she emphasized stasis rather than change. for a parallel collection of studies that engages Although Jankowski made reference to some strikingly similar methodological issues in other studies of gangs. Venkatesh (2000) time-the wider the range of cases the more studied the RobertTaylor Homes in Chicago convincing the result.Furstenberg.and Colby (2002) of replication. Thus. They noted how their rela. He tied changing Lamphere's (1979) overview of the dense modes of community control (the rise of thicket of Navajo ethnographies to Vogt's gangs. Gwembe Tonga of Northern Rhodesia since Horowitz (1983) studied youth gangs in a her first research there in 1956.

namely rising inequality. would violate the rules of reflexivity. from the earlier study to the later one bent. spective interviews. tion with the constitution of subjectivity search. He could. witnesses) deploy. for example. Duneier regardedthe streetvendors from different sources as though they mea- as "public characters"who. and geographical proximity strictly a revisit-since there is no reference of black middle-class life to the South Chi. Most heuristic revisits in sociology.251. however. He tracedthe vendors back to their nalists. provides the concepts to be adopted. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . not necessarily of the same site but of an analogous site-that frames the questions DIGGING UP THE PAST- posed. In the archeological revisit. This content downloaded from 128. or sis of the same area. memory plays an minacy of outcomes and reflecting 20 years enormous but rarely theorized role (Mayer of feminist thought. Following Jacobs' gulate and aggregate all the historical data example. The first is ratherthan on the political economy of gen- the heuristic revisit. Duneier's engagementwith traces of constructivism by striving for an Jacobs is already a form of theoreticalrecon- objective record of the behaviors of his sub. THE ARCHEOLOGICAL REVISIT or offers a parallel and comparative account. have a strong realist time. and (1) relations between observers and partici- crime-and how it came to be a home for the pants. and in particular. study known ahead of time-it is a common cago ghetto. or study. struction-an externallyimposedlens. Hondagneu- eviction. Their trajectories are intertwined. Stressing indeter- field sites. which appeals to another der regimes. recovering her analy. Duneier considered which demand disaggregating "data"to re- the broadchanges in GreenwichVillage-the flect their relations of production. Salzinger FRAMING THE PRESENT- discovered a multiplicity of gender regimes THE HEURISTIC REVISIT where Fernindez-Kelly saw only one. If not cial. economic. ing to the ethnographic present. like If the heuristic revisit moves forward in the punctuatedrevisits. With ever. but so does study-not always strictly ethnographic and theory.235. and (2) the theories observers (jour- homeless. REVISITS 671 conclusions. One could simply trian- role of public characters. Salzinger also made a 1989). the archeological revisit Frazier's (1957) Black Bourgeoisie and moves backwardin time to excavate the his- Drake and Cayton's (1945) Black Metropolis torical terrainthat gives rise or gives mean- to frame her ethnographic account of the so. re- The rolling and punctuated revisits return flecting the expansion of the industry and its ethnographersto the familiarity of their own changing market context. documentation. Duneier's (1999) study of street technique for giving historical depth to eth- vendors in Greenwich Village goes back 40 nography. Jacobs as his baseline. They contrast with the next two types theoretical turn. mul- years to Jacobs's (1961) Death and Life of tiple sources of data are used. and by renouncing theoretical recon- drawn on Whyte's (1943) parallel gang struction in favor of induction. History moves on.160 on Sat. adopts a more constructivist perspective. the archival documents. This. and malleable labor in the Mexican Maquiladoraindustryto frame her own study of the same industry 20 years later. contrary to ste. He practicedwhat he called "theex. how- reotype. That. Sotelo (1994) explored the historical ante- tended place method"-realist method par excellence-which attempts to remove all 29Needlessto say. previous place in Pennsylvania Station and A number of recent sociological studies uncovered the political forces thatled to their turn on archeological revisits. Her analysis of production of revisit in which ethnographers compare focused on the poststructuralistpreoccupa- their own field work to someone else's re. have jects. sured a singular and fixed reality. whether retro- GreatAmerican Cities.29 study with similar findings to ask what had My final example of a heuristic revisit changed over the intervening 40 years. officials. Thus. the antithesis of (1983) pioneering study of women as cheap replication. In these revisits. stabilize community relations. cultural difference. published accounts. Pattillo-McCoy (1999) used that it frames. would have turned his study Salzinger (2003) used Fernindez-Kelly's into a "heuristic" revisit.

With theoretical lenses to guide their form communism and then even furtherback investigations. but it may migrants who came before the end of the also be used to compare the present to the Bracero Program in 1965 (the program that past. Thus. to discover tions. refugees from Nazi persecution. who used matic for both sides. torical conjuncturebut not in another. connect the present to the past. and accounts are reevaluated. history to the mythologies of their partici- first to the maternalistwelfare regime of re. Lopez (2003) participated in labor organiz- ries. To understandthe re. He asked why consequences of original migration patterns such campaigns were successful in one his- for the domestic division of labor. this is the ethnographer tacks backward and forward moment of judgment. who came after its end. Indeed. is what has changed since the last visit. work in a community in northernCalifornia. legal reports and newspapers. theory is put to the test. perhaps. male migrants into the ag. ethnographers have other in-depth ethnography.160 on Sat. Assum- not unidirectional. She turned to archives historical narrative. derstand the conditions of this differential nography of German cattle dealers in New success. as I alluded to earlier. however. To understand their participation in the archives. historians postsocialist welfare. ethnographers be- to the societal welfare of the early post. The purpose is not to undertake an- colonial transition. Lampland 1995. Kligman 1998. when previous rela- tions are reassessed. because of necessity the ing the subjects can be engaged. rendering all give specificity to the revelations of her field sorts of new insights into both. The archeological revisit. however. Similarly.672 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW cedents of the gendered streams of immigra. certain the subjects' responses to the re- gime for the source of disappointed expecta. come sensitive to the constructed nature of World War II period. standing of socialist welfare by stressing its ricultural fields of California) from those extensiveness and its flexibility.235. My last type of revisit is what I call the vale- excavating the socialist antecedents of the dictory revisit." closing a novel periodization of state social- ism and its aftermath. He transformationof New York's dairy industry disentangled how obstacles to organizing she uncovered details of their lives in rural were overcome (or not) as a function of both Germany before they left. It can be trau- 30 The "archeologicalrevisit" goes back to Thomasand Znaniecki(1918-1920). Levine traced the connection be.To un- Levine (2001) produced an unexpected eth. tween the community of origin and the com. of previous campaigns. ported research and.30 torical data. they are able to and oral histories to reconstructthe past. The archeological revisit can be used to she was led back in time to distinguish im. form. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . tory revisits to Cornerville to find out what if This content downloaded from 128. Hondagneu-Sotelo was able to trace the ing campaigns in Pittsburgh. As in the case of the post. in time for each campaign from interviews.but ratherto as- looked to the character of the previous re. To present he or she interprets. Like Hondagneu. In the sometimes desperate search for his- munity of settlement. Lopez reconstructedan earlier point York State. Haney (2002) revised our under- channeled single. Woo. between the past she or he uncovers and the tion from Mexico to the United States.251. pants. and for this reason it is letters writtento Polish immigrantsin Chicago all too rare. THE VALEDICTORY REVISIT nographies of the market and of democratic transitions become archeological revisits. armed with the results 1999. whether in draft or published druff 1999). of the study. REPORTING BACK- It is no accident that so many of the eth. Similarly. exploit its "constructedness. such as Thernstrom (1964) have been criti- action of the poor women she studied. Thus. she cal of how community ethnographersreduce was led back to the socialist welfare state. dis. when the ethnographer re- postsocialist order (Burawoy and Verdery turns to the subjects. to constructthe social structureand malaiseof Whyte (1955) describes his own valedic- the sendingcommunities. the new context and the cumulative effects Sotelo. the ethnographer is easily Haney (2002) conducted an ethnography tempted to repress data's constructed char- of the social effects of cutbacks in Hungary's acter. Through oral histo.

Mexican society. but the valedic- and vulnerable community.and Sam Franco was inspired tory revisit turned into a focused revisit that to do field research himself. 2003.251. to investigate the Columbia disaster. incrementally descending into gnettes for serious field work. his chief informant. whereupon her (1993) six-year dialogue with her single sub- Challenger study revisited her. prompting her the gang members.her study received ily lost sight of the partiality of their partici- much publicity but not a peep from NASA. It riod-the impact of Ireland'sintegrationinto may be traumatic-both for the participant the European Union. Her valedic- was portrayed. reproducing bad judgment and normalizing design flaws. 25 years after her original field work. Behar's crashed on February 1. and with a ject. Whyte was not confirmed her earlier conclusions. NASA's chagrin. In her case. invoked at another-drawn in by Irish village. There was no believe they are the world they study or that valedictory revisit to NASA until Columbia the world revolves around them. the cultural syncretism and hybridity of the She located the cause of the disaster in the peoples they observe (Hannerz 1996). fails to grapple with change in found a new lease on life among journalists. for example. The hostile re. studies. Doc. They begin to the object of her investigation. Her brackets all concern with theoretical issues original diagnoses of the problems at NASA and. pation in the world they study. organizational culture. these moves could be taking a self- the steps that led up to the Challenger disas. examined above. ception promptedher to rethinkthe argument This final engagement with the people one in a new prologue and epilogue to her book. world.the subjects of an ethnography macro perspectives that they lost in the era are simply not interested in what the ethnog. gue here. Consider yond field work in time and beyond the field Vaughan's (1996) historical ethnography. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Her valedictory revisit bor- ders on a focused revisit. tion. As anthropologists release ter of 1986. Bouncing from site to site.235. they mimic their migratory she uncovered an alternative history of the circuits. As in the case of Richards for he had had a relatively smooth ride as (1939). and other experts. type of technology. She was drummedout of her moment.when she returned the play of external forces. anthro- National Aeronautics and Space Administra. cause of reflexive ethnographyadvances.That may be so. of professionalization. defeating turn. rejection by the participants led her to qualify her original interpretations WHAT ANTHROPOLOGY CAN but also propelled her to write an account of LEARN FROM SOCIOLOGY historical change. fascinating though it is. covering all four The postcolonial world has driven anthro- principles of reflexivity. Many had ished product is the responsibility of the eth- not forgiven her for her portraitof their weak nographer. vengeance (Vaughan forthcoming). site in space were invariably positive. Chick was more upset by the way he Accident Investigation Board. thus. Her view of reflexivity re- This content downloaded from 128. anthropologists have also all too eas- ter the Challengerdisaster. As I have tried to ar- rapherhas to say until it comes to the atten. Her showed some ambivalence and embarrass. Esperanza. ethnographieshave compared.160 on Sat. their own history of effects-ignored at one Hughes (2001). tory revisit also serves a scientific function. with Scheper. As they join their subjects in the external and external context. in their villages. pologists easily substitute anecdotes and vi- tion (NASA). An Clochain. much to led to any reassessment of the study itself. itself an archeological revisit that retraced however. the expansion of the and the observer-but through pain the tourist industry. Published 10 years af. Contesting the conventional their subjects from conceptual confinement story of human error and individual blame. realist insights into the world we study. pologists back to their early historical and Frequently. The It is often said that handing back a fin- inhabitants still remembered her. deepens both constructivist and that had occurred during the intervening pe. in its inception these moves be- tion of adversarial forces. comparison of the two disasters figured ment about the central role he played in the prominently in the report of the Columbia book. confronting them with one's own It was also an occasion to reflect on changes conclusions. and continued out-migra. Now. REVISITS 673 anything Street Corner Society had meant to engineers.

inhabit the wilderness. sac. indeed. has no such disciplinary relation of ethnographerto the world. it is significant might call this a biographically-based re- and ascendant-a warning to ethnographer.perhapsI should leged realism over constructivism (the world is purely external to us). hypothetically. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Although this is only one ten. Or I could go nographer-sociologists are following anthro. having pecially a focused revisit? What is there to decentered its techniques of field work. We can call this an institution-based ology. These different types of revisit might a positivist legacy which was also reduction.160 on Sat. 31Orsince mosthaveretired. in will help the ethnographer-sociologistretain the realist dimension where there is nothing a balance between constructivism and real- beyond "multi-sited" ethnography. context suspended to insulate the mi. all coincide if we were studying the same ist-a tradition that reduced the external to enclosed village or the old company town. reflecting on the world-historical shifts imposters. to simply study myself. ciology and anthropology reflect the histo- similarly fails to address the dilemmas of re. is ter of discourse. accountof blue-collarworkersin HiddenInjuries ing from the margins and looking in. revisit when sites are evanescent. In his hands tially bounded site.31 Or I could study the homeless recy- sociologists as they emerge from their own clers that now. For as they leave their guardedcor- participant and observer. communist Hungary to postcommunist Rus- nerable to cavalier invasion by natives and sia. vacant lot that used to be Allied. but therein lies their ad. Allied's new engine division can be but more surely. We might As the examples above have shown.674 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW duces everything to the mutual orbiting of vantage. profoundly different projects. but with globalization they diverge into three tion. in the constructivist dimension where retical traditions. my first encounter-if I cannot find it where tion. eth. ter (Sennett1998). The spa- tuoso display of literaryimages. Anyone with literary ambi. Such. ethnography has had to wrestle with revisit. sponses to the era in which we live. By the end of its cultural turn. This dialogue within soci- anthropological "theory" is reduced to the ology and with social science more broadly discourse of the participant.235. and second. visit. Sennettimplicitlydoes whenhe moves fromhis ing out. ries of our disciplines. faces the onrushing world alone. protection and. anthropology what does it mean to undertakea revisit. is a fiction of the past that is no longer texts upon texts. "site.251. We dency within anthropology. might I revisit Allied today-30 years after and forsaken its pursuit of causal explana. Once a social science. are the benefits of back- more. This content downloaded from 128. and constructivism folds into an autocentric on the other hand. es- has lost its distinctive identity. the very distinction between realism wardness! The ethnographer-anthropologist. unconnected to other ethnography becomes a mesmeric play of sites. the internal (theory induced from observa. narrativeswithin narratives. ism. of the last 30 years. Under these circumstances. all too popular. The only way cro-situation) at the same time that it privi. It dispenses with ner they are disciplined by the vibrancy of the distinction between internaland external: sociology's comparative history and theo- first. Further. ethnographer-sociologists are com. I might follow my work-mates. dissolving his reflections into a vir. making the disrupteddiscipline vul. I left it? One possibility. Moving beyond such ogy aspires to become an appendage of the solipsism. unless new alliances are Geertz (1995). for example. again hypotheti- pologists out of seclusion-more cautiously cally. call this a place-based revisit. whose recounting of the forged. I could trace my tion can now assume the anthropological own research trajectory from Chicago to mantle. As I have said. anthropol. as humanities. of Class(SennettandCobb1972)to studyingthe nographer-sociologists may be latecomers to new service workers in the Corrosion of Charac- history and theory. As anthropologists study the occupations of their children in a generationally based revisit? This is what veer toward the center of the universe look. Macleod (1995) did with his two gangs. within soci. off to South Korea where. when all rificed the idea of intensively studying a that's solid melts into air? How. sustainable. quandary of the changing anthropologist in The divergent orbits of ethnographyin so- a changing world introduced this paper. but they are also re- visits. found. Eth." abandoned its theoretical traditions. Theory and history evaporate in a wel.

reconfiguring. villages of Algeria.160 on Sat. Clemens. demonstratedthat without history to ground the conditionalities of the World Bank. such defensive phy of decollectivization in Aurel Vlaicu--a maneuvers were no longer effective. all in relation to the transforma. REVISITS 675 of connecting them is to look upon each as a quire resituating the company of 1973-1974 product of the same broad historical process. This could inter. The more their history. A comprehensive acknowledging the shortcomings of the de- revisit might involve following individual scriptive anthropology extant in the 1950s. and the violation of human rights. in the global imagination of its trial to a service economy. Nash economy. biographies. workers and managers-before I could un- connect biographies of workers and their dertake a parallel investigation. Blum et al. and it and theory to orient it. ethnography to global extensions. which itself only the development of an indigenous movement makes sense within the local political of national focus and global reach. nonetheless partiallyrecuperatedthat insula- formation. and individual fended by withdrawal and insulation. In the early 1990s. both theory and history. global ethnography of the Zapatista move- But we can no longer stop at the national ment. In the Transylvanian village she studied under face of the North American Free Trade communism and then again during the post. she in regional. quired aggressive political organization and tion of property relations. Every summerbetween 1988 and 1993 level. flexive ethnography require the infusion of tuated. and particularly archeological revis. This content downloaded from 128. and namely the tendency to insulate communi- the reconstitution of place. We should not forget connections. De their interpretationbut also historical depth. Orloff forthcoming).235. the attrition of state outsiders). Agreement (NAFTA). punc. at the same time. Approaching a advanced by the conceptualization and prac- global ethnographyof Allied today would re. Verdery (2003) conducted such a tion as a political struggle to defend au- complex of nested revisits in her ethnogra. global eth. while connections. in its global market. tice of ethnography as revisit. tonomy. and imaginations is to examine Bourdieu launched his metatheory from the them over time.251. or the Privatization and market transition push rites and beliefs of small-scale societies. global ethnography the IMF. other history and theory (Adams. locating them all ties from their determining context. specific groups (insiders and subsistence agriculture. for example. institutional trajectories. and parts stagnating because of their global dis. not only does re- nographies require focused. Foucault founded his originality in a virtual quire not only theoretical frameworks for ethnography of prisons and asylums. the redeployment of place. It re- production). the rollback of land re- communist period. With so many parts of the The time is nigh for the sociologist-eth- world dissolving. Today the recomposition of everyday she returnedto Chiapas-the site of her own life is also the product of transnational or 1957 study-with a team of students. 13 Dec 2014 21:40:55 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and recom. the national law of privatization. the erosion of kin members. the village land restitution com. whether of the more necessary is theory to track and make factories of nineteenth-centuryEngland. the sense of all the moving parts. welfare. privatized experiences of women. Weber. In other words. While supranational processes. Beauvoir and her daughters set out from the The only way to make sense of global forces. This is how children. Thus. ethnographic revisits with a that Marx. in the global connec- examining. national. the implications of tions between the engine division and other the shift in the United States from an indus. mittee. but theory and his- its to excavate their historical terrains torical understandingwill be immeasurably (Burawoy. and Durkheim grounded global reach become irresistible. cooperatives. heuristic. as well as their theory. divisions. the ethnographic imagination. and different economic organizations Chiapas autonomy could no longer be de- (state farms. fundamentalism. nographerto come out of hiding andjoin the posing under the pressure of their global rest of sociology in novel explorations of connections and. in an irresistible is the global revisit. religious bases of economic behavior. and also global trans. 2000). however. and the global spread of market is lost. She followed individual form through privatization. and the Nash (2001) turned a focused revisit into a fleeing of capital to other countries. which re.

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