Focused Ethnography as Research Method: A Case Study of Techno Music Producers in Home-Recording Studios
Keywords:qualitative methods, cultural production, music production, home-recording, technoculture
Translator's Introduction: Jan-Michael Kühn's essay introduces the reader to Hubert Knoblauch's focused ethnography [fokussierte Ethnographie] as an ethnographic fieldwork method. More than a decade after Knoblauch's first publications on this method, there are precious few guides to focused ethnography in the English language, save one (Knoblauch 2005). At any rate, there are certainly no introductions to this methodology that also use EDM scenes as a case study. Kühn's article was originally published in German in Soziologie Magazin, a student-run journal published from Martin Luther University in Halle (Saale) but operated by an editorial network that spans Germany. As a result, Kühn orients his writing towards an audience of junior researchers, post-docs and graduate students, highlighting the ways in which focused ethnography suits the circumstances of early research careers, where one may have difficulty securing long-term research stays for fieldwork of broader scope. In particular, he notes that Knoblauch's methods require a very narrow scope for the project (i.e., a "field sector" rather than the whole field), a reliance on the researcher's previous knowledge of the field, and short bursts of intense ethnographic activity in order to create work that is tightly focused but still rigorous and generative of fresh knowledge and new concepts.
KEYWORDS: qualitative methods; cultural production; music production; home-recording; technoculture
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g. post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. Such derivate works or subsequent publications must happen no less than one calendar year after the initial publication date in Dancecult.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g. in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).