Ethnography and Public Scholarship: Ethical Obligations, Tensions, and Opportunities Academic Article uri icon


  • The article introduces the special issue, Ethnography and Public Scholarship: Ethical Obligations, Tensions, and Opportunities. The editors begin with a discussion of Alice Goffmans On the Run. The popularity and influence of Goffmans ethnography, coupled with critique and controversy, represent the promise and peril of ethnography as public scholarship. The case operates as a portal to explore at once familiar and still often unanswered methodological and ethical questions as ethnographers engage in public scholarship. After reviewing key considerations, the editors provide snapshots of the papers, papers that explore topics such as ethnography as policy-relevant research, representations of marginalized populations, compliance with regulatory agencies, protection of participants rights, and documentation and sharing of data. Recognizing the importance of Mills appeal to encourage the sociological imagination, the editors argue that, taken as a whole, the papers demonstrate complex methodological and ethical considerations as well as immense possibilities to inform and reframe social issues.

published proceedings

  • Cultural Studies Critical Methodologies

author list (cited authors)

  • Clemens, R. F., & Lincoln, Y. S.

complete list of authors

  • Clemens, Randall F||Lincoln, Yvonna S

publication date

  • January 1, 2020 11:11 AM