We’ve been into this topic a few times before, but this might be the longest list of good ethnographies. CultureMatters-blogger Lisa Wynn not only lists her own favorite books but also several ethnographies that are particularily popular with students.
She writes that she only can think of a small handful of ethnographies that have affected her in the way that a good novel can. This is her list:
- Evans-Pritchard: Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic;
- Lila Abu-Lughod: Writing Women’s Worlds;
- Elizabeth Warnock Fernea: Guests of the Sheikh (not precisely an ethnography, more a memoir);
- Paul Willis: Learning to Labor;
- Philippe Bourgois: In Search of Respect;
- Amitav Ghosh: In an Antique Land;
- Joao Biehl: Vita;
- Levi-Strauss: Tristes Tropiques;
- Pierre Clastres: Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians.
She also reflects on some of her favorite examples of ethnographic fiction.
UPDATE: For more suggestions and comments see the post on the blog Entertaining Research: Amitav Ghosh among most compelling ethnographies