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Businessmen as folk ethnographers

Wästerfors, David LU (2008) In Ethnography 9(2). p.235-256
Abstract
Before the rise of professional ethnography, untrained methods to investigate ‘other’ cultures prevailed among various Westerns actors: travelers, missionaries, colonial administrators, and traders. This article analyzes how such informal ethnography is still treated as an epistemic guide in a post-colonial and transnational business world. A particular case is examined: Swedish and Swedish-Polish businessmen

working in emerging markets in Poland and neighboring countries in Eastern Central Europe after the fall of Communism. Situated in what they regard as commercially attractive but relatively unknown cultures, these

businessmen oscillate between classic fieldwork and profitable control, pragmatically linking their... (More)
Before the rise of professional ethnography, untrained methods to investigate ‘other’ cultures prevailed among various Westerns actors: travelers, missionaries, colonial administrators, and traders. This article analyzes how such informal ethnography is still treated as an epistemic guide in a post-colonial and transnational business world. A particular case is examined: Swedish and Swedish-Polish businessmen

working in emerging markets in Poland and neighboring countries in Eastern Central Europe after the fall of Communism. Situated in what they regard as commercially attractive but relatively unknown cultures, these

businessmen oscillate between classic fieldwork and profitable control, pragmatically linking their eagerness for knowledge with their ambition to get things done. The overall vision is a folk version of ethnography,

rhetorically celebrated but practically complicated. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
folk ethnography, sociologi, emerging markets, business, rhetoric, culture, Eastern Europe, sociology
in
Ethnography
volume
9
issue
2
pages
235 - 256
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • wos:000273116400004
  • scopus:44949158803
ISSN
1466-1381
DOI
10.1177/1466138108089469
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2dceed45-3b49-4b1d-89fb-5f41e2431797 (old id 1054328)
alternative location
http://eth.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/9/2/235
date added to LUP
2008-04-24 13:53:59
date last changed
2017-07-23 03:37:17
@article{2dceed45-3b49-4b1d-89fb-5f41e2431797,
  abstract     = {Before the rise of professional ethnography, untrained methods to investigate ‘other’ cultures prevailed among various Westerns actors: travelers, missionaries, colonial administrators, and traders. This article analyzes how such informal ethnography is still treated as an epistemic guide in a post-colonial and transnational business world. A particular case is examined: Swedish and Swedish-Polish businessmen<br/><br>
working in emerging markets in Poland and neighboring countries in Eastern Central Europe after the fall of Communism. Situated in what they regard as commercially attractive but relatively unknown cultures, these<br/><br>
businessmen oscillate between classic fieldwork and profitable control, pragmatically linking their eagerness for knowledge with their ambition to get things done. The overall vision is a folk version of ethnography,<br/><br>
rhetorically celebrated but practically complicated.},
  author       = {Wästerfors, David},
  issn         = {1466-1381},
  keyword      = {folk ethnography,sociologi,emerging markets,business,rhetoric,culture,Eastern Europe,sociology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {235--256},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {Ethnography},
  title        = {Businessmen as folk ethnographers},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1466138108089469},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2008},
}