Doing ethnography and thinking comparatively
in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
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The concept of comparison that shapes this chapter functions somewhat differently from the concepts organising the culture, change and identity. Comparison here is primarily a matter of relating the ethnographic data to other experiences which lie beyond that ethnographic research. The whole mythology of ethnography revolves around this comparative experience. Comparison of banks (BoS, Capital, Halifax) and of nationalities (Scots and English) was a key and almost unavoidable means of indigenous sense-making in the context of merger. Corporate takeovers, mergers and restructurings are a routine topic in the financial and wider business news, and it is easy to get the impression that these are processes largely peculiar to the dynamic business world. Moreover, universities are in the business of producing the very professionals that they later employ, and so that expansion in the first instance has grown the academic professions.

Salvage ethnography in the financial sector

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