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The path to economic crisis in Scotland
Author: Jonathan Hearn

This book takes a body of ethnographic data collected in 2001-2, during a year's fieldwork at the Bank of Scotland (BoS) and HBOS, and revisits it from the perspective of the 2014-16 period. It explores the tension between the 'ethnographic present' of the author's original research and the unavoidable alteration of perspective on that data that the economic crisis has created. The original research had been planned to take place in the BoS but in 2001, before the research began, BoS had merged with the Halifax to form HBOS. The book provides a long-term historical perspective on BoS/HBOS, from inception to the 2008 financial crisis, and then a consideration of the nature of historical explanation, under the rubric of 'theory'. The main attempts to explain the proximate causes of the 2008 crisis, as well as more encompassing political economic arguments about the trajectory and dynamics of capitalism are examined. The concept of 'culture' as applied to both national groups, Scots and English, and organizations, BoS and Halifax, are also dealt with. The book examines other governing concepts such as organisational change in the business world and social change, identity and the way Scottish and English experience their own personhood, and comparative nature of ethnographic research. The conclusion reviews and draws together the themes of the book, returning to the overarching question of historical perspective and explanation.

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Doing ethnography and thinking comparatively
Jonathan Hearn

7 Comparison: doing ethnography and thinking comparatively The concept of comparison that shapes this chapter functions somewhat differently from the concepts organising the previous three chapters (culture, change and identity). Those served as analytic lenses to bring out particular dimensions of the data. Comparison here is primarily a matter of relating the ethnographic data to other experiences which lie beyond that research. I am using comparison to draw out further themes from the data, and to revisit some we have already explored, but also to pull back

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
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A baseline of comparison
Fabian Graham

) ‘invention of tradition’ to include the reinvention, reinterpretation, inversion and the Sinification of tradition. In addition, variations in the selectivity of, and emphasis on, differing cosmological and ritual precedents and the influence of transnational cultural flows have been integrated into the framework. Analysis of the ethnographic data illustrates that these various technologies of religious synthesis have been triggered in reaction to societal catalysts resulting in religious transformation, and that, as such, as forms of adaptation to either opportunity or

in Voices from the Underworld
The past, present and future of the English Defence League
Hilary Pilkington

, 2007: 1195). For this reason, the discussion below focuses on the insight that ethnographic data and interview material lend to understanding how the movement is experienced organisationally by its grassroots members following a brief outline of the formal structure of the organisation. ‘No one is bigger or better than anyone else’: structure, function and hierarchy Even formally, the EDL is characterised by a relatively flat structure. Until the resignation of Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll in October 2013, the structure consisted of Robinson and Carroll as co

in Loud and proud
The slow violence of austerity Britain
Anthony Ellis

This chapter considers recent increases in homicides and ‘higher harm’ violence recorded in England and Wales since 2015 and draws upon ethnographic data collected as part of an ongoing research study of male violence to inform the discussion. Increased interpersonal violence in recent times must be understood in relation to both recent austerity measures and the longer-term decline of industrial working-class communities, which, it is argued here, collectively constitute a form of ‘slow’ violence.

in How the other half lives
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Marathon swimming, embodiment and identity
Author: Karen Throsby

This book is about the extreme sport of marathon swimming. It provides insight into a social world about which very little is known, while simultaneously exploring the ways in which the social world of marathon swimming intersects and overlaps with other social worlds and configurations of power and identity. Drawing on extensive (auto) ethnographic data, Immersion explores the embodied and social processes of becoming a marathon swimming and investigates how social belonging is produced and policed. Using marathon swimming as a lens, this foundation provides a basis for an exploration of what constitutes the ‘good’ body in contemporary society across a range of sites including charitable swimming, fatness, gender and health. The book argues that the dominant representations of marathon swimming are at odds with its lived realities, and that this reflects the entrenched and limited discursive resources available for thinking about the sporting body in the wider social and cultural context. It argues that in spite of these constraints, novel modes of embodiment and pleasure seep out between the cracks of those entrenched understandings and representations, highlighting the inability of the dominant understandings of sporting embodiment to account for experiences of immersion. This in turn opens up spaces for resistance and alternative accounts of embodiment and identity both within and outside of marathon swimming.

Buddhist salvation and the
Edoardo Siani

This chapter applies theories on political theology of sovereignty to contemporary Buddhist Thailand. Based on ethnographic data collected in 2016 in Bangkok, it analyses how a public relations campaign helped legitimise the mandate of the military junta after the passing of King Bhumibol and in the face of pressing calls for popular sovereignty. Organised at a luxury shopping mall, the campaign contained the emergence of a political theology of the people by celebrating the late monarch, venerated for his work in development, as a celestial being. Via astute cosmological framing, the campaign then proposed a new celestial-cum-social political order. It thus subordinated the people to the junta, suggesting the military’s suitability to embody the king’s celestial legacy in a period of transition.

in Political theologies and development in Asia
Intra-generational perspectiveson ‘old age’
Cathrine Degnen

In this chapter, attention is turned to how the boundaries of ‘old age’ are delineated by older people intra-generationally amongst peers. Chapter Four brings into focus a cultural account of the boundaries surrounding older age as both a social category and as a lived experience. It argues that ‘old age’ is not a frontier whose edges, once breached, are irreversible. Instead, using detailed and rich descriptions from the ethnographic data, it shows the subtle pressures older people in this community put on themselves and on each other whilst they discriminate between ‘normal’ and ‘real’ old age. Of particular consideration are ideals of personal comportment, body talk and interpersonal monitoring for signs of ‘real’ old age. This material permits a closer consideration of the gap between pragmatics and epistemology in the way old age is conceptualised and experienced by older people.

in Ageing selves and everyday life in the North of England
Land, property and pastoralism
Laura Clancy

This chapter focuses on an ethnographic analysis of Poundbury, a 400-acre urban extension to the town of Dorchester in Dorset, England, built on Duchy of Cornwall land using the architectural principles set out by Prince Charles in his book A Vision of Britain (1989). Charles’s vision fundamentally rejects modernism, and Poundbury regenerates conservative, pastoral and neoclassical architectural styles. However, the chapter argues that Charles’s interest in town planning is distinctly politicised, and he brazenly links architectural trends to social and cultural figurations. Indeed, his vision of Britain seems to be concerned not only with the technicalities of architecture but also with the management of the citizens populating it. The chapter title, a play on Marie Antoinette’s (in)famous saying ‘let them eat cake’, illustrates the ways in which Poundbury (re)creates Charles’s version of a fantasy past mired by privilege.

Using ethnographic data from my visit to Poundbury in July 2017, this chapter argues that the town stages a conservative, nostalgic understanding of monarchy based on relations of feudalism, imperialism, colonialism, pastoralism, pre-industrialisation, anti-urbanisation and classed, raced and gendered hierarchies. Simultaneously, Poundbury demonstrates how the Firm engages with capitalist wealth creation, as the Duchy of Cornwall is described in terms associated with corporate capital, particularly rentier capitalism. Charles and Poundbury can be interpreted as a microcosm of the Firm as described in this book: an anachronistic institution utilising contemporary media technologies, socio-political shifts and forms of capital accumulation; yet not willing to forgo historical privileges.

in Running the Family Firm
An ethnography in/of computational social science
Mette My Madsen, Anders Blok, and Morten Axel Pedersen

emerge from one another, which has resulted in the new challenges and opportunities for doing innovative, reflexive, socially and ethically grounded research in an age of ‘big and broad’ social data (Housley et al. 2014; see also Ford Transversal collaboration 185 2014; boyd and Crawford 2012; Nafus and Sherman 2014; Kockelman 2013; Wilf 2013; Knox and Walford 2016). Evidently, a rethinking of the relationship between computational and ethnographic data and methods is crucial as part of understanding these emerging social data ‘complementarities’ (Blok and Pedersen

in Ethnography for a data-saturated world