Doing Ethnographies is an introductory and applied guide to ethnographic methods. It focuses on those methods - participant observation, interviewing, focus groups, and video/photographic work - that allow us to understand the lived, everyday world.
Informed by the authors' fieldwork experience, the book covers the relation between theory, practice and writing, and demonstrates how methods work in the field, so preparing the first-time ethnographer for the loss of control and direction often experienced.
Mike Crang's interests lie in the field of cultural geography. He has worked extensively on the relationship of social memory and identity. Within this he focused empirically upon on practices of public and oral history, photography and museums looking especially at examples in the UK and Sweden. This interest feeds into looking at what people make of museums and landscapes and thus the study of tourism more generally. He has an edited collection on this theme that was published in 2009(Cultures of Mass Tourism: Doing the Mediterranean in the Age of Banal Mobilities, edited with Pau Obrador and Penny Travlou, Ashgate) and a previous collection (Tourism: between place and performance, with Simon Coleman, Berghahn 2002) as well as co-editing the journal 'Tourist Studies' for ten years from its inception. He is currrently working on the intersection of film, photography and tourism - through a case study using Captain Corelli and Cephallonia.
From the angle of visual aesthetics and senses of temporality and rhythm, he has become interested in not just issues of preservation and conservation but also their converse - destruction, dereliction and decay - as a collaborator on the ESRC project 'The Waste of the World'. On this project he has looked at the figuring of global flows through waste - especially ships in the work of differing photographic traditions. He has also explored the creation of wastescapes in (former) industrial sites, on beaches and between places. Subsequent work on the material cultures of waste is attempting to rethink approaches to the commodity through emphasising unbecoming things - that are both distasteful and unstable.
He is also interested in more abstract issues regarding time-space, action and temporality and co-edited the journal Time & Society from 1997 to 2006. His interests in this area led to a collection on spatiality and social theory ('Thinking Space', edited with Nigel Thrift). The other strand to his work is the analysis of transformations of space and time through electronic technologies, with specific work based around Singapore's 'Wired City' initiative and the 'digital divide' in UK cities. He completed an ESRC project on 'Multi-Speed Cities and the Logistics of Daily Life' with Steve Graham and is now working on the notion of a 'sentient city' and the politics of new forms of visualisation and locative computing.
In terms of service to the wider discipline he is a senior editor of the recently published International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography (2009, Elsevier) which was one of the 'CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles 2010' in the Social and Behavioural Sciences category and co-editor of the Sage Encyclopedia of Urban Studies (2010, with Ray Hutchison, Bob Beauregard and Manuel Aalbers), while being on the editorial board of Environment & Planning A, Geography Compass, Mondes du Tourisme, and previously Social and Cultural Geography. He was on the committee then secretary then chair of the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group of the RGS-IBG (1995-2006) and is curently on the scientific committee of the Societa Italiana di Scienze del Turismo. Within the department he has been Chair of the IT committee, convenor of research clusters, convenor of MA programmes in Space, Place and Culture and European Urban and Regional Change, and Director of the Geography and Cities degree programme and Director of Research (2003-6, 2008-10). Ian is a cultural geographer with longstanding interests in material geographies, multi-sited ethnographic research, connective aesthetics and critical pedagogy. He combines these in/as `follow the thing` work. In recent years he has added to these interests new media ecology and commodity activism, after experimenting with blogging as a means to write collaboratively about the geographies of food, and with web design to create followthethings.com, a spoof online shop, resource, database and fieldsite stocked with provocative `follow the thing` work by academics, students, filmmakers, artists, journalists and others.
Within Geography at Exeter, Ian is Director of Communications and External Relations and Equality and Diversity rep.
Ian is also the cultural geography editor of Geography Compass and serves on the editorial boards of Qualitative Research and Geography. He is an Associate of the Social Sculpture Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University, an academic advisory board member of Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, and a trustee of the Geographical Association.
Ian often writes as `Ian Cook et al` in order to acknowledge the collaborative nature of all of his work.
Ian graduated from UCL in 1986 with a BSc in Human Sciences, from the University of Kentucky in 1992 with an MA in Human Geography, and from the University of Bristol in 1997 with a PhD in Human Geography. He began his academic career at the University of Wales, Lampeter (1993-9), then worked at the University of Birmingham (1999-2007), before moving to Exeter in August 2007.