Interpretations – An Ethnographic Drama

Author: Adrian Blackledge, Angela Creese

Related Formats:
Hardback, Ebook(PDF), Ebook(EPUB)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
245mm x 174mm

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This highly original book brings compelling narratives of migration and social diversity vividly to life. At once a play script and an outcome of ethnographic research, it is a rich resource for the interpretation and representation of life in the multilingual city. The book takes an inside view of a hidden space in the city: an advice and advocacy service in a Chinese community centre. Here, advisors translate and translanguage, making sense of the bureaucratic world for clients who need help to access rights and resources related to housing, employment, education, welfare benefits, insurance, taxation, health and much more.

In this brilliant and fascinating piece of 'ethnographic theatre', Adrian Blackledge and Angela Creese illustrate, in a kaleidoscope of characters and scenes, the complexity of the social, linguistic and, more generally, human problems that migrants and people who try to help them face every day. In the process, they make us rethink what it means to do qualitative research.

Anna De Fina, Georgetown University, USA

This ground-breaking volume transforms outcomes of an ethnographic study into a drama about Chinese migrants' lives in the UK. It is minimalist, just people talking and telling their stories. Yet, the seemingly mundane conversations bring out rich imageries and emotions. It is a new genre in the making.

Zhu Hua, University of Birmingham, UK

Interpretations is an ethnographic drama, an inspiring and thought-provoking arts-based intervention to ethnographic writing. The text brings to life the multiple layers of interpretation that happen in the everyday as people try to make sense of the world, producing interpretations of interpretations, using multiple languages and semiotic resources. Reimagining ethnography as drama challenges conceived ideas about 'how academics should write' and opens up new horizons for scholarship in the social sciences.

Ana Deumert, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Adrian Blackledge is Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Stirling, UK. He has published widely on both multilingualism and sociolinguistics. He was Birmingham Poet Laureate from 2014-2016.

Angela Creese is Professor of Linguistic Ethnography at the University of Stirling, UK. She has published widely on multilingualism and ethnographic methods. Together with Adrian Blackledge she is the author of Voices of a City Market: An Ethnography (Multilingual Matters, 2019).

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Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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