Urban Ethnography, an interdisciplinary field of knowledge?
Two decades discourse about globalizing social sciences – concepts, strategies, achievements
Urban Ethnography is both a method and a scientific approach embedded in Urban Studies. It is often practiced by anthropologists, who tend to monopolize the ethnographic method, or to maintain it as a specific skill (Ingold 2013), but is also practiced by other social scientists trained by anthropologists to include the method in their researches. In this presentation I wish to present the case of Portuguese Urban Ethnography. On the one hand, the history of this methodology is international, since it grew under strong relations between Portugal, Spain and Brasil, and to a less extent, with the United States and France. It is also interdisciplinary – linked mostly with Anthropology, Sociology and History, but also with Geography, Architecture and Political Science. But on the other hand, Urban Ethnography as a field is not self-assured. To what extent is Urban Ethnography really interdisciplinary? And what about its practitioners? Are they more committed with ground theory, applied research, collaborative research? The paper will contribute to answer these questions, following recent results from a qualitative research based in interviews and Curricula analysis about Portuguese Urban Ethnography.