Reciprocal Ethnography and the Power of Women's Narratives

Reciprocal Ethnography and the Power of Women's Narratives

Elaine J. Lawless
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 08/09/2019
Format: Paperback 1 table
ISBN: 978-0-253-04297-2
Bookmark and Share

Other formats available:

Buy from Amazon


Folklorist Elaine J. Lawless has devoted her career to ethnographic research with underserved groups in the American Midwest, including charismatic Pentecostals, clergywomen, victims of domestic violence, and displaced African Americans. She has consistently focused her research on women's speech in these contexts and has developed a new approach to ethnographic research which she calls "reciprocal ethnography," while growing a detailed corpus of work on women's narrative style and expressive speech. Reciprocal ethnography is a feminist and collaborative ethnographic approach that Lawless developed as a challenge to the reflexive turn in anthropological fieldwork and research in the 1970s, which was often male-centric, ignoring the contributions by and study of women's culture. Collected here for the first time are Lawless's key articles on the topics of reciprocal ethnography and women's narrative which influenced not only folklore, but also the allied fields of anthropology, sociology, performance studies, and women's and gender studies. Lawless's methods and research continue to be critically relevant in today's global struggle for gender equality.

Author Bio

Elaine J. Lawless is Curators' Distinguished Professor Emerita of English and Folklore Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, and Religious Studies at the University of Missouri. She is author of multiple books including The Liberation of Winifred Bryan Horner: Writer, Teacher, and Women's Rights Advocate, Women Escaping Violence: Empowerment Through Narrative, and When They Blew the Levee: Race, Politics and Community in Pinhook, Missouri.

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

Foreword / Amy Shuman


Introduction: Learning to Listen, Hear, and Include Women's Voices: The Genesis of Reciprocal Ethnography

1. Shouting for the Lord: The Power of Women's Speech in the Pentecostal Religious Service

2. Rescripting Their Lives and Narratives: Spiritual Life Stories of Pentecostal Women Preachers

3. Access to the Pulpit: Reproductive Images and Maternal Strategies of the Pentecostal Female Pastor

4. "I was afraid someone like you . . . an outsider . . . would misunderstand": Negotiating Interpretive Differences Between Ethnographers and Subjects

5. Women's Life Stories and Reciprocal Ethnography as Feminist and Emergent

6. Writing the Body in the Pulpit: Female-sexed Texts

7. Woman as Abject: Resisting Cultural and Religious Myths that Condone Violence Against Women

Appendix: Selected Publications by Elaine J. Lawless