Ethnographic Stories as Generalizations that Intervene


  • Brit Ross Winthereik
  • Helen Verran


ethnography, generalization, partiality


Located within classic and more recent works in STS the paper grapples with the question of how to write ethnographic stories that generalize particular spacetime places, and simultaneously generalize about their own modes of existence. Growing as a prolonged, cross-generational, and transcontinental conversation between the two authors the paper discusses the capacities of ethnographic stories to work as generative interventions. We begin with the situation in which most ethnographers of science and technology find themselves: navigating a passage in projects in which ethnographic analyses are obliged to work instrumentally in relation to organizational or technological change. Developing with an ethnographic description of monitoring work in an environmental NGO and Latour’s analysis of a Holbein painting, we draw on Strathern’s notion of partiality and Haraway’s articulation of double vision.


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How to Cite

Winthereik, B. R. and Verran, H. (2012) “Ethnographic Stories as Generalizations that Intervene”, Science & Technology Studies, 25(1), pp. 37–51. doi: 10.23987/sts.55280.