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Introduction Thickening Comparison: On The Multiple Facets Of Comparability

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which provides discussion of attempts to use ethnographic methods in order to build objects of comparison and relate them to each other as a means of improving analytical clarity. Comparability is the result of the ethnographic inquiry, not its natural starting point. The authors in the book reflect the role of ethnographic comparison in putting complex worlds into words: they describe the process of and inquire about producing comparability, how they themselves as well as their respective fields get involved in this process, how this co-production succeeds and how it fails, how it meanders and how it becomes productive in a mode of doing comparison. Ethnographic comparison is analytical ethnography in a radical sense. This chapter presents an overview of how other chapters of the book are organised.

Keywords: ethnographic comparison; qualitative social inquiry; sociolegal comparison



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