Space to Write: A Student’s Perspective on Ethnographic Writing


  • Charlot Schneider


Teaching spaces, education, freedom, experimentation, collaboration


How and where do we learn to write ethnographically? What should this space look like? Although there is an emphasis on academic writing in universities, often little attention is given to ethnographic writing. This is a problem when ethnographic texts require a different skill set and can sometimes leave students lost in a labyrinth of words. Ethnographies are an entirely different species of writing from the traditional academic essay. They require the writer to bring out an atmosphere, a particular way of talking, a total sensory experience, a relationship between oneself and another, all of which can be captured in a million different ways. Drawing on my own participation in a series of ethnographic writing seminars and my own learning process and development as a writer, I reflect on what kind of environment is needed to develop these skills. Three conditions were especially important: freedom, experimentation, and collaboration. I advocate for an alternative space within universities - a space free from structured templates and marking schemes; a space where students can experiment with different styles, figurative techniques, narration, and form; a space where people can share their ideas without fear or judgement and where they can help each other find their own unique voices.





Schneider, C. (2021). Space to Write: A Student’s Perspective on Ethnographic Writing. Ethnoscripts, 23(1). Abgerufen von