Although ethnographic studies of stratification have focused largely on issues of class, many also have dealt with the distinctive barriers and bridges for racial and gender groups. Despite differences in perspectives, many have focused on barriers and bridges to changing places in the hierarchy (class mobility) and others to bringing people together in a similar situation (class formation). Few see the barriers as totally confining, and few see a world without major barriers. Some of the ethnographies develop new ideas from the analysis of the data, others demonstrate inadequacies in existing theories, but all reveal the complexities of the social worlds. Long-term, in-depth involvement in the field often reveals events that are key to understanding barriers and bridges: relationships with others that challenge market models, situations that appear similar but are not, situations that appear different but are not, and myths that are strongly held but are not valid.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science