The editors and contributors to this collection offer insights into the use of institutional ethnography for three primary purposes: to investigate and interrogate the cultures of work that are of interest to writing studies researchers, to understand more deeply what constitutes this work, and to consider how work takes shape within institutional contexts. Building on prior conversations about institutional ethnography, critical ethnography, and the complexities of writing programs, the editors and chapter authors consider their application to sites of writing and writing instruction. In doing so, they reveal the power of material conditions, institutional and field-based values, and the cultures of writing to shape how people carry out their everyday work in writing programs and other venues in which writing plays a central role. The findings shared in this edited collection provide insights into how institutional ethnography as a form of inquiry can make important contributions to the fields’ many ongoing conversations about the nature of our work, labor, and other writing-related interests.
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