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Seeing the trouble: a mountain rescue training scenario in its circumstantial and situated detail in three frames

Smith, Robin ORCID: 2020. Seeing the trouble: a mountain rescue training scenario in its circumstantial and situated detail in three frames. Ethnographic Studies 17 , pp. 41-59. 10.5281/zenodo.4050536

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This article concerns the possibility and adequacy of ethnographic description in relation to the circumstantial ‘order-productive’ detail of a given scene (MacBeth, 2012). The scene is an incident of technical trouble that emerges in the course of a mountain rescue training scenario. I take this case as instructive as to the relationship between ‘live’ ob- servations and their detail, and that made available in photographic and video materials. I show how the trouble, in its occasioned detail, is oriented to in different ways, and is differently available in different viewings and ‘representations’ of the scene and its action. Analyses of the trouble’s technical detail are also shown to be instructive for discovering members’ concerns, and for the analysis to aid members’ in discovering their concerns too (Garfinkel, 2002). In what follows, I outline something of the ethnomethodological treatment of obser- vation, fieldnotes and video materials. In doing so, I locate this article within a growing corpus of work concerned with the collaborative and praxiological accomplishment of perception-in-action and with members’ orientations and interpretations of the saliency of phenomena shown in video. The majority of the article describes the mountain rescue training scenario and specifically members’ own analysis of the situation. I offer some re- marks on what might constitute ‘adequate detail’ and ‘adequate completeness’ and the availability of phenomena and order for description to those involved in the production of their lived detail (MacBeth, 2012). In summary, this case demonstrates how instructed viewings provide for a chiasmatically reflexive, instead of hierarchical, understanding of the status of materials and in situ observation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Additional Information: Published article licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License
ISSN: 1366-4964
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 November 2020
Date of Acceptance: 31 August 2020
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 11:31

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