Cities are built from within: challenges of urban ethnography

  • Graça Índias Cordeiro ISCTE-IUL
Keywords: urban ethnography, relational city, micro and marco, neighbourhood, sociability


This article discusses a central problem in urban ethnography: the delimitation of a field of research that, in large measure, coincides with the delimitation of the object of study itself. In the first part, he gives a historical retrospective on this problem, from the Chicago School to the institutionalization of urban anthropology in the US in the 1970s, and in the second part, he exemplifies the types of ethnographic clipping used in past investigations. The relationship between the part of the ethnographically seized city and the urban totality is analyzed here, using intermediate notions or intermediate plans of analysis suggested by some authors as creative possibilities that open windows on the city, helping to describe and think it from an ethnographic perspective.