Ethnography is one of the chief research methods in sociology, anthropology and other cognate disciplines in the social sciences. This 'Handbook' provides a critical guide to its principles and practice. The volume is organized into three sections. The first systematically locates ethnography firmly in its relevant historical and intellectual contexts. The roots of ethnography are pinpointed and the pattern of its development is demonstrated. The second section examines the contribution of ethnography to major fields of substantive research. The impact and strengths and weaknesses of ethnographic method are dealt with authoritatively and accessibly. The third section moves on to examine key debates and issues in ethnography, from the conduct of research through to contemporary arguments.