Gary Alan Fine’s books

I have had a long-standing interest in the body of works that comprise Gary Alan Fine’s books, or his “phenomenology-based ethnography” as Dirk vom Lehn calls it in the preceding post. One has already been published on this blog. Authors of the Storm, and its predecessor A Second on Shared Fantasy is in preparation. Both these papers had antecedents in the form of drafts that I wrote while in Aberdeen but which were never published. The paper on shared fantasy was titled “Ideology in Boardgames” and formed a study of the Blitzkrieg doctrine. This was eventually published while I was in Adelaide, Australia 1975-79 as Lecturer in Sociology, reviewed here as Tank Doctrines: a negotiated order approach, published in the European Journal of Sociology.

There is nothing strange about symbolic interactionists finding that Gary Alan Fine had published books on topics that they also been interested in but never published a book or even an article on. Indeed, this represents an important source of pleasure in reading many of Fine’s books. They are book-length treatments of everyday interests that many share. The same can be said of Morel Tales and Kitchens, but in different respects, for me at least, as I had never written papers on either of these topics yet they were part of my general experience of life. Of these, Morel Tales was closer. Since moving to a permanent research post in Sweden in 1983 I discovering the pleasure of hunting for chanterelle mushrooms in the Swedish pine forests, as well as the dangers of failing to recognise mushrooms that looked like chanterelles but were not. Kitchens is much more tangential, but enables me to draw on my mother’s and my paternal aunt’s baking experiences and my role as helper from quite a young age, both in the kitchen and making deliveries to customers by car, as well as the Austro-Hungarian recipes that I inherited from them.

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