The Role of Theory in Ethnographic Research
AbstractScholars, including urban poverty researchers, have not seriously debated the important issues that LoÃ¯c Wacquant raised in his controversial review of books by Elijah Anderson, Mitchell Duneier, and Katherine Newman concerning the disconnect between theory and ethnographic research. Despite the tone of Wacquantâ€™s review, we feel that he made a contribution in raising important issues about the role of theory in ethnography. The responses to his review that address this issue, especially those by Anderson and Duneier, are also important because they help to broaden our understanding of how theory is used in ethnographic research. What we take from this exchange is that good ethnography is theory driven, and is likely to be much more reflective of inductive theoretical insights than those that are purely deductive. Moreover, we show that in some ethnographic studies the theoretical insights are neither strictly deductive nor inductive, but represent a combination of both.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard Kennedy School of Government in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4778477.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Ethnography
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