IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hrv/hksfac/4778477.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Role of Theory in Ethnographic Research

Author

Listed:
  • Wilson, William Julius
  • Chaddha, Anmol

Abstract

Scholars, including urban poverty researchers, have not seriously debated the important issues that Loïc 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 Wacquant’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.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilson, William Julius & Chaddha, Anmol, 2010. "The Role of Theory in Ethnographic Research," Scholarly Articles 4778477, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:4778477
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/4778477/Wilson_TheoryEthnography.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:4778477. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Office for Scholarly Communication). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ksharus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.