Analysis and interpretation of ethnographic data : a mixed by Margaret D. LeCompte University of Colorado Boulder, Jean

By Margaret D. LeCompte University of Colorado Boulder, Jean J. Schensul Institute for Community Research

Treating research as either a mechanical and a cognitive strategy, booklet five starts via describing why research and interpretation of information are invaluable. within the first chapters the publication issues out the significance of starting ethnographic research within the box, through the earliest levels of information assortment, and the way to maneuver among induction and deduction, the concrete and the summary, in a approach educated by way of an rising and more and more sophisticated conceptual version. the center part tackles the problem of reworking large piles of textual content, audio, and visible details into
an ethnographic entire via universal and particular coding and quantification of qualitative information, utilizing a number of prolonged examples. Chapters exhibit tips to use desktops in research of qualitative info and how one can combine the result of quantitative and qualitative information right into a accomplished photo of a fancy complete. bankruptcy nine provides a unprecedented and finished description of the statistics
regularly utilized by ethnographers to research ethnographic surveys. Chapters 10 and eleven express how researchers create after which fine-tune initial effects into an built-in complete, demonstrate them for a number of audiences, and write them up. the ultimate bankruptcy illustrates how ethnographers can percentage the which means of effects with neighborhood groups and parts and with different specialist researchers.

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The vertical dimension moves between local explanations for phenomena and conceptual or external explanations for phenomena. ” One also could think in a less linear fashion and use as an analogy the process of assembling both the “big picture” and the local details of a jigsaw puzzle. Assembling a jigsaw puzzle is a similar kind of playing with pieces (or ideas). The individual pieces of the puzzle represent the horizontal dimension; as they are matched together, components of the big picture emerge (“living a good life”).

They include descriptions of events and conversations, including maps and other illustrations, and also may include reflections, preliminary analyses, initial interpretations, and new questions and hunches to be answered and tested in the next days and weeks of observation. indb 37 Definition: Full field notes are fleshed out descriptions created from scratch notes, memory, and theoretical insights so as to capture the situation in nearphotographic detail Key point Cross Reference: Book 3, chapter 3 discusses how to construct field notes Key point 8/21/12 1:08 PM 38 C HAP T E R 2 frames or questions that structured the study in the first place; they become increasingly focused and “coded” as the research itself progresses and hones in on those features of the cultural scene that become most interesting and as the formative theoretical model emerges.

Citing specific functional theorists—Radcliffe-Brown, Malinowski, and others—she began by imposing a classificatory scheme on the society she was studying, rather than simply trying inductively to discover what was there. She also felt that her task was to describe an entire culture, which meant covering each of the categories (family and kinship, economics, religion, aesthetics, social organization) outlined by functional theorists as necessary for the survival of a society. By contrast, contemporary ethnographers focus less often on creating theoretically informed descriptions of a whole society than they do on using theories about specific human processes to identify and explain smaller chunks or aspects of societies.

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