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Trading Up

Reflections on Power, Collaboration, and Ethnography in the Anthropology of Policy

Tara Schwegler

This article constitutes a pragmatic consideration of how to orchestrate access to 'powerful' individuals and a theoretical reflection on what efforts to negotiate access reveal about the anthropologist's subterranean assumptions about power, collaboration and ethnographic data. Too frequently, powerful actors and the contemporary settings they inhabit appear to be obstacles to ethnographic research. In contrast, I propose that we explore the ways in which working with powerful actors can enhance, rather than inhibit, the possibilities of anthropological data collection. In this article, I present several examples from my field research in the Mexican government to show how the ethnographic encounter can be constructive of the political process, not jut an appendage to it. By directing attention to the ways in which our actual research practices (and not just our findings) intervene in the political space, we can re-orient our expectations about data and the ontology of anthropological expertise.

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Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel

The world is urbanizing at an unprecedented rate, and its cities are transformed by technology and distributed computing. With every photograph, Twitter post, public transit ride, and credit card swipe, we leave digital traces in physical space. The enormous quantity of information, or Urban Big Data, that humanity generates each day is beginning to off er new possibilities for research, design, and systems optimization on the city scale, but the first step toward our urban future is finding new ways of understanding and visualizing Big Data—revealing invisible dimensions of the city.

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Murphy Out of Place

Ethnographic Anxiety and Its 'Telling' Consequences

Liam D. Murphy

In Belfast, Northern Ireland, as elsewhere, myriad problems of epistemology and research design confront ethnographers entering the field for the first time. While these often remain a permanently taxing wellspring of frustration and anxiety, their apparent resolution through experience can occasionally lull researchers into a false sense of security in the context of social interaction with field respondents. By exploring an instance in which the author neglected to apply his understanding of the important Northern Ireland phenomenon of 'telling', the article shows how method and epistemology should always be borne in mind during fieldwork situations—even those implicitly discounted a priori as nonethnographic. While such relaxation of self-awareness may precipitate various blunders and ethnographic faux-pas, it also opens up spaces of critical inquiry into the collaborative constitution of selves and others in field situations, and refocuses the ethnographer's awareness of his positioning as an outsider in webs of social activity.

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Shelling from the ivory tower

Project Camelot and the post–World War II operationalization of social science

Philip Y. Kao

with the greater counterculture movement. 3 This article begins by analyzing the research design of Project Camelot, and its equally short-lived, albeit slightly modified successor, Center for the Research of Social Systems (CRESS), in order to explore

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Community–University Health Research Partnerships

Challenges and Concrete, Plain Language Strategies for Community Engagement in Research

Janet Page-Reeves and Lidia Regino

community-engaged research design. Without this reviewer expertise, it remains unlikely that community-engaged proposals can be reviewed appropriately or that they will be considered competitive in mainstream grant review contexts. And even if a community

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Mike Neary and Joss Winn

McTaggart 2005: 563 ): planning, acting, reflecting, re-planning, acting and so on. These correspond to four cycles of: research design, data gathering, data analysis, communication, research design, and so on ( Stringer 2004 ). In this way, each action

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Environmental Movement Interventions in Tourism and Energy Development in the North Atlantic

Connecting the Social Movement Societies and Players and Arenas Perspectives

Mark C.J. Stoddart, Alice Mattoni, and Elahe Nezhadhossein

. First, we discuss the SMSoc and players and arenas perspectives and their resonance with literature on environmental movement mobilizing on oil extraction and tourism development. Second, we describe our research design and multi-method approach to data

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Naughtiest Girls, Go Girls, and Glitterbombs

Exploding Schoolgirl Fictions

Lucinda McKnight

Concepts, Inspiration, and Research Design By using the word heteroglossic in relation to metaphor, I refer to Mikhail Bakhtin’s (1981) guiding philosophical trope of heteroglossia, a continual life struggle between centrifugal forces spinning meaning

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I’m Not Loud, I’m Outspoken

Narratives of Four Jamaican Girls’ Identity and Academic Success

Rowena Linton and Lorna McLean

belief that reality can be articulated through a collaborative process between the researcher and participant. Together with our participants, we co-created their narratives. Sampling Although the sample size in a narrative research design is frequently

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The Inheritance of Activism

Does Social Capital Shape Women's Lives?

Supriya Baily, Gloria Wang, and Elisabeth Scotto-Lavino

’ involvement past the years of their youthful activism. Methodology We used a qualitative research design in our approach to this study since our question was exploratory and we wanted to explore and, following Norman Denzin and Yvinna Lincoln 2000