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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2005

Barbara Korth

I am persistently struck by how easy it seems in academic discourse to polarize positions and people. Ming-chu Hsu, a graduate student at Indiana University, recently…

Abstract

I am persistently struck by how easy it seems in academic discourse to polarize positions and people. Ming-chu Hsu, a graduate student at Indiana University, recently wrote an essay discussing western academic discourse and its propensity to pit people's positions against one another as if this were the sole way to have a legitimate intellectual claim. I have worries about being a participant in an interchange with those rules because I do not, in the end, believe in them. In my paper, I am trying to explore what it means to have partisan (feminist) concerns and commitments in the world when I do ethnography. I am sure there is fallibility in my perspective and I welcome the dialogue on non-polarized grounds. My paper was an opportunity to reflect using Hammersley's position as a mirror for my own. And the mirror talked back! It is in this context that I offer the following comments on Hammersley's response to my paper.

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Methodological Issues and Practices in Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-374-7

Book part
Publication date: 15 February 2017

Martyn Hammersley

This chapter is written in response to ‘The Quest for Generic Ethics Principles in Social Science Research’ by David Carpenter. I address his communitarian arguments for…

Abstract

This chapter is written in response to ‘The Quest for Generic Ethics Principles in Social Science Research’ by David Carpenter. I address his communitarian arguments for additional principles to inform a virtue theory approach to research ethics. These require that social researchers ensure that their research is both socially and scientifically valuable, and that they ‘involve members of the public in the designing, planning, delivery, ongoing monitoring and dissemination of research’. Carpenter underpins these principles with an appeal to the common good as a balance to the more individualistic principles characteristic of principlism. I argue that enforcement of these new communitarian principles via ethical regulation would further undermine the quality of research, and especially of academic social science.

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Finding Common Ground: Consensus in Research Ethics Across the Social Sciences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-130-8

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Book part
Publication date: 17 May 2012

Martyn Hammersley

Assigning or claiming identities can be a dangerous business. Labels carry conflicting meanings and, even more importantly, what is a laudatory term to some will be…

Abstract

Assigning or claiming identities can be a dangerous business. Labels carry conflicting meanings and, even more importantly, what is a laudatory term to some will be grounds for condemnation by others. My immediate response to the invitation to write this piece about becoming a symbolic interactionist, aside from the pleasure of being asked, was that I was not sure that I could claim, or even that I would want to claim, this label. I have a visceral dislike of theoretical-cum-methodological camps, not least because over the years I have been accused of belonging to a variety of these, from positivism to post-modernism. Reflecting a little more on the invitation, however, I realized that I could not reasonably deny that in the past, particularly in the 1970s, I regarded myself and was seen by others as an interactionist. Moreover, while my ideas about sociological work are now somewhat different from what they were then, and the direction of travel might be viewed as ‘un-interactionist’, in fact much of my work is still focused on issues coming out of the interactionist tradition: notably, Blumer's views about methodology, Becker's arguments about ‘Whose side are we on?’, and the notion of analytic induction.

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Blue-Ribbon Papers: Behind the Professional Mask: The Autobiographies of Leading Symbolic Interactionists
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-747-5

Book part
Publication date: 21 December 2010

Sam Hillyard

Ethnography has come of age as a research approach on both sides of the Atlantic, as evidenced by the number of specialist texts and journals now dedicated to the field…

Abstract

Ethnography has come of age as a research approach on both sides of the Atlantic, as evidenced by the number of specialist texts and journals now dedicated to the field. Yet relatively recently, a leading UK commentator perceived something to be fundamentally wrong with ethnography (Hammersley, 1990, 1992) and reiterated such concerns (Hammersley, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2008a, 2008b). This opening chapter examines the thesis that there is a dilemma within ethnography by, first, examining Hammersley's conceptualisation of the problematic state of ethnography in his seminal text of 1992 and, second, to challenge the relevance of his argument today. In the light of Denzin's commentary on the stages of qualitative research development now moving into an era of more abstract and non-traditional forms of research and representation, can the current trends in ethnography be seen so readily as vice or virtue? Or, alternatively, does Hammersley's advocacy of ‘subtle realism’ (Hammersley, 1992, p. 5) resonate with contemporary obligations to produce innovative research that ‘makes a difference’?

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New Frontiers in Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-943-5

Book part
Publication date: 19 April 2018

Martyn Hammersley

This chapter examines the role of phrónēsis in the context of research ethics, noting how it is often contrasted with the proceduralist approach associated with ethical…

Abstract

This chapter examines the role of phrónēsis in the context of research ethics, noting how it is often contrasted with the proceduralist approach associated with ethical regulation. The meaning of the term in the writings of Aristotle is outlined. This is followed by an examination of some of the ways in which the concept has been applied more recently, for example in relation to professionalism and professional ethics. Here, it is often combined with similar ideas, such as Polanyi’s notion of tacit knowing. These more recent applications of the concept involve some deviation from the original sense of the term, but it is argued that there are good reasons for this, arising from changes in prevailing values and social conditions since the time of Aristotle. Furthermore, there are complexities with which he did not deal, notably the Machiavellian idea that in some circumstances unethical actions may be necessary to achieve desirable goals. The chapter ends by considering whether phrónēsis always leads to good ethical judgements. This seems to be true by definition on Aristotle’s formulation, but he assumes a greater degree of harmony amongst virtues or values than seems to be the case. And this is a particular problem in the case of social research, since its goal is in dispute.

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Virtue Ethics in the Conduct and Governance of Social Science Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-608-2

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2005

Barbara Korth

I am the oldest daughter from a family of five girls. I was born in the 1950s and had my first real encounters with feminism as a social movement during the second wave…

Abstract

I am the oldest daughter from a family of five girls. I was born in the 1950s and had my first real encounters with feminism as a social movement during the second wave women's liberation movement in the United States in the 1970s. This movement had an important impact on me. Despite the appeal of the women's movement for me, I lived a powerfully gendered life. I had not been allowed to read The Lord of the rings series in school because I was a girl. I detested Barbie dolls and yet was sentenced to hours of play with them if I was to have any social life at all. I had to pretend that I neither liked nor was competent at math and science. My high school boyfriend was paying me a compliment when decades after high school he told me, “At least you never let on that you were smart. I always appreciated that about you.” When I attended the first day of a basic calculus class at a public university in 1981, the professor announced, “No female has ever passed a class with me.” In 1983, I was reprimanded by my elementary school principal for wearing slacks to teach. This was reminiscent of my childhood days when my parents finally, but only, allowed me to wear trousers to school on Fridays. In 1990, my 5-year-old daughter told me, “Well, mom, everyone knows boys are smarter than girls” (of course she has since changed her mind!).

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Methodological Issues and Practices in Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-374-7

Book part
Publication date: 6 December 2004

Martyn Hammersley

There is a huge amount of social and educational research concerned with various kinds of inequality. Much of this research assumes that inequalities are a bad thing, even…

Abstract

There is a huge amount of social and educational research concerned with various kinds of inequality. Much of this research assumes that inequalities are a bad thing, even when it is solely concerned with providing information about the level and causes of inequalities of some particular kind.1 Sometimes, however, this use of crude egalitarianism spills over into presentation of what can be read as practical value judgements. Ambiguity between factual conclusion and practical evaluation is frequently exploited, or at least allowed to prevail. As a result, evaluations seem to be expressed, and/or prescriptions for action proposed, with the implication that they are justified by research evidence. Yet, on its own, research evidence can rarely provide a sufficient justification for value conclusions (see Foster et al., 2000; Hammersley, 2003a). While on some occasions research evidence may be treated as pointing directly to value conclusions, there are always value premisses involved, as well as factual ones, and these will often be open to reasonable doubt and disagreement.

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Ethnographies of Educational and Cultural Conflicts: Strategies and Resolutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-275-7

Book part
Publication date: 21 December 2010

Gregory Jeffers, Rashawn Ray and Tim Hallett

Methodological traditions are like any other social phenomena. They are made by people working together, criticizing one another, and borrowing from other traditions. They…

Abstract

Methodological traditions are like any other social phenomena. They are made by people working together, criticizing one another, and borrowing from other traditions. They are living social things, not abstract categories in a single system.– Andrew Abbott (2004, p. 15)

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New Frontiers in Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-943-5

Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2005

Martyn Hammersley

It can be argued that toleration is an essential component of an ethnographic orientation. But is this a matter of principled commitment, or simply a practical requirement…

Abstract

It can be argued that toleration is an essential component of an ethnographic orientation. But is this a matter of principled commitment, or simply a practical requirement for doing ethnographic work? And what does it entail? In its standard sense ‘toleration’ means not challenging – perhaps not even openly evaluating – actions or attitudes of which one disapproves, or views with which one disagrees. It is important to underline that this is very different from celebrating diversity or difference. Even so, it might be argued that ethnographers should not need to be tolerant, since as a matter of principle they ought to be open to the other, rather than disapproving of it. I will argue that this is false, that they do often need to be tolerant, both in the course of fieldwork and when analysing data and writing up their research. During data collection, toleration may be required when witnessing things that one believes to be morally wrong, finds physically disgusting, or judges culturally damaging; or when hearing views with which one fundamentally disagrees. In analysis and writing up, toleration means portraying beliefs or activities in a way that is unaffected by one's own attitude towards them, and writing about them in a manner that does not communicate any evaluation (and thereby necessarily runs the risk that readers will infer one approves of them when one does not). I will argue that the particular grounds on which the requirement of toleration can be based have implications for decisions about what should be its limits, but that a commitment to ethnography demands that those limits be broad. Finally, I consider what the implications of adherence to the principle of tolerance are for the ethnographer as a person. Does it condemn one to ethical inauthenticity? Or is research an ethical way of life that is of value in itself?

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Methodological Issues and Practices in Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-374-7

Book part
Publication date: 6 December 2004

Lawrence Angus is Professor is Head of the School of Education at the University of Ballarat. His most recent book (with Professor Terri Seddon of Monash University) is…

Abstract

Lawrence Angus is Professor is Head of the School of Education at the University of Ballarat. His most recent book (with Professor Terri Seddon of Monash University) is Reshaping Australian Education: Beyond Nostalgia. His publications include several books over 50 refereed book chapters and articles in academic journals. His particular research and teaching interests include education equity and policy.Eve Gregory is a Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London She joined the Department of Educational Studies in 1987, after having taught for nine years in schools and two years at Nene College, Northampton. During her years at Goldsmiths, she has co-ordinated language and literacy programmes for the BA Ed, taught across Early Years programmes and established student exchanges in France, Spain and Austria. Recent research has included studies on family literacy history, on siblings (both funded by the ESRC) and children’s home and school literacy practices (funded by the Leverhulme Trust).Kathleen Gwinner began her career in education as a high school art teacher in rural areas near Kansas City, Missouri and El Paso, Texas, and then in Houston’s urban schools. Travel and a continuing interest in art history prompted her to return to university for a Masters degree in European history, and she subsequently taught history and art history courses at private and public schools with a great variety of student populations. Her doctoral research was conducted at a specialized vocational school within the Houston metropolitan district where she was a teacher. She now teaches at a school for the gifted and talented where she is continuing her research on high achieving girls.Martyn Hammersley is Professor of Educational and Social Research, Faculty of Education and Language Studies, the Open University. His early work was in the sociology of education. Much of his more recent work has been concerned with the methodological issues surrounding social and educational research. He is currently investigating the representation of research findings in the mass media. He has written several books, including: (with Paul Atkinson) Ethnography: principles in practice (Routledge, 1995); The Dilemma of Qualitative Method (Routledge, 1989); Reading Ethnographic Research (Longman, 1998); What’s Wrong with Ethnography? (Routledge, 1992); The Politics of Social Research (Sage, 1995); (with Peter Foster and Roger Gomm) Constructing Educational Inequality (Falmer, 1996); Taking Sides in Social Research (Routledge, 1999); and Educational Research, Policymaking and Practice (Paul Chapman, 2002).Sam Hillyard is a lecturer in sociology at the Institute for the Study of Genetics, Biorisks and Society and a member of Nottingham’s Institute for Rural Research. Her research interests include ethnographic research and theorising; the Sociology of Education; the history of symbolic interactionism and the sociology of Erving Goffman. At Nottingham, she teaches rural sociology and recently finished a research project studying images of farming in children’s literature.Caroline Hudson is Basic Skills Advisor in the Home Office National Probation Directorate. Caroline has published on offending and education, evidence-based policy, and family structure (intact nuclear, reordered nuclear, single parent and care) and young people’s perceptions of family and schooling. Her principal research interest is issues related to social exclusion. Prior to working in the Home Office, Caroline was a researcher at Oxford University Department of Educational Studies and Oxford University Centre for Criminological Research. Before doing a Master’s and doctorate at Oxford University, Caroline was a secondary school English teacher for 12 years.Bob Jeffrey’s ethnographic research at The Open University has focussed on the effects of policy reform and managerialism on the creativity of primary teachers in England. Together with Peter Woods, he has identified their dilemmas and tensions, their creative responses, identity reconstructions, and changes in professional role. He has, together with Geoff Troman, and Dennis Beach, established an extensive European network of ethnographic research interests and his current research project involves ten European partners focussing on the student’s perspectives of their learning experiences with particular reference to their creativity. He has maintained a regular flow of articles concerned with ethnographic methodology.Susi Long is an Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education and Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina in the U.S. Her research interests include language and literacy learning in marginalized populations and teacher education. In 1997, she received the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Promising Researcher Award for her ethnographic study of cross cultural learning in Iceland. She continues similar work in the United States with projects that include a study of professional development at the University of South Carolina’s Children’s Center, a six month study of Mexican American kindergartners, and a long-term study of new teachers during their first three years of teaching. Key publications can be found in the journals, Research in the Teaching of English; The Journal of Teacher Education; Reading, Language and Literacy; NCTE’s Primary Voices; and in an upcoming issue of the NCTE’s Language Arts. Her most recent work is coedited with Eve Gregory of Goldsmiths College and Dinah Volk of Cleveland State University. The volume, Many Pathways to Literacy (Routledge Falmer, 2004) is a collection of studies that illuminate mediators of language and literacy learning in the lives of young children across a range of cultural settings in the U.S. and in the U.K.Colton Paul worked as a primary school teacher for a number of years in the London Borough of Haringey and Tower Hamlets. He is now employed as a lecturer at Goldsmiths College educational department. Colton Paul is primarily concerned in his research with culture, identity and education, in particular the ways in which notions of race, power, and representation interact to influence cognitive development. his current area of research for his PhD thesis is focused on the effects of mythologies and power relations on the educational development of children of Caribbean heritage.Ilana Snyder is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia. Her research focuses on changes to literacy, pedagogical and cultural practices associated with the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Four books, Hypertext (Melbourne University Press & New York University Press, 1996), Page to Screen (Allen & Unwin and Routledge, 1997), Teachers and Technoliteracy (Allen & Unwin, 2000), co-authored with Colin Lankshear, and Silicon Literacies (Routledge, 2002) explore these changes. In collaboration with Simon Marginson and Tania Lewis, her current research includes a three-year Australian Research Council-funded project examining the use of ICTs in higher education in Australia. The focus is on innovation at the interface between pedagogical and organisational practices. She is also working on the application of Raymond William’s ideas about technology and cultural form to a study of the Internet.Ruth Silva teaches at the College of Education, University of North Texas having completed her doctorate in teacher education at the University of Houston. She has been a teacher and administrator in high schools in Australia and an administrator with the Department of Education (Independent and Catholic Schools) in Sydney. Her research focuses on the role of the classroom teacher as researcher, instructional supervision, and pre-service teacher education.Katie Van Sluys is a doctoral research student at Indiana University.Ilana Snyder is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia. Her research focuses on changes to literacy, pedagogical and cultural practices associated with the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Four books, Hypertext (Melbourne University Press & New York University Press, 1996), Page to Screen (Allen & Unwin and Routledge, 1997), Teachers and Technoliteracy (Allen & Unwin, 2000), co-authored with Colin Lankshear, and Silicon Literacies (Routledge, 2002) explore these changes. In collaboration with Simon Marginson and Tania Lewis, her current research includes a three-year Australian Research Council-funded project examining the use of ICTs in higher education in Australia. The focus is on innovation at the interface between pedagogical and organisational practices. She is also working on the application of Raymond William’s ideas about technology and cultural form to a study of the Internet.Wendy Sutherland-Smith is a lawyer turned teacher and an Associate- Lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Law at Deakin University. She has taught in secondary and tertiary institutions for the past fourteen years. Currently, she is teaching Corporations and Business Law to international students, whilst also undertaking doctoral studies in the Faculty of Education at Monash University in Australia. Her Ph.D is a cross-disciplinary investigation of notions of plagiarism, from perspectives of Legal and Literary theory. She is particularly interested in the Internet literacy practices of tertiary undergraduate ESL students. In her doctoral work, Sutherland-Smith is focuses on Bourdieu’s notions of symbolic violence, cultural capital, habitus and field. She applies these critically in analyses of international ESL students’ academic writing, both print-text and Web-text based, with respect to plagiarism and intellectual property. She has published articles in The Reading Teacher (2002), Prospect (2002), and TESOL Journal (2003) on her research of international students’ reading practices in paper-text compared to hyper-text environments. She has also published in the broader area of the nexus between linguistic and legal theory. Her email address is wendyss@deakin.edu.au.Dinah Volk is a Professor and Coordinator of the Early Childhood Program, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. She has taught young children in the U.S. and Latin America and her research interests include sibling and peer teaching and the language and literacy practices of young bilingual children and their families. Volk is co-editor, with Gregory and Long, of Many Pathways to Literacy: Young Children Learning with Siblings, Peers, Grandparents, and Communities (RoutledgeFalmer, 2004) and is co-author, with DeGaetano and Williams, of Kaleidoscope: A Multicultural Approach for the Primary School Classroom (Prentice Hall, 1998). Her articles have been published in Research in the Teaching of English, the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, Reading: Language and Literacy, and the Early Childhood Research Quarterly.Geoffrey Walford is Professor of Education Policy and a Fellow of Green College at the University of Oxford. He was previously Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Education Policy at Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham. His recent books include: Affirming the Comprehensive Ideal (Falmer, 1997, edited with Richard Pring), Doing Research about Education (Falmer, 1998, Ed.). Durkheim and Modern Education (Routledge, 1998, edited with W S F Pickering), Policy and Politics in Education (Ashgate, 2000) Doing Qualitative Educational Research (Continuum, 2001) and British Private Schools: Research on policy and practice (Woburn Press, 2003, Ed.). His research foci are the relationships between central government policy and local processes of implementation, choice of schools, private schools, religiously-based schools and ethnographic research methodology. He is editor of the Oxford Review of Education and has recently completed a Spencer Foundation funded comparative project on faith-based schools in England and the Netherlands.Sue Walters completed her DPhil research in the Department of Educational Studies at Oxford University and is now a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes (researching Ethnicities and Contemporary Rural Identities). She was previously a Secondary School English teacher and an English as an Additional Language specialist and has academic degrees in Literature, Women’s Studies and Educational Research Methods. Her current research interests lie in issues concerning academic achievement and Bangladeshi pupils, ethnic minority and bilingual pupil’s experiences of schooling and ethnicities and identities.

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Ethnographies of Educational and Cultural Conflicts: Strategies and Resolutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-275-7

1 – 10 of 38