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April 30, 2013

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Miriam Cherry

Clever title for your post.

Monica Eppinger

Yes, yes, and yes.
Question for you: What's the difference for you between qualitative research and ethnographic research?

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Jeff, I sent you something but from a non-.edu address, so please let me know if it does not make it past your school's spam/security filters.

Jeff Redding

Miriam, thanks!, and Patrick, I got it, thank you!

And Monica, I think ethnographic research should ideally include both qualitative and quantitative elements, and each needs the other. In Kim Lane Scheppele's piece on "Constitutional Ethnography," I think she does a nice job of explaining how qualitative research is needed to even know what kinds of quantitative data to seek, and what that quantitative data might obscure (or even fully reveal if looked at through different kinds of lenses). Moreover, I would suggest that ethnography is a bigger enterprise than "qualitative" and "quantitative" methodologies can capture, namely because I see ethnography as also involving archival and observational methodologies as part of an enterprise of trying to present a longer and larger picture of whatever one is studying. So, for example, in mine and others' ethnographic work on 'the rule of law,' there is an effort to both understand what this idea means to people 'on the ground,' but also how those meanings got created through different historical, economic, and social processes. Thoughts?

TWBB

Jeff, "archival and observational methodologies as part of an enterprise of trying to present a longer and larger picture of whatever one is studying" are generally qualitative methodologies, and even when they're not they're just quantitative. In ethnography at least there isn't really anything outside those two methodological categories.

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