Conceived by Chris Grey and written to get you thinking, the “Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap” series offers an informal, conversational, accessible yet sophisticated and critical overview of what you find in conventional textbooks.

Applying Qualitative Research

Ethnographers have a closeness to the ‘field’ which is unavailable to quantitative researchers. This makes it almost inevitable that they will reflect on the impact of their research findings upon the people they study. Here are Jay Gubrium's thoughts on this matter following his research at Cedarview, the American residential home for disturbed adolescents discussed in Chapter 3:

The ‘findings’ didn't so much reveal something about patients that was useful to them [the Cedarview staff] in their work, as it presented a portrait of what they – the staff – were up against themselves. Over and over again, they'd say, yes, that's right, that's what we have to do, especially at Cedarview. They recognized that they were representationally beholden to county welfare ...

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