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.

The Aesthetics of Qualitative Research: On Bullshit and Tonsils

In the previous chapter, I discussed the contribution that qualitative research can make to society. In this chapter, I move from what qualitative research does to the more fundamental question of its nature, that is, what qualitative research is, quite apart from any contribution to society (or elsewhere) that it makes.

So I shall ask: in what ways does our kind of research demand attention and claim to be of value for what it is, not necessarily for what it does? This is how I am using the word ‘aesthetics’. It will mean that we will be looking at the claims that contemporary qualitative research makes about itself. Take the call for help by a student ...

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