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Paul Atkinson & Sara Delamont

In: The SAGE Handbook of Sociology

Chapter 3: Qualitative Research Traditions

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Qualitative Research Traditions
Qualitative research traditions

The art historian Hal Foster (1996) has suggested that ‘the ethnographic’ has become the dominant methodological model of the contemporary academy (cf. Coles, 2000; Kwon, 2000). Foster's discussion focuses on anthropology rather than sociology but the general point holds good. The visual arts, cultural studies, sociology and anthropology all share an ethnographic focus on local sites of social relations and cultural forms. They include: a close attention to the particularities of social life; an equally close attention to the forms of their representation; the reflexive attention to the productive work of the artist, writer and ethnographer; an awareness of the work of biographical and autobiographical construction. The ethnographic gaze captures and calls into question the tensions between the self and ...

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