Ethics in Qualitative Research explores this field and presents a distinctive perspective; one that is at odds with the assumptions underpinning ethical regulation, but also with the views of many qualitative researchers today. Martyn Hammersley and Anna Traianou emphasize the difficult and controversial character of ethical issues, and examine the philosophical assumptions involved, the social contexts in which key ethical principles arise, and their implications for research practice. The authors argue that the starting point for any discussion of research ethics must be the values intrinsic to research, above all the commitment to knowledge-production.
In the past it was generally taken for granted that the goal of social research was the production of objective knowledge; and that this required a commitment to value neutrality. In more recent times, however, both these ideals have come to be challenged, and it is often argued that all research is inevitably political in its assumptions and effects. In this major contribution to the debate, Martyn Hammersley assesses the arguments from the classic and still influential contributions of C. Wright Mills, Howard Becker and Alvin Gouldner to the present day. He concludes that the case for partisanship is not convincing, and that an intelligent and sceptical commitment to the principles of objectivity and value neutrality must remain an essential feature of research.
This stimulating and refreshing study, written by one of the leading commentators in the field, provides novel answers to these crucial questions. "What's Wrong With Ethnography provides a fresh look at the rationale for and distinctiveness of ethnographic research in sociology, education and related fields, and succeeds in slaying a number of currently fashionable sacred cows. Relativism, critical theory, the uniqueness of the case study and the distinction between qualitative and quantitative research are all examined and found wanting as a basis for informed ethnography. The policy and political implications of ethnography are a particular focus of attention. The author compels the reader to reexamine some basic methodological assumptions in an exciting way", Martin Bulmer, London School of Economics.
In this book, Martyn Hammersley argues that many social scientists are ambivalent about methodology because of a wider problem: the gradual decline of a previously influential academic model of inquiry. This has occurred as a result of ideological challenges and the erosion of the institutional conditions that support academic work. He defends this model, spelling out the demands it places upon social scientists, and examining such issues as the proper role of methodology, the nature of objectivity, the false idea that social scientists should be intellectuals or social critics, the dialectic of academic discussion, the ethics of belief, and the limits of academic freedom.
Is qualitative research in crisis? In Questioning Qualitative Inquiry Martyn Hammersley raises fundamental questions about the current state of qualitative social research. He examines some of the changes that have taken place within it over the past fifty years, suggesting that the move away from natural science as a model, and towards an appeal to literature and art, involves rejection of key principles that are essential to research of any kind. Hammersley argues that, in important respects, qualitative inquiry has not lived up to the claims originally made on its behalf, and that more recent developments have worsened the situation. Insufficient attention has been given to the problems surrounding leading ideas like thick description, analytic induction, and constructionism. The argument is pursued through discussion of the work of influential writers - such as Clifford, Geertz, Denzin and Lincoln - and by detailed examination of concrete issues, like the value of interview data, the rationales for discourse and conversation analysis, the role of rhetoric in research reports, and the nature of assessment criteria. At a time when qualitative inquiry is coming under renewed challenge in some quarters, the task of addressing the methodological problems it faces has become urgent. These essays on current developments and debates are essential reading for anyone interested in the future of qualitative research.
Is social research political? Should it be political? What are the implications of the politicization of social research? Recent years have seen a growing range of challenges to the idea that research should be governed by the principle of value neutrality. Critical, feminist, antiracist and postmodernist analyses have argued that social research is intrinsically political. In this stimulating and often controversial book, Martyn Hammersley weighs the arguments offered in support of these positions. He considers the fundamental issues that the debate raises about the nature of social research, its political dimensions and its contemporary relevance. At the same time he provides a robust defence of value neutrality as a constitutive principle of social research, and makes a reassessment of the role of research in modern societies. Praise for The Politics of Social Research For anyone interested in the nature of social research, who has enough grasp of the issues to access the text, this book is a must' - "British Journal of Educational Psychology "All in all Hammersley has produced a text which provides us with much to think about. As I have said, certain chapters will, no doubt, attract considerable debate. Almost all of the chapters could stand alone but the broad political theme used to bring chapters and topics together works well almost always' - "Local Government Studies "Not only is Hammersley a leading exponent of sociological research, he is also a key writer and thinker on the problems of undertaking research. This collection, some of which has been published elsewhere and some not, therefore is a welcome addition to the literature on social research... interesting and well-argued' - "Disability and Society "
Thoroughly updated and substantially rewritten, the second edition of this popular textbook is now even more relevant and useful for students and researchers. In this accessible introduction to the methods of ethnographic fieldwork, Hammersley and Atkinson reconsider the status of ethnography and seek to place it quite explicitly in a general methodological context.Ethnographyprovides a systematic and coherent account of ethnographic principles and practices. From an outline of the principle of reflexivity the authors go on to discuss and exemplify the main features of ehtnographic work, such as the selection and sampling of cases, the problems of access, observation and interviewing, recording and filing data, and the process of data analysis. There is also consideration of the ethical issues surrounding ethnographic research. Throughout, the discussion draws on a wide range of illustrative material from classic and more recent studies in Britain and the US.
Combining classic articles that have been key markers in recent debates with some new material, this book addresses the problems involved in educational research and the issues surrounding its contribution to policymaking and practice. The authors examine the diverse approaches within qualitative research and address some of the key areas which have attracted criticism. They consider what role research should play and examine the case for randomised controlled trials and for action research. The book is suitable for any undergraduate or postgraduate student concerned with educational research methodology, as well as those focusing on educational policy and practice, and students doing PhDs and EdDs.
`This valuable book addresses an important current issues for education research in developed countries - the relationship between research on the one hand and policy-making and education practice on the other' - Stephen Gorard, Cardiff University, British Journal of Education Studies `Martyn Hammersley has produced a remarkably complete analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of educational research. I believe the analysis to be fair to all parties' - Lewis Elton, British Journal of Educational Technology Educational research and its relationship with policy making and practice has been a perennial concern. This book deals with some basic and controversial questions about that issue, including: - Can there be harmony in the relationship between researchers and educational policymakers or practitioners? - Do increases in knowledge always lead to practical improvement, and never to undesirable consequences? - Would educational research flourish if it were subjected to more central, and external, control? - What is the role of research reviews in making the results of research publicly available? Educational Research maps the demands now being made on educational research against the background complexities of the relationship between research and practice. This book is for students on methodology courses, taught courses and research degrees in education, social science disciplines, social policy and health studies both at masters and doctoral level.
Originally published 1992 What's Wrong With Ethnography? provides a fresh look at the rationale for and distinctiveness of ethnographic research in sociology, education and related fields. Relativism, critical theory, the uniqueness of the case study and the distinction between qualitative and quantitative research are all examined and found wanting as a basis for informed ethnography. The policy and political implications of ethnography are a particular focus of attention. The author compels the reader to re-examine some basic methodological assumptions in an exciting way.