From ethnography to theory: A programme and paradigm in the sociology of education.
There is a shortage of well-developed and systematically tested theory in sociology, and in the sociology of education in particular. The studies of the effects of streaming and banding carried out by Hargreaves, Lacey and Ball provide one of the few examples of a powerful theory which has survived systematic testing. This sequence of studies provides the basis for a research programme extending beyond the field of education. At the same time, and more importantly, this body of research offers a paradigm for case study research designed to develop and test theory. In this way it helps to close the deplorable, and much lamented, gap between theory and empirical research.
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