Some reflections on ethnography and validity.
International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 5(3),
The question of what are appropriate criteria for assessing ethnographic research has become a matter of considerable debate in recent years. This paper identifies four philosophical positions that have influenced ethnographers' thinking about this issue: realism, positivism#shmethodism, relativism, and instrumentalism. The implications of these ideas for judgements about the validity of ethnographic findings are sketched in the first half of the paper. In the second half, I argue that none of these positions is adequate and outline a more satisfactory view.
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