Some reflections on ethnography and validity

Hammersley, Martyn (1992). Some reflections on ethnography and validity. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 5(3) pp. 195–203.



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.

Viewing alternatives


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions
No digital document available to download for this item

Item Actions