Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Canada Natives; Colleges; Cultural Activities; Cultural Education; Culturally Relevant Education; Indigenous Populations; Informal Education; Instruction; Knowledge Base for Teaching; Nonformal Education; School Community Relationship; Student Empowerment; Teacher Effectiveness; Teacher Role; Theory Practice Relationship.

Haig-Brown, C., & Dannenmann/Kaamatweyaashiik, K. (2002). To be in good relation: The search for community. NALL Working Paper No. 61. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at: www.nall.ca.


This paper consists of a dialogue on the understanding of how the notion and the imaginative real "community" fit with the land-based pedagogy of the Indigenous Knowledge Instructors Program.
KEY WORDS: Community; Indigenous Knowledge; Instructors Program.

Morais, A. (2001). Honouring their stories: The experience of one interviewer. NALL Working Paper No. 35. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at: www.nall.ca.


The author of this paper was contracted as one of three researchers for the project entitled Learning Capacities in the Community and Workplace: an action research project. The project was sponsored by Advocates for Community Based-training and Education for Women (ACTEW) and, initially, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) Union. The intent of the project was to uncover and document learning strategies used by adults in three different learning sites: an unionized factory; a community-based employment training program; and a literacy program. The job of this particular researcher was to focus on learners in the pre-employment and literacy programs in Toronto. The method of research was action based: the author was responsible for interviewing adult learners and facilitating sessions on filling out a Skills and Knowledge Profile (SKP).
KEY WORDS: Community Based-training; Workplace Training; Adult Education; Learning Capacities; Learning Strategies; Unions; Action Research.

Haller, B. A., & Ralph, S. M. (2001). Content analysis methodology for studying news and disability: Case studies from the United States and England. Research in Social Science and Disability, 2, 229-253.


Explores quantitative and qualitative disability issues in the US and England addressed by the media. A US analysis explores eight major daily newspapers and three weekly news magazines for stories about disability issues that took place in 1998. Stories are classified according to their number in each publication, location in thematic sections, length, type, and variety of disability. An England analysis of mainstream and tabloid coverage explores disparaging comments made by well-known soccer coach, Glenn Hoddle, that led to his termination in 1999. Content analysis reveals society's changing perceptions of people with disabilities and the significance of mass media in shaping public attitudes.
KEY WORDS: Handicapped; Social Perception; Social Attitudes; Mass Media Images; Mass Media Effects; News Coverage; England; United States of America; Research Methodology.

Hammersley, M., Bridges, D., & Smith, R. (Eds.). (2006). Philosophy's contribution to social science research on education. Oxford: Blackwell.


This article offers a Weberian perspective on philosophy's relationship to social science research in education. Two key areas where it can make an important contribution are discussed: methodology, and the clarification of value principles that necessarily frame inquiries. In relation to both areas, it is claimed that some researchers underestimate philosophy's contribution, while others exaggerate it. It is argued that both these tendencies are counterproductive: neither enables research on education to flourish. In relation to the second area, it is shown that philosophy is needed to clarify the value principles that educational researchers use to frame their inquiries; but, at the same time, that it cannot provide a value framework to govern social science. The concept of equity is discussed as an example. In summary, it is argued that while philosophy plays an essential role in social and educational inquiry, there are important limits to its contribution.
KEY WORDS: Social Science; Education; Education Philosophy; Educational Research.

Herrera, C. D. (2003). A clash of methodology and ethics in "undercover" social science. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 33(3), 351-362.


Explores the undercover or 'covert' approach to fieldwork as a useful technique in some settings. Covert researchers nearly always protect the anonymity of their participants and locations. Other researchers cannot validate the covert researcher's claims. While, ethical guidelines, often insist that researchers demonstrate the benefits from a covert study, researchers who cannot show that their studies will prove beneficial will find ethical standards weighing against them and their studies. In other words, omitting informed consent should be counterbalanced by the scientific rewards of research. Expanding the results to more peer investigation may place participants at risk of unwanted notoriety. Guidelines. Unless we adjust our conceptions of research, ethics, or both, there does not seem to be a way for covert research to meet ethical expectations.
KEY WORDS: Research Ethics; Informed Consent; Fieldwork; Ethnography; Methodological Problems; Research Methodology.

Hill, M., & Montag, W. (2000). Masses, classes and the public sphere. London; New York: Verso.


J├╝rgen Habermas's introduction of the phrase "public sphere" has been used as a fundamental concept for assessing everything from intellectual debate and "public access" criticism, to the function of race, gender and sexual difference in present-day civil society. However, the concept has been refined and extended as new demands have been made, positing the idea of a plurality of "counter-public spheres" and continually addressing the philosophical concept of the public sphere itself. This book extends these debates to pose fundamental questions about the function and continued relevance of the public sphere in a range of essays from a distinguished group of writers.
KEY WORDS: Sociology; Methodology; Social Classes; Social Structure; Mass Society; Public Interest; Political Sociology.

Hirschauer, S. (2001). Ethnographic writing and the silence of the social: Toward a methodology of description. Zeitschrift fur Soziologie, 30(6), 429-451.


Reviews ethnographic methodology. The paper focuses on working out the central problem solved by descriptions - the verbalization of the "silent" dimension of the social. Ethnographic writing is introduced as a documentary procedure that has been devalued by advanced recording techniques, techniques which have set a naturalistic standard with respect to the reification and de-contextualization of "data." This standard is reviewed from the perspective of the sociology of knowledge. The article elaborates on problems that are left untouched by empirical procedures and that depend on primordial verbalizations of informants: interviews, discourse analysis, and conversation analysis. Ethnographic writing has to solve the problems of the voiceless, the mute, the unspeakable, the prelinguistic, and the indescribable. To fulfill this task of shifting the limits of articulation, descriptions must reject the logic of recording and develop a theory-oriented research practice, which must be assessed not in terms of its documentary accuracy, but in terms of its analytical performance.
KEY WORDS: Methodological Problems; Ethnography; Qualitative Methods; Writing; Sociology of Knowledge.

Hunt, S. (2005). The life course: A sociological introduction. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


Rapid and far-reaching social transformation in Western society over the last few decades has drawn considerable interest in the life course. This accessible and informative book provides a substantive overview to the topic, combining contemporary and more traditional perspectives. Outlining the different stages of the life course through infancy and youth to old age and dying, the book considers what is distinct about a sociological approach to the life course and explores recent debates and changing theoretical perspectives in the context of biological, psychological and social influences.
KEY WORDS: Life cycle; Human Social Aspects; Sociology.

Katz, J. (2004). On the rhetoric and politics of ethnographic methodology. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 595, 280-308.


Explores ethnographies as politically cast and policy relevant. Ethnographies that report holistically on journeys to "the other side" build policy/political significance by contesting popular stereotypes. Theoretical ethnographies utilize political imagination to fill in for a lack of variation in participant observation data and to model an area of social life without attempting to discount alternative explanations. Comparative analytic studies create political relevance by exposing social forces that are hidden by local cultures. Each of these three genres of ethnographic methodology faces unique challenges in relating fieldwork data to politically significant explanations. By shaping the ethnographer's relations to subjects and readers, each methodology also structures a unique class identity for the researchers - as worker, as aristocrat, or as bourgeois professional.
KEY WORDS: Ethnography; Public Policy; Policy Research; Research Methodology; Methodological Problems; Rhetoric.

Kelle, H. (2001). Ethnographic methodology and problems of triangulation: The example of studies on children's peer culture. Zeitschrift fur Soziologie der Erziehung und Socialisation, 21(2), 192-208.


Using ethnographic methodology, this article explores the ways in which methods shape research subjects. Similarities and differences between participant observation, audio-recordings of daily conversations, and ethnographic interviews are analyzed. Using the research subject of "gossip" as an example, the article explores ways in which methodical proceedings affect various subjects. Theoretically, claims of triangulation - widespread in qualitative research - are criticized and the specific theoretical productivity of each proceeding is emphasized.
KEY WORDS: Researcher Subject Relations; Qualitative Methods; Ethnography; Children; Peer Relations; Methodological Problems; Research Methodology.

Kelly, G. J. (2006). Epistemology and educational research. In J. L. Green, G. Camilli & P. B. Elmore (Eds.), Handbook of complementary methods in education research. (pp. 33-55). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.


The chapter analyses the epistemological issues associated with establishing the basis for legitimate knowledge concerning education. The main argument includes advocacy for epistemic plurality. To address ways of communicating differences, the author introduces a framework loosely derived from Habermas' Discourse Ethics. This framework involves considering a set of critical dialogues, which the author applies to the topical issue of scientific research in education. He concludes by considering a new role for epistemology in discussions on research methodology-one that is centered on contributing to public reason rather than defining what counts as knowledge through a set of methodological edicts.
KEY WORDS: Education; Epistemology; Experimentation; Human; Educational research; Scientific Research.
Kleining, G., & Witt, H. (2001). Discovery as basic methodology of qualitative and quantitative research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 2(1).
This paper explores the following: i. qualitative methodologies in psychology and the social sciences should be directed toward discoveries rather than reflexive interpretations. ii. classical studies in psychology and sociology show that problems associated with hermeneutics can be overcome using discovery or explorative research strategies. iii. the Hamburg qualitative heuristic methodology. iv. Explorative research with qualitative data using the methods of the qualitative experiment & group-controlled "dialogic" introspection. v. the use of quantitative data in an explorative approach. vi. that there is no inherent relationship between the form of the data, qualitative or quantitative, and a particular research methodology. vii. that discoveries should be a basic guideline for psychological and social research.
KEY WORDS: Qualitative Methods; Hermeneutics; Research Methodology; Methodology; Data Analysis; Data Collection; Quantitative Methods; Experiments; Heuristics.
Kozlova, N. N. (2004). The methodology of analyzing personal documents. Sotsiologicheskie Issledovaniya, 30(1), 14-26.
Presents an excerpt from the book Stseny iz istorii izobreteniya sovetskogo obshchestva (Scenes from the History of Inventing the Soviet Society). This article explores Soviet citizens' use of use of diaries, letters, and various forms of personal writing for scholarly research. Reflections are shared, from a postmodernist perspective, on the importance of such sources to sociology and history alike. Max Weber's (1990) thesis that identifies the importance in understanding individuals' motivations is indispensable for understanding the rise, existence, and fall of societies is applied to Soviet society. Qualitative and quantitative methods combined with nomothetic and ideographic approaches should be applied in researching these documents.
KEY WORDS: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; Citizens; Autobiographical Materials; Sociology; History; Society; Methodology; Data Analysis; Weber, Max; Research Methodology.
Krzeslo, E., Rainbird, H., & Vincent, C. (2000). Deconstructing the question: Reflections on developing a comparative methodology for research on union policy towards vocational training. Studies in Qualitative Methodology, 6, 67-82.
The context for this chapter lies in research into trade union policies for vocational training in five countries. Cross-cultural case studies are explored in relation to language and meaning. Stressed is the significance of contextualized meaning in relation to national realities and the way in which actors perceive realties located in different countries. Outlined is a technique of "crossed interviewing" whereby researchers of different nationality attend identical interviews in an attempt to avoid the ethnocentrism of the cultural specificity of the lone interviewer. The approach facilitates a common methodology while allowing flexibility toward different national realities. Discussed is also the shortage of research funding available for cross-cultural research. Argued is the view that a narrow concentration on national experts with specialist knowledge is not conducive to comparative methodology.
KEY WORDS: Unions; Job Training; Crosscultural Analysis; Comparative Analysis; Case Studies; Interviews; Research Methodology.

Kurasawa, F. (2004). The ethnological imagination: A cross-cultural critique of modernity. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.


"Ethnological imagination" is a substantial countercurrent of thought that interprets and contests Western modernity's social order through comparison and contrast to a non-Western other. Critiqued are the writings of this way of thinking (i.e., Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Claude Levi-Strauss, and Michel Foucault). In the work of these thinkers, Kurasawa finds little justification for two of the most prevalent claims about social theory: the wholesale "postmodern" dismissal of the social-theoretical enterprise because of its supposedly intractable ethnocentrism and imperialism, or, on the other hand, the traditionalist and historicist revival of a canon stripped of its intercultural foundations. Defended is a cultural perspective that eschews both the false universalism of "end of history" scenarios and the radical particularism embodied in the vision of "the clash of civilizations." The book contends that ethnological imagination can invigorate critical social theory by informing its response to an increasingly multicultural world.
KEY WORDS: Ethnology Philosophy; Methodology; Marxist Anthropology; Structural Anthropology.
Lincoln, Y. S., & Denzin, N. K. (2003). Turning points in qualitative research: Tying knots in a handkerchief. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
Changes in qualitative inquiry over the last five decades are traced. The collection serves as a textbook for training academics in the history and trajectory of qualitative research. The book is divided into eight parts: Part 1: The Revolution of Representation: Feminist and Race/Ethnic Studies Discourses, Part II: The Revolution in Authority, Part II: The Revolution of Legitimation, Part IV: The Ethical Revolution, Part V: The Methodological Revolution, Part VI: The Crisis in Purpose: What Is Ethnography for, and Whom Should It Serve, Part VII: The Revolution in Presentation, Part VIII: The Future of Ethnography and Qualitative Research, and contains a variety of chapters within each.
KEY WORDS: Sociology; Research Methodology; Ethnology; Qualitative Research.

Manderbacka, K., & Jylha, M. (2000). Combining quantitative and qualitative research: A case study from survey methodology. Yearbook of Population Research in Finland, 36, 121-128.


Combined are two diverse approaches to examine content and continuity of a single-item survey measure of self-rated health. Results from a quantitative study (Manderbacka, Lahelma, & Martikainen) drawing on cross-sectional, face-to-face interview data from the 1994 Finnish Survey of Living Conditions and a qualitative study (N = 42 semi-structured interviews from a sub-sample of respondents) illustrate the way that methods can complement one other. Results are discussed in relation to one another, and the advantages of combining methods on survey measures are discussed; other ways of combining the approaches are also suggested.
KEY WORDS: Quantitative Methods; Qualitative Methods; Surveys; Research Methodology; Methodology (Philosophical); Health; Living Conditions; Finland.

May, V. (2001). Epistemological questions concerning the study of biographical material: The consequences of choice of methodology. Dansk Sociologi, 12(3), 53-69.


Uses personal research conducted on written life-stories of Finnish lone mothers as a cases study. The author examines consequences of using biographical material as a methodology, and focuses on two methodological alternatives: analyzing biographical material as documents of preceding events, or as meaning-making constructs. The author contends that treating biographical material as a gateway into studying events in people's lives reduces the heuristic value of material, and questions of truth and reliability become problematic. This still seems to be the preferred methodological alternative of many sociologists. The author further contends that If biographical material is analyzed for its own sake, focusing on the creation of meaning through storytelling, the above-mentioned problems of truth and reliability diminish considerably. From research on lone motherhood, arguments for the use of narrative analysis, examining what it has to offer methodologically, theoretically, and conceptually are explored.
KEY WORDS: Research Methodology; Biographies; Narratives; Epistemology; Research Design; Finland; Single Mothers.

Mills, C., & Gale, T. (2007). Researching social inequalities in education: Towards a Bourdieuian methodology. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 20(4), 433-447.


The authors of this study argue that education requires researchers' renewed examination and explanation of its involvement in the construction of social and economic differences. They make the case for researchers to consider the theoretical work of Pierre Bourdieu, outline a Bourdieuian methodology. This theory is based on critical and poststructural understandings of the world and attempts to dig beneath surface appearances, asking how social systems work.
KEY WORDS: Social Systems; Social Networks; Critical Theory; Educationally Disadvantaged; Research Methodology; Social Theories; Hermeneutics; Experimenter Characteristics.

Neuman, W. L. (2003). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.


This book provides readers balanced overview of both qualitative and quantitative approaches to social research. The fourth edition of Social Research Methods attempts to help readers understand that social research exists in a social and historical context that can affect their actions. It encourages researchers to guard against ethnocentric perspectives and confining their research on the assumptions, values, and beliefs of their own particular society. Lastly, the author attempts to show readers that both quantitative and qualitative styles of social research are valuable, but the greatest benefit to social research lies in combining the two.
KEY WORDS: Sociology; Research Methodology; Social Sciences.

Oakley, A. (2000). Experiments in knowing: Gender and method in the social sciences. New York: New Press.


A leading feminist scholar's breakthrough study of gender bias in the social sciences.
KEY WORDS: Feminist Theory; Research Methodology.

Olsen, H. (2003). "Good" qualitative interviews with "proper" informants? Tendencies in English and Scandinavian methodology literature. Sosiologisk tidsskrift, 11(2), 123-153.


This article presents selected parts of a study of Danish interviews conducted at the Danish National Institute of Social Research in Copenhagen (Olsen, 2002a-c), and examines how to implement "good" qualitative interviews with "proper" informants. This article is based on textual analysis of a diverse range of English and Scandinavian qualitative methodology literature (i.e., 200 books and articles) concerning competing understandings of qualitative interviews, interview preparation, interview implementation, and interview quality. The article concludes with the author presenting his own interview quality-ensuring proposals.
KEY WORDS: Denmark; Interviews; Qualitative Methods; Research Design; Methodology (Data Collection); Research Subjects.

Paolucci, P. B. (2001). Dialectical methodology, power and capital: Dialectical methods, Foucault's encounter with Marxism, and techniques of class domination into the global era. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 62(2), 797-A-798-A.


Interpretations and reconstructions of Marx's thought have had difficulty maintaining the central elements --the dialectical method, historical materialism, political-economics, and the communist program--in a proper logical relationship. As a consequence, Marxian oriented approaches display both internal weaknesses and external criticisms. Examining the assumptions, language, concepts and methods of Marx's dialectical methodology provides a better foundation for evaluating supporters' and detracters' arguments. Some contemporary critics point to the work of Michel Foucault as containing the elements necessary to supplant Marxist orientations. However, this interpretation is does not hold up when viewed through an analytical lens of a reconstructed dialectical methodology. Doing so, allows one to analyze modern techniques of power that are "productive" as a supplement to classical Marxian models of "repressive" power. Such a synthesis allows for a view of power that is expressed as techniques for maintaining class domination--proletarians are repressed as they are produced as docile and useful subjects. The practices are examined historically, focusing on the discursive underpinnings of the legitimation of ruling class domination and its use of violence. Next, the analysis scrutinizes current policies practiced in international political-economy in the era of globalization.
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