Denzin And Lincoln Part Iv Mr Jitipol

Part VI:the future of qualitative research

The qualitative research continues to transform itself. It is apparent that the constantly changing field of qualitative research is defended by series of tensions and contradictions as well as emergent understandings. There are no definitive answers of those tensions. However, this chapter tries to show us how the future of qualitative can be.

On writing; On writing sociology
Zygmunt Bauman

Zygmunt Bauman reflexively moves qualitative inquiry (and sociology) into the new century, telling us that the work of the post and the sociologist – and of history – is to uncover, in ever new situations, “human possibilities previously hidden.” Writing and inquiry are not innocent practices. In its representational and political practices, quantitative inquiry, like sociology, makes visible the possibility of “living together differently with less misery or not misery. … Disclosure is the beginning – not the end – of the war against misery.” We have no choice; we are always already political, always already, engaged. A neutral noncommittal form of inquiry is an impossibility. In a truly democratic society, Bauman observes, everyone is free to question “everything that is pre-given. … In such a society, all individuals are free to create for their lives the meanings they will.” In such a society, qualitative inquiry becomes a vehicle for questioning all that is pre-given. Thus does Bauman lead us into the future.

Refunctioning ethnography
The challenge of an anthropology of the contemporary
Douglas R. Holmes and George E. Marcus

Douglas Holmes and George Marcus extend this argument, calling for a “Refunctioning of ethnography,” a regrounding of ethnography in the contemporary moment. They are quite explicit, observing that “a new set of regulative norms of fieldwork are needed to release ethnographers – in – the – marketing form the … imaginary” of classic ethnography. Contemporary ethnography could profitably be oriented to para-ethnography; that is, to the ecologies of knowledge, existing disclosures, and local practices that are in place in field settings. The ethnographer finds the “literal filed” by working through complex senses, levels, and multiple sites that connect the local to the global.

Holmes and Marcus observe that recognizing the multisided nature of fieldwork produces a “rethinking of a whole set of issues in fieldwork – complicity instead of rapport, … the necessity of collaborations and their personal politics, the uneven distribution or depth of knowing, … the changing nature of the object of study, grounding of an abstract relations … in form of human action and knowing.” Thus do they offer terms of a refunctioned ethnography where subjects, now called para-ethnographers, are tented as experts, as collaborators and partners in research. They ground their interpretation of the para-ethnographer in the analysis of a famous politic actor, the French nationalist Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Para-ethnography goes beyond merely identifying a new ethnography subject. Rather, it opens the door for deeper questions of how the “culture operates within a continuously unfolding contemporary.” More deeply, and more radically, Holmes and Marcus believe that “spontaneously generated para-ethnographies are build into the structure of the contemporary and give form and content to continuously unfolding skein experience.”

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