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Creating and Testing Theory

  • Wayne Fife

Abstract

Ethnography can be thought of as a simultaneous conversation between the ethnographer and at the very least two other groups of people. One group is made up of the people with whom we conduct our research. The other group includes the relevant scholars (such as researchers in anthropology, education, sociology, history, folklore, and so forth) and policy makers (such as government bureaucrats, community leaders, etc.) to whom we communicate our results. Theory might be thought of as the language that makes this second conversation possible. Any dialogue needs a common language in order to proceed. It is theory, or more accurately shared theoretical concepts, that allow us to talk to one another about the results of our research. Pragmatically, theory is the matrix that creates “facts” and that gives us the framework from which we can have a meaningful discussion with others about the evidence or information gathered through our ethnographic methods.

Keywords

Ethnographic Research Hide Curriculum Temporary Emigrant Large Social Context Primary Message 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Wayne Fife 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wayne Fife

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