understanding people in their social worlds

Guest posts

Indians and Cowboys and Everyone Else

The bigotry one faces being Muslim… it’s just very present. [A]s the band, we’re traveling around, we’re a motley crew, and sometimes people don’t how to interface with that. The reality is that there are things that require dialogue, that require a bit more attention, and that can’t just be let go because, “This person’s a bigot, this person’s a racist, and that’s what it is.” Yes that’s what it is, but let’s have a dialogue about it. The Gaadi of Truth is addressing that. …[T]hese are conversations that need to be happening. Read More

Dark money in American politics

The term “Dark Money” conjures images of back-room deals, bribes and quid pro quo arrangements, but what is Dark Money, really? And why should we … Read More

Is the Border Safe? Border Residents’ Perceptions of Crime and Security

The overwhelming majority of residents of El Paso, Texas, reported feeling safe in their city. Read More

Weiners Galore

“Shit, this is the worst,” Anthony Weiner declares to himself at the beginning of the titular documentary (now in theaters), as he waits for someone … Read More

the unhappy marriage of IRBs and ethnography

A student submits an IRB application to study “media freedom” and the struggles of citizen journalists for her doctoral dissertation. The study methodology includes immersion … Read More

doing qualitative research as if counsel is hiding in the closet

A lot of my research studies political elites. As such, I am frequently conducting participant observation and open-ended, semi-structured interviews in the halls of the … Read More

want to improve your qualitative research? try using representative sampling and working in teams

In the mid-1990s, the federal government launched a high-profile social experiment in five cities to determine if escaping concentrated neighborhood poverty could change the lives … Read More

accessing the hardest to reach populations

On January 3, 2009, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote an op-ed “If This Isn’t Slavery, What Is?” In it he described the … Read More

it’s about the depth of your data

A key strength of in-depth interviews and ethnography is obtaining textured insights into social phenomenon. Yet, many qualitative researchers try to invoke the reliability of … Read More

ethnographic masking in an era of data transparency

Demands for data transparency are sweeping across the social sciences. Calls for the sharing of survey instruments, code, databases, and even interview transcripts, have grown … Read More