Qualitative Research—Unity and Diversity

Paul Atkinson


The paper argues that while qualitative research has been flourishing in many fields of the social sciences, it has become unhelpfully fragmented and incoherent. Equally, there have developed a number of specialist domains of qualitative research that are too often treated in isolation. It is argued that we need to return to some fundamental principles of ethnographic inquiry that recognise the multiple modalities of social action and cultural representation, while locating them within a wider ethnographic framework. We need to recognise the intrinsic, indigenous principles of order and organisation that permeate social forms—discursive, visual, and material. Such formal ethnography provides a way of renewing classic ideas such as "grounded theory", "triangulation" and "thick description".
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0503261


ethnography; thick description; triangulation; grounded theory; discourse; visual ethnography; material culture

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-6.3.4

Copyright (c) 2005 Paul Atkinson

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.