Slay on Ethnography in Cross-Cultural Science Research

5 Aug

“The process of carrying out this research was far more difficult than I imagined when I began to plan it. Issues in cross-cultural research appear to me to be largely unknown until experienced. Practical issues, such as language learning and the development of important vocabulary, were difficult in themselves, but philosophical issues were more challenging.

“As a cross-cultural researcher I was an outsider, living with the tensions of rejecting misinformation, trying to exclude bias in data and refusing to patronise or colonise the subjects under examination. I experienced problems faced by early anthropologists and realised that ethnography is more art than science. The issue of what is essentially ethnography within a scientific discipline still challenges me. Have I created art of science and how will or should this be received by science educators? According to Fenstermacher (1994) and others, this is an issue for the reader.”

– Slay, Jill. (2007). “Naturalistic inquiry in cross-cultural research: a narrative turn.” In Contemporary Qualitative Research: Exemplars for Science and Mathematics Educators. Taylor, Peter Charles and Wallace, John (eds.) Netherlands: Springer, pp. 93-104.


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