By Francoise Grellet
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Extra info for A Cultural Guide Anglais : Précis culturel des pays du monde anglophone
Malinowski, for example, was a graduate in physics and chemistry from the University of London; Elliot Smith was a biologist; and William H. R. Rivers (1864–1922) was a doctor and a psychologist. 02-Chapter-02 3/20/08 5:43 PM Page 15 2 Method or Methodology? Locating Ethnography in the Methodological Landscape LEARNING OBJECTIVES ● To understand that ethnography is a methodology (a style of thinking and doing), not a mere technique. ● To learn an alternative classification of the array of social research methodologies, avoiding the qualitative/quantitative opposition.
Those who counsel you are wise and honorable; the reasons they offer are of great value. But one more thing is needful: first-hand observation. Go and sit in the lounges of the luxury hotels and on the doorsteps of the flophouses; sit on the Gold Coast settees and on the slum shakedowns; sit in the Orchestra Hall and in the Star and Garter Burlesk. In short, gentlemen, go get the seat of your pants dirty in real research (personal note by one of Park’s students reported in Bulmer, 1984: 97). If we cleanse Park’s recommendation from its sexist spirit and the lack of reference to female students, his advice still holds today.
In this case we have the integration of two methodologies: the ethnographic and the documentary. However, it is my impression that when a phenomenon is interpreted and studied, one methodology always prevails over the others: there is a dominant methodology which the researcher uses more extensively or intensively, and an ancillary methodology which backs up the dominant one. It is the methodology used to test or document the main research hypotheses that, I maintain, should be considered the more important.