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Ethnography and Human Development

Context and Meaning in Social Inquiry

Studies of human development have taken an ethnographic turn in the 1990s. In this volume, leading anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists discuss how qualitative methodologies have strengthened our understanding of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral development, and of the difficulties of growing up in contemporary society.

Part 1, informed by a post-positivist philosophy of science, argues for the validity of ethnographic knowledge. Part 2 examines a range of qualitative methods, from participant observation to the hermeneutic elaboration of texts. In Part 3, ethnographic methods are applied to issues of human development across the life span and to social problems including poverty, racial and ethnic marginality, and crime.

Restoring ethnographic methods to a central place in social inquiry, these twenty-two lively essays will interest everyone concerned with the epistemological problems of context, meaning, and subjectivity in the behavioral sciences.

530 pages | 2 halftones, 15 line drawings, 2 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1996

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Mental Health and Development

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Psychology: Developmental Psychology

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
1: Ethnographic Methods in Contemporary Perspective
Richard Jessor
2: True Ethnography: The Lore, the Law, and the Lure
Richard A. Shweder
3: The Epistemology of Qualitative Research
Howard S. Becker
4: Missing Persons: Recovering Developmental Stories/Histories
Elliot G. Mishler
5: Culture, Development, Disability
R. P. McDermott, Herve Varenne.
6: The Epistemological Crisis in the Human Disciplines: Letting the Old Do the Work of the New
Norman K. Denzin
7: Can We Overcome Worldview Incommensurability/Relativity in Trying to Understand the Other?
Donald T. Campbell
8: Quanta and Qualia: What Is the "Object" of Ethnographic Method?
Richard A. Shweder
9: Instantiating Culture through Discourse Practices: Some Personal Reflections on Socialization and How to Study It
Peggy J. Miller
10: Neighborhood Social Organization: A Forgotten Object of Ethnographic Study?
Mercer L. Sullivan
11: Ruling Places: Adaptation in Development by Inner-City Youth
Shirley Brice Heath
12: Role-Relationship Models: A Person-Schematic Method for Inferring Beliefs about Identity and Social Action
Mardi J. Horowitz, Charles Stinson, Constance Milbrath.
13: Studying Cognitive Development in Sociocultural Context: The Development of a Practice-Based Approach
Geoffrey B. Saxe
14: Why Ethnography Should Be the Most Important Method in the Study of Human Development
Thomas S. Weisner
15: The Multiple Contexts of Human Development
Anne Colby
16: Ideology and Subjectivity: Midlife and Menopause in Japan and North America
Margaret Lock
17: Ethnography, Biography, and Cultural History: Generational Paradigms in Human Development
Katherine Newman
18: Ethnographic Insights on Social Context and Adolescent Development among Inner-City African-American Teens
Linda M. Burton, Dawn A. Obeidallah, Kevin Allison.
19: Transitions in Early Childhood: The Promise of Comparative, Longitudinal Ethnography
William A. Corsaro
20: Nature, Second Nature, and Individual Development: An Ethnographic Opportunity
William Damon
21: The Uneasy Engagement of Human Development and Ethnography
John Modell
Author Index
Subject Index

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