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The Transformation of Ethnographic Practices: Past and Current Challenges

Publisher: Qualitative Research, 2 (3)
Page Numbers: 283-299

Ethnographic research design was virtually unknown in American educational research until the 1970s. Only in the late 1980s was it recognized by leading professional educational research associations. Using a historical analysis of the gradual evolution and legitimation of ethnographic design in education, this article redefines the principles guiding traditional ethnography. It argues that ethnography was marginalized because it was subversive to positivistic and entrenched conceptions of research rigor, and it privileged alternative ways of thinking, knowing, and viewing the world.