An important part of both analyzing other’s research approaches and reflecting on your own includes understanding the positive and negative aspects of varied forms of social research and how they can influence a researcher’s stance and tone. While quantitative data can provide a general overview of the impacts of public policy and systems which manage society, qualitative data can provide specific and important information regarding the causes of this impact, such as the how, why, and who. Therefore, qualitative research can provide beneficial information to aid public policy in regards to social problems. This is especially important to know when public policy and systems create negative impacts, such as profiling, inequality, limited access, and social exclusion. It is also important to be able to recognize the stance or informed viewpoint of the researcher reporting on this information.
One of the more immersive forms of social research methods available is one of the qualitative methods: ethnography. Ethnography allows a researcher to experience the impacts through living amongst the citizens who have to engage with public policy and its systems in their daily lives. The most intriguing aspects of this type of research is how the researcher maintains an ethical and neutral stance during and after the process of research and how the experience can impact their stance or underlying tone.
In this assignment, you will present the benefits of ethnographical research in terms of informing public policy, as well as understanding the researcher’s role in performing and reporting on ethnographic research. You will do this through your own research of immersive ethnographical approaches (including the course text), and also through analyzing Dr. Alice Goffman’s work on inner city people of color in Philadelphia. You will be provided with reporting and reviews of her work to help fuel your own analysis of Dr. Goffman’s approach. This will help you become better at discerning what useful research is in order to appropriately inform decision-making in society.
In your paper, you must address the following:
The paper must be at least four pages in length (excluding title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style. Support your written work with examples from the recommended material(s), the text, and at least two scholarly articles sources Cite your sources in-text and on the reference page.
Goffman, A. (2009) On the Run: Wanted Men in a Philadelphia Ghetto. American Sociological Review 74/2 (2009): 339-357. http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/soc/faculty/docs/goffman/Goffman_ASR_09.pdf
Kotlowitz, A. (2014) Deep Cover: Alice Goffman’s ‘On the Run’. The New York Times. June 26, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/29/books/review/alice-goffmans-on-the-run.html
Kumar, Priyanka (2014) Life, Prison and Pursuit of Happiness. LA Review of Books. August 22, 2014 http://lareviewofbooks.org/review/life-prison-pursuit-happiness
Schuessler, J. (2014) Fieldwork of Total Immersion. The New York Times. April 29, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/30/books/alice-goffman-researches-poor-black-men-in-on-the-run.html?_r=0
Wilson, W.J. (2014) The Travails of Urban Field Research. Contemporary Sociology 43/6 (November 2014): 824-828
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