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‘So What? The prospects and pitfalls of being there’


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Rhodes, R A W, 't Hart, P and Nordegraaf, M (2007) ‘So What? The prospects and pitfalls of being there’. In: Observing Government Elites: up close and personal. Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstoke, pp. 206-233. ISBN 0230008402

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It does not take much to appear unconventional and odd. Compared
with the established toolkit of political science, ethnography is unconventional
and odd (see for example such standard texts as Burnham
et al., 2004). It is the preserve of anthropology, organisation theory
and sociology, not political science. As Fenno (1990: 128) comments,
‘not enough political scientists are presently engaged in observation’.
We know that for colleagues in disciplines such as anthropology and
sociology and for those who work in such interdisciplinary fields as
organisation studies, police studies and leadership studies, observation is
a common research method. We recognise there are exceptions in political
science. But we insist that generally, in political science, being there,
especially observation, remains conspicuous mainly by its absence. This
book set out to show the manifold uses of the ethnographic toolkit for
research in political science.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Rhodes, R A W and 't Hart, P and Nordegraaf, M
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Page Range: pp. 206-233
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2008 00:57
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:48
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