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Experimental Ethnography: The Marriage of Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Sherman, Lawrence W
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS). 595: 204-222.

Experimental and ethnographic research methods are often described as mutually exclusive. This article suggests how they could be combined in the method of “experimental ethnography.â€? Building ethnographic methods into the separate branches of randomized controlled trials could substantially increase the range of conclusions that can be produced by experimental research designs, as well as by ethnographic methods. Experimental designs offer greater internal validity for learning what the effects of a social program are, and ethnographic methods offer greater insight into why the effects were produced. The prospects for such integration depend on the capacity of two different communities within social science to work together for the common goal of discovering truth. Author’s abstract.


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