This essay gives an account of two ethnographic research projects in which the author has been engaged over the years, with a focus on issues of interpretation. Through tangible descriptions of the unfolding of these research projects – each study in itself and the interconnections between them – the processes by which certain issues and modes of understanding emerge as worthy of attention are addressed. Particular attention is drawn to the quality of wandering that characterizes ethnographic research – wandering that is sometimes purposeful, at other times aimless; sometimes smooth, at other times jerky. Ethnographic research – like life itself – unfolds, quite often without preplanning; even if preplanned, there are always unintended consequences. Making sense of this unfolding most often takes place after the fact. In this regard, what can be called the “methodological autobiography” that lies at the heart of this essay, like the act of research, shares this same characteristic of working backwards and hence, in itself, serves to demonstrate the act and art of interpretation.
|Title of host publication||International Handbook of Interpretation in Educational Research|
|Editors||Paul Smeyers, David Bridges, Nicholas C. Burbules, Morwenna Griffiths|
|Place of Publication||Dordrecht|
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - 26 Nov 2014|