Gaining Entry to a Study Site: Getting Started |
In the past two or three decades, with the strong development of quantitative methods in ethnographic research and the increased use of the qualitative-quantitative mix in field work, discussion about sampling strategies has greatly increased. In many studies, the intent to generalize research findings to the larger population from which a sample was taken adds to the importance of careful sampling. At the same time, there are many other sampling strategies, in addition to random methods, that are used for various purposes. The most prominent of these are the numerous opinion polls, which are usually based on forms of 'quota sampling'. Even in cases where the field researcher talked with many informants, perhaps using a semi-structured instrument, there was usually no felt need for any kind of 'representative sampling', random or otherwise. This lack of concern about sampling was partly a reflection of researchers' assumptions concerning general cultural homogeneity.