Repeat, triangulate and reflect: ethnographic validity in a study on urban minority youth
The interview is not always a productive method to find out why and how offenders do what they do. In their quest for valid data scholars have pointed to ethnography, mainly stressing its advantages for finding respondents. This contribution does not address ethnography as a mere recruitment tool but as an approach using a variety of methods including participant observation to describe the ‘world’ in which offenders live that provides context and meaning to their behaviour. Using examples of ethnographic research on Moroccan boys in Rotterdam, it is claimed that ethnographic validity is built on repeated measurements, triangulation to various sources and continuous reflection by the researcher.