Although articles reporting research studies are helpful in acquainting students with methodological approaches, they often make the process look so straightforward, clean, and effortless. It is rare to find an article that tells the "real" story behind the finished product. By having real researchers tell their own stories of "mucking around" with methodological and ethical issues in qualitative research, we get a more realistic, human story of the process. This is a collection of such stories. Authors were asked to describe their own experiences with methodological and ethical struggles as they engaged in their work.

Each of the essays offers insight into the research approach used as well as particular issues which became apparent during the research process. Key issues raised by the authors include early learnings; gaining entry; overlapping, conflicting roles, and the boundaries of these roles; differential power relationships; who tells the story and whose story is told; ethical concerns related to confidentiality; and the influence of a researcher's particular philosophy or theoretical framework on his or her research. Throughout the book we see scholars whose personal stories or autobiographies intersect closely with their research projects.

deMarrais introduces a unique framework to help students gain an overview of qualitative research methods and the underpinnings and processes in these approaches. This framework is centered on the ways we understand phenomena using qualitative research approaches that engage archival knowledge, narrative knowledge, or observational knowledge.

chapter |13 pages

Precipitating Myself Into Just Manageable Difficulties

Reflections on Constructing an Intellectual Biography of Nicholas Hobbs
ByJohn Habel

chapter |12 pages

Traveling Light

A Student's Guide to Packing for Qualitative Research
BySally M. Oran

chapter |13 pages

The Role of the Applied Anthropologist

Between Schools and the Navajo Nation
ByDonna Deyhle

chapter |8 pages

Personal Reflections on the Process

The Role of the Researcher and Transformative Research
ByLoida C. Velázquez

chapter |12 pages

“Studying Up” in Educational Anthropology 1

ByJan Gamradt

chapter |7 pages

Revisiting Juanita's Beauty Salon

An Ethnographic Study of an African-American Beauty Shop
ByRuth Queen Smith

chapter |9 pages

Mucking Around in the Mud

Doing Ethnography With Yup'ik Eskimo Girls
ByKathleen Bennett deMarrais

chapter |11 pages

Interviewing the Incarcerated

Personal Notes on Ethical and Methodological Issues
ByKenneth D. Tunnell

chapter |11 pages

How Close is Close Enough?

Reflections on the Experience of Doing Phenomenology
ByMargot Eyring

chapter |10 pages


A Long and Winding Road From the Public School to the University
ByMary Jean Ronan Herzog

chapter |11 pages

Incomplete Stories

ByDaniel Walsh

chapter |13 pages

Synonyms and Sequences

The Development of an Intellectual Autobiography
ByMargaret D. LeCompte