Mario Cardano

Etnografia e riflessività. Le pratiche riflessive costrette nei binari del discorso scientifico

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The essay discusses the contribution of reflexivity to the construction of plausibility of ethnographic statements. The author outlines the methodological peculiarity of ethnography and goes on with a reconstruction of the recent debate on the ethnographic method, and states the weakness of the postmodernist and post structuralist theses and discusses the problems of the so called "third way", a methodological posture that recognises the scientific character of ethnography but that also defends the necessity to evaluate the plausibility of ethnographic statements with specific criteria, different from those applied for quantitative research. The essay sets the discussion of this topic in the wider context of the debate between methodological monism and pluralism. The author defends a special version of methodological monism, based on a particular concept of scientific method. Method, in this perspective, is not a collection of rules that works as orders, instead method is a set of principles which demands to be interpreted by considering the peculiarity of the context of research. Indicating in the objectivity and in the appropriateness of inferential procedures the principles which can guide the social research, the author concludes by underlining that reflexive account of the research process, the detailed description of the observational relationship, is the most appropriate instrument for underpin the objectivity and the generalizability of the ethnographic knowledge.

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