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  1. Book Review: Journey into Social Activism: Qualitative Approaches

    In a preliminary content analysis of articles in the top social movement journals, Atkinson finds that scholars of social activism typically use a broad range of qualitative research methodologies. However, scholars of activism rarely elaborate on the methods they use. Similarly, previous research has largely failed to bring together and critically assess the qualitative methodologies used to study social activism.
  2. All That Is Solid: Bench-Building at the Frontiers of Two Experimental Sciences

    The belief that natural sciences are more scientific than the social sciences has been well documented in the perceptions of both lay and scientific populations. Influenced by the Kuhnian concept of "paradigm development" and empirical studies on the closure of scientific controversies, scholars from divergent traditions associate scientific development with increased consensus and stability. However, both the macro/quantitative and micro/qualitative approaches are limited in key ways.

  3. Shadow Capital: The Democratization of College Preparatory Education

    In this article, we examine the manifestation and consequences of shadow capital within two public, urban, nonselective, college preparatory–designated high schools serving exclusively nondominant students. Informed by three years of ethnographic data, we argue that the transference of a historically elite college preparatory education from dominant institutions to nondominant schools results in fundamental changes to the dominant capital it is expected to yield.
  4. Eliciting Frontstage and Backstage Talk with the Iterated Questioning Approach

    This article advances interviewing methods by introducing the authors’ original contribution: the iterated questioning approach (IQA). This interviewing technique augments the interviewer’s methodological arsenal by exploiting insights from symbolic interactionism, particularly Goffman’s concepts of frontstage and backstage. IQA consists of sequenced iterations of a baseline question designed to elicit multiple forms of talk.

  5. Big Data Surveillance: The Case of Policing

    This article examines the intersection of two structural developments: the growth of surveillance and the rise of “big data.” Drawing on observations and interviews conducted within the Los Angeles Police Department, I offer an empirical account of how the adoption of big data analytics does—and does not—transform police surveillance practices. I argue that the adoption of big data analytics facilitates amplifications of prior surveillance practices and fundamental transformations in surveillance activities.
  6. Saving Our Kids

    Reviewing Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.

  7. My Debt to the Nepali People

    A researcher on ethnographic dharma after disaster in Nepal.

  8. The Single Mother by Choice Myth

    The "Single Mother by Choice" is far rarer than media depictions. A look at the numbers.

  9. Romancing the Data

    A review of Aziz Ansari and Erik Klinenberg’s Modern Romance.

  10. The Analytic Lenses of Ethnography

    It is almost axiomatic that there are two contrasting theoretical approaches to ethnography: induction and deduction. However, regardless of whether ethnographers build theory from observations (induction) or use observations to test theory (deduction), they approach the field armed with one or more particular analytic lens that leads them to focus on a distinct thread of the social fabric. We outline the suite of analytic lenses that typify ethnography and identify eight ideal types.