Carspecken's critical methodology – A theoretical assessment
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Townsville QLD
School of Nursing, Nutrition and Midwifery, James Cook University, Townsville QLD
PP: 146 - 154
This paper builds on the authors' earlier introduction to Carspecken's highly theorized 'critical qualitative research' methodology, also referred to as 'critical ethnography', and reviews its diverse theoretical origins.
In particular, it briefly reviews the contribution of philosophical pragmatism, critical social theory, phenomenology, and the expressivism of J. G. Herder. It goes on to describe and assess the extent to which Carspecken successfully integrates these in order to create a coherent theoretical foundation for research, and outlines the virtues and weaknesses that characterise his methodology.
Through an appeal to pragmatic philosophy, Carspecken sets aside the host of theoretical problems raised by his eclecticism, and for researchers similarly unmoved by theoretical anomalies and contradictions, his methodology offers a potentially productive, flexible approach to critical ethnographic research.
critical ethnography; qualitative methodology; Carspecken; critical qualitative methodology; critical qualitative research
Agar, M. H. (1980). The professional stranger. New York: Academic Press.
Alston, W. P. (1956). Pragmatism and the theory of signs in Peirce. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 17(1), 79-88.
Carspecken, P. F. (1991). Community schooling and the nature of power. London: Routledge.
Carspecken, P. F. (1996). Critical ethnography in educational research: A theoretical and practical guide. London: Routledge.
Carspecken, P. F. (1999a). Four scenes for posing the question of meaning, and other essays in critical philosophy and critical methodology. New York: Peter Lang.
Carspecken, P. F. (1999b). There is no such thing as 'critical ethnography'. In A. Massey & G. Walford (Eds.) Studies in educational ethnography (Vol. 2). Stamford, CT: JAI Press.
Carspecken, P. F. (2001). Critical ethnographies from Houston: Distinctive features and directions. In G. Walford & P. F. Carspecken (Eds.), Critical ethnography and education. Oxford: Elsevier Science.
Carspecken, P. F. (2004). Quality, quantity and the human sciences: The qualitative research movement and its implicit philosophical and methodological issues. Fourth Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Qualitative Research, University of Michigan, USA.
Colapietro, V. M. (1989). Peirce's approach to the self. New York: SUNY Press.
Cook, K. E. (2005). Using critical ethnography to explore issues in health promotion. Qualitative Health Research, 15(1), 129-138.
Datoo, A.-K. (2009). Critical ethnography, local-global cultural dynamics and students' identity: Perspectives from an urban school in Pakistan. McGill University, Canada. Retrieved from http://digitool.library.mcgill.ca/R/?func=dbinjump-full&object_id=40775&local_base=GEN01-MCG02
Dewey, J. (1929). Experience and nature. La Salle, IL: Open Court.
Freire, P. (1972). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books Ltd.
Giddens, A. (1979). Central problems in social theory. London: Macmillan.
Hardcastle, M, Usher, K, & Holmes, C. (2006). Carspecken's five-stage critical qualitative research method: An application to nursing research. Qualitative Health Research, 16(1), 151-161.
Jordans, S., & Yeomans, D. (1995). Critical ethnography: Problems in contemporary theory and practice. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 16(3), 389-408.
Kincheloe, J., & McLaren, P. (1994). Rethinking critical theory and qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Korth, B. (2001). Reforming educational practice against the boundaries of (re)iteration: A critical ethnography of the hidden curriculum of a constructivist charter school. In P. F. Carspecken & G. Walford (Eds.), Critical ethnography and education (Studies in educational ethnography (Vol. 5). Oxford: JAI.
Peirce, C. S. (1878). How to make our ideas clear. Popular Science Monthly, 12(1878), 286-302.
Peirce, C. S. (1905). What pragmatism is. The Monist, 15(2), 161-181.
Quantz, R. A. (1992). On critical ethnography (with some postmodern considerations). In M. D. LeCompte, W. L. Millroy, & J. Preissle (Eds.), The handbook of qualitative research in education. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Santayana, G. (1955). Scepticism and animal faith. New York: Dover.
Simon, R. I. & Dippo, D. (1986). On critical ethnographic work. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 17(4), 195-202.
Smyth, W., & Holmes, C. (2005). Using Carspecken's critical ethnography in nursing research. Contemporary Nurse, 19(1-2), 65-74.
Stewart, L., & Usher, K. (2007). Carspecken's critical approach as a way to explore nursing leadership issues. Qualitative Health Research, 17(7), 994-999.
Taylor, C. (1979). Hegel and modern society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Van Horn, L. (2001). Negotiating meaning and power: Middle school students interpret literature and selves through discussion and recall. In P. F. Carspecken & G. Walford (Eds.), Critical ethnography and education (Studies in educational ethnography (Vol. 5). Oxford: JAI.
Waks, L. J. (1998). Experimentalism and the fl ow of experience. Educational Theory, 48(1), 1-19. Willis, P. (1977). Learning to labour: How working class kids get working class jobs. Farnborough, UK: Saxon House.
Xie, X., & Carspecken, P. F. (2008). Philosophy, learning and the mathematics curriculum. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publications.