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'We must put ourselves in the position of the subject who tries to find his way in this world, and we must remember, first of all, that the environment by which he is influenced and to which he adapts himself is his world, not the objective world of science.'

W.I. Thomas
and
F. Znaniecki

Qualitative Sociology Review
2010
Volume VI Issue 2


Author-Supplied Abstracts & Keywords


Robert Prus
     University of Waterloo, Canada

Creating, Sustaining, and Contesting Definitions of Reality: Marcus Tullius Cicero as a Pragmatist Theorist and Analytic Ethnographer

Although widely recognized for his oratorical prowess, the collection of intellectual works that Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE) has generated on persuasive interchange is almost unknown to those in the human sciences. Building on six texts on rhetoric attributed to Cicero (Rhetorica ad Herennium, De Inventione, Topica, Brutus, De Oratore, and Orator), I claim not only that Cicero may be recognized as a pragmatist philosopher and analytic ethnographer but also that his texts have an enduring relevance to the study of human knowing and acting. More specifically, thus, Cicero's texts are pertinent to more viable conceptualizations of an array of consequential pragmatist matters. These include influence work and resistance, impression management and deception, agency and culpability, identity and emotionality, categorizations and definitions of the situation, and emergence and process.

Keywords:
Cicero; Pragmatism; Ethnography; Reality; Activity; Persuasion; Symbolic interaction; Oratory; Rhetoric; Aristotle; Roman; Kenneth Burke
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Dušan Janák
     Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic

Social Introspection of I. A. Bláha and Wittgenstein’s’ Argument Counter to Private Language. Anniversary Study on Introspection Approach in Social Sciences.

The following text discusses the method of social introspection of the Czech philosopher and sociologist I.A. Bláha. It focuses both on presenting the method and exploring its potentials and limits in order to understand social reality. The application of the Wittgenstein´s argument against the private language as a critique of the introspective perspective and a brief analysis of the phenomenological approach in sociology will help to assess the boundaries of this approach. Theoretical conclusions of application of the introspection method in sociology are drawn at the end of the text and thus allow to assess applicability of the Blaha´s own method.

Keywords:
I. A. Bláha; L. Wittgenstein; Social introspection; Private language argument; Language games; Czech sociology
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Adie Nelson
     University of Waterloo, Canada
Veronica Nelson
     University of Waterloo, Canada

Reconceptualizing Dreamwork (with apologies to Lewis Carroll’s Alice) as a Facet of Motherwork

While acknowledging some of the myriad ways in which the term "dreamwork" has been used by scholars over the past century, this article directs especial attention to dreamwork as both a facet of motherwork and form of anticipatory socialization. This particular conception views dreamwork as an interpersonal accomplishment and emphasizes its collaborative character. In arguing for its utility, we note how this conception of dreamwork complements insights found in other works and suggest how these ideas might be related, and future research on parental involvement in the lives of children strengthened, by gathering them together under the concept of dreamwork.
Keywords:
Dreamwork; Parenting; Motherwork; Mothering; Socialization
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Mary Holmes
    Flinders University, Australia

The Loves of Others: Autoethnography and Reflexivity in Researching Distance Relationships

Reflexive accounts of research are important, but they should include attention to a wider range of relations than those between researcher and participant. The researcher’s position in relation to the participants does merit discussion, especially when there is an element of autoethnography involved. However, assistants in the research such as transcribers, can play a role in accounting for the research. The relationships participants have with loved ones also shape how they reflexively account for themselves and their experiences, in this case – of being in a distance relationship.
Keywords:
Reflexivity; Autoethnography; Relationality; Distance relationships; Interviewing; Transcribing
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Sandi Kawecka Nenga
     Southwestern University, USA
Tristine P. Baccam
     Southwestern University, USA

Stealing Peanuts and Coercing Energy Drinks: The Underground Economy of a Middle School Summer Camp

Economic activities are one important but understudied mechanism which kids use to recreate inequality within their peer cultures. Drawing on ethnographic data from a middle school summer camp, we used Goffman’s typology of economic arrangements to analyze sequences of economic interactions within an underground economy. The middle school students drew on coercion, trading and sharing in order to address their own interests and concerns. When negotiating friendships, girls sometimes engaged in a series of interactions which converted previous social exchanges into unfulfilled economic exchanges. Girls also used inappropriate social exchanges to successfully resist boys’ private coercion efforts, prompting boys to switch tactics and propose appropriate social exchanges and economic exchanges. Not only were these economic interactions patterned along gender, race, and class lines, but the repetitive, routine nature of these interactions helped to recreate inequality within the peer culture.
Keywords:
Underground economy; Middle school; Peer culture; Interpretive reproduction; Inequality; Ethnography
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Reidun Follesø
     Bodø University College, Norway
Jorid Krane Hanssen
     Bodø University College, Norway

Narrative Approaches as a Supplementary Source of Knowledge on Marginalized Groups

This article reflects upon two different research projects that involve narratives from youth in care and youth growing up in families with gay and lesbian parents. We argue that these narrative approaches may offer a supplementary source of knowledge on marginalized groups that often seem hard to reach. The first method involves the participant and researcher collaborating to convert an oral narrative into a written one. In the second, the participants write an autobiographical narrative by themselves, covering themes specified by a researcher. The article is structured so that we first look at the processes of co-creating narratives and collecting autobiographical testimonies. We then introduce the two different methodological approaches by referring to empirical examples. Finally we reflect on the methodological and ethical challenges that occurred during this research.
Keywords:
Narrative approaches; Autobiographies; Youth in care; Youth in gay and lesbian families
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Melissa Munn
     University of Calgary, Canada
Chris Bruckert
     University of Ottawa, Canada

Beyond Conceptual Ambiguity: Exemplifying the "Resistance Pyramid" Through the Reflections of (Ex) Prisoners' Agency

Contemporary resistance scholarship increasingly positions individuals as agents operating within power relations and as such, this stimulating and diverse body of work illuminates the complexity of power-resistance. The richness of this academic engagement notwithstanding, there continues to be a paucity of work which offers a framework for conducting an analysis of resistance. In this article, we propose a general framework through which power-resistance can be coded, analyzed and theorized. Using data from an ethnomethodological study of 20 former long-term male prisoners in Canada, we demonstrate the usefulness of our 'resistance pyramid' to render visible the objectives, purposes, strategies, tactics and skills which characterize the processes, and not just the practices, of resistance. We argue that it is exactly these, often obscured, processes that allow us to appreciate the density of resistance-power, the multiple ways it operates and the significance of individuals' social, personal or political capital.
Keywords:
Resistance; Prison; Parole; Ethnomethodology
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Henry Khiat
     Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore

Secondary Adjustment in Prisons: Prisoners’ Strategies of Influence

This participant observation research explores and examines the strategies that prisoners use to influence prison officers in an Asian prison setting. Grounded theory methodology is employed in the analysis process. From the study, eight strategies of influence are conceptualised: repetition, distraction, finding excuses, feigning ignorance, false compliance, hearsay, direct hit and spontaneous protest. They are further subsumed under three main categories of Enhancers, Trouble Shooters and Resistors. On the other hand, there are three categories of prison officers with respect to their responses to the eight strategies of influence – Idealists, Pragmatists and Authoritarians. In summary, this study serves three objectives. First, it provides a fresh perspective on how prisoners attempt to influence prison officers in their daily interactions. Second, it has demonstrated that data collection through covert participant observation can be done effectively without causing any harm to the stakeholders in a prison setting. Lastly, this study has implications for the development of theory, practice and future research in the area of penology.

Keywords:
Secondary adjustment; Influencing strategies; Covert participant observation; Grounded theory
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Efa E. Etoroma
     Concordia University College of Alberta, Canada

At Home in Blackness: How I Became Black

I became and have remained Black in Canada by interacting with Blacks. Altercasting (the “push” from the larger society) moved me into interacting intentionally with Blacks, interacting with Blacks helped make me Black by immersing me in the Black experience, and studying Blacks helped anchor me within the Black community by giving me an understanding of what it means to be Black. In this paper, which is based on autoethnography, I offer a brief overview of the concept of Blackness in Canada and then I discuss the key ways in which my Black identity was developed and is sustained. The key mechanisms discussed are altercasting, interacting with Blacks, and studying the Black community.

Keywords:
Altercasting; Autoethnography; Black; Blackness; Church; Community; Identity; Interaction
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