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The ‘insider/outsider’ dilemma of ethnography: Working with young children and their families in cross-cultural contexts

Gregory, Eve E. and Ruby, Mahera. 2011. The ‘insider/outsider’ dilemma of ethnography: Working with young children and their families in cross-cultural contexts. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 9(2), pp. 162-174. ISSN 1476-718X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In this article we unravel the difficulty of being researchers in the homes and classrooms of children and
their families whose origins are, for one of us, very different and, for the other, very similar to our own.
We first situate our work within theories of early socialization and literacy teaching which underpin our
understanding of how young children in cross-cultural contexts learn. We then turn to the question of
working with the families and teachers of these children which poses dilemmas not explained by the theories
presented. We illustrate these through a series of vignettes typifying both the ‘Outsider’ and the ‘Insider’ role.
The stories highlight paradigmatic moments of complexity, clashes or collusion which we unpick in terms of
their generalizability for others working in the field. Finally, we extend theories of dialogue in our search for
a methodology for collaborative work in future cross-cultural ethnographic studies.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X1038789

Keywords:

classrooms, cross-cultural, dialogue, ethnography, families

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies

Dates:

DateEvent
June 2011Published

Item ID:

4734

Date Deposited:

19 Dec 2011 13:48

Last Modified:

27 Jul 2018 13:58

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/4734

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