Learning from the Field: A Guide from Experience

Learning from the Field: A Guide from Experience

by William Foote Whyte


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803921610
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 12/01/1984
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

William Foote Whyte, a sociology professor known for his work with urban gangs, died July 16. He was eighty-six. A 1936 graduate of Swarthmore, he earned a Ph D in sociology from the University of Chicago. He began teaching on the Hill in 1948 as one of the first ILR professors. The title of his autobiography, Participant Observer, reflects his approach to academia—that a researcher can be a positive force for social change. "If there is a common theme in my work, it is my commitment to social exploration," he wrote. "Fieldwork fascinates me. I want to explain what is out there. "

Whyte, who became an emeritus professor in 1979, published twenty books, including the ground-breaking Street Corner Society, a 1943 study of Italian gangs in Boston's North End. He is survived by his wife of sixty-two years, Kathleen King Whyte, four children, twelve grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Table of Contents

Purpose and Focus of this Book
Participant Observation
Rationale and Roles
Planning the Project and Entering the Field
Field Relations
Observational Methods
Interviewing Strategy and Tactics
Recording, Indexing and Evaluating Interview Data
Integrating Methods in Team Research
Using History in Social Research
Types of Applied Social Research
Ethics in Field Research and Publication
Focusing the Study and Analyzing the Data
From Data Analysis to Reshaping Conceptual Schemes
Scheme and Styles of Social Research

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