Rob Walker’s chapter presents some of the difficulties he has encountered in conducting naturalistic studies. First, naturalistic case studies are highly interventionist in effect if not in intent. Interviewing and observing people greatly affect what people do. And sharing one’s observations and conclusions with those people can cause intense reactions, as Walker illustrates. Second, naturalistic case studies often present distorted views of the world one is trying to portray. These distortions enter for a number of reasons and with sufficient power to transform the reality of the situation significantly. Finally, naturalistic studies are conservative in that they portray current practices and fix them in time although the reality of the actual situation changes even before the case study is written. Walker offers no panaceas for these problems of naturalistic research but suggests some ethical cautions the researcher/evaluator should attend to.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)