February 22, 2019
Field Methods Workshop
Allison Pugh (Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia)
"Beyond the ‘Trust Me’ Fallacy: Value, Rigor and Resonance in Qualitative Methods”
Randall Hall 212
1:00 - 3:00 pm
The paper observes that the replicability crisis and the Alice Goffman fracas has led to new concerns and a lively debate about what counts for rigor in qualitative methods, leading to proposed reforms to standard practice, e.g., publishing real names, hiring fact checkers, and the like. Otherwise, so the argument goes, qualitative researchers are asking readers simply to "trust me." I contend that many of these changes reflect core misunderstandings about how qualitative research establishes credibility. I outline some alternative strategies, argue instead for the standard of "resonance," and attempt some systematic observations about that standard.