“Habitus as Topic and Tool: Reflections on Becoming a Prizefighter”
“A Fleshpeddler at Work: Power, Pain, and Profit in the Prizefighting Economy”
“Whores, Slaves, and Stallions: Languages of Exploitation and Accommodation Among Professional Boxers”
“UC’s ‘boxing sociologist’ / Combative French Professor Spent 3 Years in Ring (Links to an external site.)”
A Professor Who Refuses To Pull His Punches (Links to an external site.)
Boxing Proves a Hit for French Sociologist (Links to an external site.)
An important part of analyzing research approaches includes understanding the positive and negative aspects of varied forms of social research. Ethnography as an approach allows a researcher to immerse in a unique social world in order to experience the lives of those who live there. The most intriguing aspects of this type of qualitative research is how the researcher maintains an ethical and neutral stance, how the experience can impact them, and how they use the experience for positive social change.
In your paper, you will present the benefits of ethnographical research in terms of understanding a unique social world, as well as understanding the qualitative researcher’s role in performing and reporting on ethnographic research. You will do this through the resources provided, your own research of immersive ethnographical approaches, and also through critiquing Dr. Loïc Wacquant’s work.
In your paper, include the following sections/components:
Role of Researcher (One to two pages)
Explain the researcher’s role in qualitative research in general and specifically in an ethnographic approach.
Discuss the unique issues that researchers should be concerned about in qualitative research.
Explain the challenges researchers face in ethnographical research.
Discuss specific actions researchers can take to ensure they retain their ethical and neutral stance in performing qualitative research and reporting their qualitative research results.
Loïc Wacquant’s Research (One to two pages)
Summarize what Loïc Wacquant’s research was about.
Determine whether or not Wacquant maintained an ethical and neutral stance.
Justify the research approach Wacquant chose to take.
Explain whether or not this could have been possible with a quantitative research study.
Impact of Research (One page)
Discuss how qualitative research and, in particular, ethnographic research, can inform our understanding of unique social worlds.
Describe the potential impact of research in supporting positive social change through public policy.
The Value of Qualitative Research paper
Must be five double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.)
Must include a separate title page with the following:
Title of paper
Course name and number
The role of the researcher in qualitative research, and particularly in an ethnographic approach, is to immerse themselves in a unique social world in order to gain a deep understanding of the lives and experiences of those who live within it. This can involve spending extended periods of time living within the community being studied, participating in the daily activities and cultural practices of that community, and forming close relationships with the individuals within it.
In order to maintain an ethical and neutral stance, researchers must be mindful of their own biases and assumptions, and strive to allow the voices and perspectives of the people being studied to be heard without imposing their own interpretations or agendas on the data. Researchers must also be aware of the potential power dynamics at play within the community, and work to minimize any harm that may be caused as a result of their presence or actions.
Challenges that researchers may face in ethnographical research include gaining access to the community being studied, gaining the trust and cooperation of the individuals within it, and navigating the ethical considerations involved in studying a unique social world.
To ensure they retain their ethical and neutral stance, researchers can take a number of specific actions. These may include obtaining informed consent from participants, ensuring confidentiality, and being transparent about the purpose and potential outcomes of the research. Researchers should also be open to feedback and critique from the community being studied, and strive to be responsive to any concerns or needs that may arise.
Loïc Wacquant is a French sociologist who conducted research on the world of professional prizefighting, including the training and conditioning of fighters, the relationships between fighters and trainers, and the broader economic and cultural contexts within which the sport operates. In order to gain a deep understanding of this world, Wacquant immersed himself in the daily routines and practices of a boxing gym, participating in the training and sparring sessions of the fighters and observing the interactions between them.
Wacquant appears to have maintained an ethical and neutral stance in his research, as he took care to obtain informed consent from the participants and to minimize any harm that may have resulted from his presence or actions. He also sought to allow the voices and perspectives of the fighters and trainers to be heard, and to present a nuanced and complex portrayal of the world of prizefighting.
Wacquant chose to use an ethnographic approach in his research because this allowed him to gain a deep and nuanced understanding of the social world of professional prizefighting, and to capture the lived experiences and perspectives of the individuals within that world. It is likely that a quantitative research study would not have been able to achieve the same level of depth and detail in understanding this unique social world.
Qualitative research, and particularly ethnographic research, can be valuable in informing our understanding of unique social worlds by providing rich and detailed accounts of the lives and experiences of the individuals within those worlds. This can be particularly useful in contexts where the lives and experiences of marginalized or disadvantaged groups may not be well understood or represented in mainstream media or public discourse.
Through its ability to provide nuanced and detailed accounts of the lived experiences of individuals within unique social worlds, qualitative research has the potential to support positive social change through public policy. By shedding light on the complex and often overlooked issues faced by marginalized or disadvantaged groups, qualitative research can help to inform policy decisions that seek to address these issues and promote social justice.
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