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This chapter takes a close look at the role of ethnography in the study of deliberative practice. It describes ethnography as both a perspective and a toolbox. As a perspective, ethnography is a fitting methodology to fulfil critical theory’s task of rendering political power visible, particularly in its subtle and insidious forms. The ethnographic perspective is also responsive to developments in deliberative theory, such as the recognition of the role of passions, silences, and performativity in political communication. As a toolbox, ethnography offers a range of data-gathering and analytical techniques to make sense of public deliberation, while placing the positionality of the researcher at the centre of this approach. Finally, this chapter examines ethnography’s tensions with deliberative democracy’s normative commitments and draws on the authors’ extensive experience in ethnographic fieldwork to prompt reflections about the practical and ethical challenges of this approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Methods in Deliberative Democracy
Number of pages13
PublisherOxford University Press Australia
Publication date25 Jan 2023
ISBN (Print)9780192848925
ISBN (Electronic)9780192848925
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2023

ID: 337430182