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HOW TO STUDY THE PROFESSIONAL MOBILITY? KEY ROLE OF ETHNOGRAPHY IN THE THEORY

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Author(s): Izabela Wagner

Journal: Studia Humanistyczne AGH
ISSN 1732-2189

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 41;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: ethnography | mobility and careers | transmobility | history of sociology

ABSTRACT
Some theoreticians state that the Ethnography and micro-sociology allow the researchers to ripen previously built even frequently obvious THEORIES, and constitute excellent tools to provide detailed descriptions or examples of processes, which were already in the center of Macro inquiry. Micro is, according to them, kind of picturesque supplement for the majority of Macro – studies – the supplement, which confi rms (and when contradicts this is only for showing exception) the Macro– Knowledge. On the other hand, Grounded Theory practitioners follow an opposing method – from Micro to Macro – developing their own theories from their fi elds. Other way of QM practice is simply using of Micro without Macro perspective: Ethnographers analyze the phenomenon doing Micro-sociology, strongly close to a chosen particular example – directly from their fi eld– they avoid construction of theoretical models, because they believe that social processes are dynamic and depend on interaction (so each time different); as a consequence people’s behavior cannot be “modelized”. Started from this last perspective (micro without theoretical ambitions) I was surprised to see the whole specialty of sociology (Mobility), well organized and with a lot of publications (Macro level; large statistics) working with erroneous tools regarding wrong models. My ethnographical fi eld (started in 2003) – life-science researchers’ world – done in different countries (France, Poland, Germany, USA) gives me the data for showing that this obvious and largely practical perspective is not exact. Based on the results of my research on careers and mobility of life-science scientists, I showed that starting from Micro is not only one of the way of doing science but also it is the necessary method for providing the Macro Sociology. This method of working Micro-Macro, provides the stability of research process, and, in consequence, the maturity of our “young discipline” – sociology (according to Kuhn’s and other sociologists of knowledge).
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