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Clinical Perspective in Fieldwork

NCJ Number
E H Schein
Date Published
72 pages
This monograph makes explicit some of the assumptions and methodologies of the 'clinical' model and contrasts these with other approaches to data collection and analysis, especially the ethnographic approach.
A central difference between the clinician's work and that of the ethnographer is in the client's choosing the clinician and the ethnographer's choosing the subject group or organization to be studied. The clinician starts with an action research model of the organization built on the assumption that the only way to understand an organization is to change it through deliberate intervention and the deciphering of the responses to the intervention. The ethnographer starts with the assumption that the organization is there to be understood and left intact. Interventions would be used only as practical necessities and would be designed to make minimal organizational changes. This monograph examines differences in the relationship between clinician and client and between the ethnographic researcher and study subjects. Implications are drawn for data gathering and data validation. Also explored are how data are aggregated, recorded, cleared with the subject or client, published, and otherwise used in the context of professional and ethical issues that govern inquiries under each model. Implications are drawn for the professional and ethical training of clinicians and ethnographers. 29 references.


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