A century of covert ethnography in Britain, c.1880 - c.1980

Nelson, Gillian (2010) A century of covert ethnography in Britain, c.1880 - c.1980. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b2840334


The purpose of this thesis is to explore the history of covert ethnography in Britain between the 1880s and 1980. During this century, a range of academic and non-academic social researchers have used the method of covert ethnography. The starting point for this thesis is the observation that there is no adequate and sustained explanation of covert ethnography as a historical phenomenon. It is argued that the fragmented nature of the existing historiography precludes a full understanding of this important historical phenomenon. It is the intention of this thesis to bridge the gaps in the historiography, as it stands, and to promote an inclusive historical account of covert ethnography in Britain across time.
Through an analysis of covert ethnographic projects undertaken in Britain between the 1880s and 1980, with particular attention being paid to the structure and language used by covert ethnographers, this thesis will locate the use of this research method in its historical context. This thesis will chart the changes and continuities over time in the use of covert ethnography and demonstrate how key forces, such as the establishment of new models of ethnographic research and the development of ethical concern regarding covertness, shaped the use of covert ethnography significantly. This thesis will contribute a more comprehensive account of covert ethnography to the existing historiography.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Covert ethnography, covert participant observation, history of covert ethnography, history of covert participant observation, Britain, history of social research
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Supervisor's Name: Gordon, Prof. Eleanor and Freeman, Dr. Mark
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Dr Gillian Nelson
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-2163
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2010
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2014 10:31
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2163

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