Negotiated Validity in Collaborative Ethnography

Linda L Belgrave, Keruleth J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This article is an attempt to reconstruct and analyze the process of conducting a collaborative, interpretive study of the experience of Hurricane Andrew. Study data consist of accounts, including in-depth and focus-group interviews, collected in the months following the storm. The current inquiry addresses validity, with a focus on the impact of the investigators' biographies and theoretical orientations on the collection and analysis of qualitative data. We found that our interviews differed in terms of style, level of detail sought, and the degree of taken-for-granted knowledge shared by interviewer and respondent. In analysis, we found different aspects of the data interesting and, initially, produced different stories. These proved to be complementary, rather than contradictory. Collaboration made it possible to identify some of the biases we brought to the task and yielded a richer interpretation of the hurricane experience than either of us would have produced alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-86
Number of pages18
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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