Studying vulnerable populations can be highly problematic. This is especially true when they are located in institutional settings. When gatekeepers block access and a researcher wants to examine a delicate topic, one ethical, feasible way to paint an interpretive picture of everyday life involves the use of a literary ethnography. With data on the verbal neglect and abuse of elders in United States nursing homes, this paper details the six-stages of a literary ethnography. It includes a discussion of identifying sources, reading and interpreting the documents, identifying textual themes, classifying themes, developing a set of analytic constructs, and re-reading documents for contextual confirmation. It concludes with a discussion of literary ethnography weaknesses and directions for future applications.


Vulnerable Populations, Literary Ethnography, and Nursing Home Abuse

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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