Qualitative methodological development has produced canonical tendencies that over-complexify and fix a fluid and lived social world. Meanwhile, critical theory has produced critiques on methodology but without enough attention to the qualitative tradition. I bridge these gaps by using an Adornoian position to interrogate the concepts of systematicity, rigidification, complexification, and their problems in ethnographic research and qualitative methodology. I conduct an urban ethnography and autoethnography of the metropolitan blasé as a public attitude of indifference to articulate an alternative, quotidian approach to ethnography that better captures social embeddedness, meaning-creation, and how contexts should drive data collection, analysis, and method-selection.
Adorno, blasé, complexification, ethnography, systematicity, qualitative research methodology, writing, critical social theory
I thank Flora Cornish, Elena Gonzalez Polledo, and the 2016 graduate ethnography seminar hosted by the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics and Political Science for their comments.
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Recommended APA Citation
Au, A. (2021). Over-Complexifying Social Reality: A Critical Exploration of Systematicity and Rigidification in Ethnographic Practice and Writing. The Qualitative Report, 26(4), 1161-1178. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4068