Federico Varese, ‘Rigorous ethnography’, Handbook of Sociological Science, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 215-231, 2022.


This chapter addresses two questions: what ethnography is, and what makes it rigorous (see the chapter by Raub, De Graaf & Gërxhani on rigorous sociology in this Handbook). The text that follows does not aspire to be a complete literature review. Its only aspiration is to answer cogently the questions I set for myself, in line with the overall aims of this Handbook. In the next section, I present a definition of ethnography. Subsequently, I discuss what I mean by ‘rigorous’. My remarks are guided by many references to the seminal study by WF Whyte, Street Corner Society (SCS), a book that has set the standard for rigorous ethnography (RE). The final section concludes the chapter.

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