Edited by Russell W. Belk
Julie A. Ruth and Cele C. Otnes Good manners are part of working smart. (Baldrige, 1985, p. 4) Most advice on how to enhance interactions between researchers and informants homes in on two issues: gaining access and helping researchers employ techniques as skillfully as possible (e.g., explaining when, where and how to use ‘grand tour’ questions; McCracken, 1988). So it is fair to say that the quality of researcher/informant interactions is typically considered from the researcher’s perspective and not from that of the informant. But no matter how willingly participants engage in interviews, observations, shopping trips and other activities, the research process always involves researchers imposing on, and requiring sacriﬁces from, informants for a (short or long) time. So how can researchers create research experiences that will be remembered by informants, not as burdens, but as interpersonal encounters that were reasonable in scope, beneﬁcial in some way, and possibly even enjoyable? We believe one clear way is for researchers to understand the roles etiquette can play at diﬀerent stages of interacting with informants, and to realize that etiquette practices should not be regarded as optional, but rather as integral, to the research process. Furthermore, by approaching etiquette as more than a tool, and as a way for researchers to demonstrate their humanity and to reinforce the humanistic ideology that underlies qualitative research, researchers and informants alike can reap practical and relational beneﬁts from their interchanges. Our motivations for writing this chapter stem from situations where we...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.