, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 687-703

Cultural phenomena and the research enterprise: Toward a culturally anchored methodology

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Abstract

Highlights the points at which culture intersects major phases of the research enterprise — problem formulation, population definition, concept and measurement development, research design, methodology, and data analysis — and influences and constrains what researchers deem worthy of investigation and how they interpret what they observe. These ethnocentric biases inhibit the development of a knowledge base for understanding diverse cultural communities. At each step of the research process, the need to carefully examine and expose the underlying cultural assumptions and to generate and develop alternative choices is emphasized. Guidelines are provided to encourage researchers to be aware of and deliberately make choices toward the development of a culturally anchored methodology that balances the demands for rigor and sensitivity.

The writing of this manuscript was supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation (DBS-9154413) and the William T. Grant Foundation (92147692) awarded to the first author, and from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH43084) awarded to the second author.