Generating Outcomes from Organic Engagement Events

  • Adam S. Lerner
  • Pat J. Gehrke


This chapter explores how organic public engagement is informed by middle-range methodological approaches. Drawing from sociological research, we argue that studying public engagement events through grounded theory and multi-sited ethnography produces more ecologically valid results. Grounded theory provides the ability to develop theories for understudied phenomena and draw new conclusions on existing studies. Multi-sited ethnography ameliorates the common concern that studying only single sites of engagement can distort researchers’ views of how publics engage with science. We conclude the book with a discussion of how the combination of multi-sited ethnography and grounded theory in the context of organic public engagement with science produces middle-range theories that are more robust and actionable than the insights generated by traditional models of artificial public engagement.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam S. Lerner
    • 1
  • Pat J. Gehrke
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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