Research Secrets, Research ‘Messiness’ and the Complexity of Knowing: Behind the Thesis and the Content’s Page



What is an appropriate structure for reporting a participant observation ethnographic study that set out to consider the empowerment of young people at risk from issues including homelessness and drug use? The questions addressed in my thesis were: how do you empower young people at risk? How does a Ph.D. develop and change, and what are the processes, influences, and implications of how ‘knowledge’ is constructed by the observer-researcher?


  1. Blythe, A. (1994). Review by: Alan Blyth. British Journal of Educational Studies, 42(1), 90–92. Special Edition: Education Policy Studies (Mar. 1994).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cell, E. (1984). Learning from experience. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  3. Clifford, J., & Marcus, G. (Eds.). (1986). Writing culture: The politics and poetics of ethnography. Berkeley, California.Google Scholar
  4. Connell, B. (1982). Making the difference: Schools, families and social division. Australian, George Allen.Google Scholar
  5. Denzin, N. K. (2006). Analytic autoethnography, or déjà vu all over again. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 35(4), 419–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ellis, C. (2004). The ethnographic I: A methodological novel about autoethnography. New York, Rowman, Altamira.Google Scholar
  7. Fielding, M. (1996). Empowerment: Emancipation or enervation? Journal of Education Policy, 11(3), 399–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Greenspan, P. (1988). Emotions and reason: An inquiry into emotional justification. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Harding, S. (Ed.). (1987). Feminist methodology; Social science issues. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Harre, R. (1986). The social construction of emotion. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  11. Lather, P. (1988). Feminist perspective on empowering research methodologies. Women’s Studies International Forum, 2(6), 569–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lincoln, Y., & Guba, J. (1985). Naturalistic enquiry (Vol. 75). Beverley Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  13. Marx, K. (1977). Capital a critique of the political economy. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  14. McQuillan, P. J. (2005). Possibilities and pitfalls: A comparative analysis of student empowerment. American Educational Research Journal, 42(4), 639–670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Naess, A. (1989). Ecology, community and lifestyle. England: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. O’Dowd, M. (1993). Revisioning empowerment with the research subject and the at risk. In L. Angus. (Ed.), (1993/2005). Education, inequality and social identity. London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  17. Oakley, A. (1981). Interviewing women: A contradiction in terms. In H. Roberts (Ed.), Doing feminist research (pp. 30–61). London: Routledge and Kegan.Google Scholar
  18. Rappaport, J., Swift, C., & Hess, R. (Eds.). (1984). Studies in empowerment: Steps towards understanding and action. New York: Hawthorn Press.Google Scholar
  19. Reinhartz, S. (1979). On becoming a social scientist: From survey research and participant observation to experiential analysis. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  20. Rigby, A. (1974). Alternative realities: A study of communities and their members. London: Routledge and Kegan.Google Scholar
  21. Rittel, H. (1982). Systems analysis of “The first and second generation”. In P. Laconte, J. Gibson & A. Rappaport (Eds.), Human and energy factors in urban planning: A systems approach. Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute on “Factors Influencing Urban Design” (pp. 35–63), July 2–13, 1979.Google Scholar
  22. Rose, M. (1990). Healing hurt minds: The Pepper Harrow experience. London: Tavistock/Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Steiner, F. (Ed.). (1991). Research and reflexivity. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  24. Wehlage, G., Rutter, R., Smith, G., Lesko, N., & Fernandez, R. (1989). Reducing the risk: Schools as communities of support. London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  25. Willis, P. (1977). Learning to labour: How working-class kids get working class jobs. Aldershot: Gower Pub. Co.Google Scholar
  26. Willis, P. (2013). The ethnographic imagination. John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  27. Woolgar, S. (Ed.). (1988). Knowledge and reflexivity: New frontiers in the sociology of knowledge. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  28. Yates, G. (1986). Food: Need, greed and myopia, exploitation and starvation in a world of plenty. Tyne and Wear, Newcastle Upon Tyne: Earthright Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central Queensland UniversityRockhamptonAustralia

Personalised recommendations