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The advantages and disadvantages of mixing methods: an analysis of combining traditional and autoethnographic approaches.

by Patrick O'Byrne
Qualitative health research ()

Abstract

Although mixed- and multiple-method research designs are currently gaining momentum and popularity, it is essential that researchers undertake a critical analysis of the process of mixing "mainstream" research designs with newer methods before commencing. In ethnography, not only are there multiple approaches to data collection, but each approach also spans the competing paradigms, thus making the term mainstream ambiguous because these mainstream techniques are reasonably different from one another. When critically appraising the combination of ethnography and autoethnography, researchers must evaluate paradigmatic philosophies and methods of inquiry for commensurability and delineate the advantages and disadvantages of combining methods as they relate to each paradigm. The author's goal in this article is to demarcate the methodologies of both ethnography and autoethnography and then to identify the (dis)advantages that might arise from undertaking multiple-method and/or mixed-method research that uses these approaches concurrently.

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