This chapter takes a close look at the role of ethnography in the study of deliberative practice. It describes ethnography as both a perspective and a toolbox. As a perspective, ethnography is a fitting methodology to fulfil critical theory’s task of rendering political power visible, particularly in its subtle and insidious forms. The ethnographic perspective is also responsive to developments in deliberative theory, such as the recognition of the role of passions, silences, and performativity in political communication. As a toolbox, ethnography offers a range of data-gathering and analytical techniques to make sense of public deliberation, while placing the positionality of the researcher at the centre of this approach. Finally, this chapter examines ethnography’s tensions with deliberative democracy’s normative commitments and draws on the authors’ extensive experience in ethnographic fieldwork to prompt reflections about the practical and ethical challenges of this approach.
|Title of host publication||Research Methods in Deliberative Democracy|
|Editors||Selen A. Ercan, Hans Asenbaum, Nicole Curato, Ricardo F. Mendonça|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Dec 2022|