On Thick Description and Narrative Inquiry in Music Education

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Research Studies in Music Education
The use of `thick description' is evident in various research traditions in the social sciences. Important in American anthropology in the latter half of the 20thcentury, it has been imported somewhat uncritically into educational research. In our time, it is also seen as a means whereby scholars and scholar-practitioners can generate new descriptive knowledge and recover knowledge that has been lost or fallen into obscurity. My present task is to notice the philosophical roots of thick description in the work of Gilbert Ryle and its subsequent use by the American anthropologist, Clifford Geertz. I also note Adam Kuper's critique of Geertz's anthropological use of the term. And after `rescuing' aspects of thick description, I sketch implications for narrative inquiry in music education.
qualitative research methods
On thick description in narrative inquiry in music education. Research Studies in Music Education 31 (1) (2009): 73-85.
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