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Becoming EcologicalAn Expedition Into Community Psychology$
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James G. Kelly

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173796

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173796.001.0001

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Inquiry as Situated Methods with Processes for Mutual Discovery

Inquiry as Situated Methods with Processes for Mutual Discovery

(p.259) 15 Inquiry as Situated Methods with Processes for Mutual Discovery
Becoming Ecological

G. Kelly James

Oxford University Press

Discussions with community representatives create the context for what and how to study. This does not mean that there is no place for research generated by the community psychologist. Because the research enterprise is a potential resource for the community, it is essential to be inclusive during the research process. The key feature of ecological inquiry is the axiom that knowledge is place- and person-specific. The major implication of this is that there cannot be general laws that account for all people for every situation, only conclusions about specific persons in particular settings. Although the insights gained from inquiry in one place can be the basis of more general hypotheses to be tried and adapted to another, the primary goal of an ecological expedition is the discovery of specific places, people, and events in their particular and unique situations. A brief discussion of each of these three ecological principles of research is presented in this chapter.

Keywords:   community, ecological inquiry, discovery, people, events, ecological principles, places

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