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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Jonathan Tummons

Tummons, J. (2017). Institutional Ethnography, Theory, Methodology, and Research: Some Concerns and Some Comments. In Perspectives on and from Institutional Ethnography. Reid, J. & Russell, L. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 15: 147-162.

Author(s) from Durham


In this chapter, I outline the key tenets of institutional ethnography (IE) as a framework for interpretivist social research. Through drawing not only on the key tenets of IE but also on the key findings and conclusions of the different chapters – empirical and conceptual – that make up the present volume, I argue for a critical reappraisal of IE. Through turning the IE lens of enquiry onto IE itself, I foreground the problematic within IE, and also the need to attend to the standpoint of IE. Finally, I consider the position of IE in terms of theory more broadly, as well as social theory more specifically, through focussing on the ways in which IE can be augmented through the use of other, compatible, theoretical, and/or methodological perspectives such as critical discourse analysis, actor-network theory, semiotics, and participatory and community models of research.