Naturalistic Inquiry

N. Norris, R. Walker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

46 Citations (Scopus)


This invited contribution to the Sage Research Methods in the Social Sciences traces the theoretical origins of naturalistic inquiry in the work of the early sociologists at the University of Chicago and the participant observers and ethnographers they inspired. It is a contribution to methodology, based on a review of key texts. The paper considers the core ideas that have shaped the theory and practice of naturalistic inquiry. The paper argues that naturalistic inquiry is often best conceived as case study, that it should be intensive and that it needs the researcher to theorize with people rather than about them. The paper concludes with 'stories from the field'. Norris wrote the theoretical introduction, Walker wrote the 'stories from the field'.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Methods in the Social Sciences
EditorsB. Somekh, C. Lewin
PublisherSage Publications
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)076194401X
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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