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In the Footsteps of Turner. From Grounded Theory to Conceptual Ethnography in Safety

Abstract : This chapter explores the contribution of Barry Turner to the qualitative mode of inquiry of safety-critical systems and suggests that his contribution can be pursued and defined, in the context of daily operations, as conceptual ethnography. Proceeding with a historical analysis of his writings between the 1970s and early 1990s, the chapter shows the interwoven character of his main topics of research: organisational symbolism, disasters and grounded theory. It introduces then addresses the evolution of the method of grounded theory which Turner used, challenged and improved. Turner appears to be a prescient analyst of some of the limitations of grounded theory as fully exposed during the 1990s and 2000s by a new generation of grounded theorists. His critics include the problems of theory–data connection, the practice of ethnography, the presence of macro structure and the exteriority of researcher. After identifying recent qualitative approach of disaster by two sociologists (historical ethnography by Diane Vaughan and desktop ethnography by Andrew Hopkins), the notion of conceptual ethnography is defined.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 3:52:44 PM
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  • HAL Id : ineris-03523317, version 1



Jean-Christophe Le Coze. In the Footsteps of Turner. From Grounded Theory to Conceptual Ethnography in Safety. PETTERSEN GOULD, Kenneth; MACRAE, Carl. Inside Hazardous Technological Systems. Methodological Foundations, Challenges and Future Directions, CRC Press, pp.49-68, 2021, 9780429281587. ⟨ineris-03523317⟩



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