Using literary ethnography as a form of qualitative document synthesis to explore the maltreatment of vulnerable populations: An examination of verbal neglect and abuse in nursing homes
Studying vulnerable populations can be highly problematic. This is especially true when they are located in institutional settings. When gatekeepers block access and a researcher wants to examine a delicate topic, one ethical, feasible way to paint an interpretive picture of everyday life involves the use of a literary ethnography. With data on the verbal neglect and abuse of elders in United States nursing homes, this paper details the six-stages of a literary ethnography. It includes a discussion of identifying sources, reading and interpreting the documents, identifying textual themes, classifying themes, developing a set of analytic constructs, and re-reading documents for contextual confirmation. It concludes with a discussion of literary ethnography weaknesses and directions for future applications.
Ulsperger, J. S. (2009). "Using literary ethnography as a form of qualitative document synthesis to explore the maltreatment of vulnerable populations: An examination of verbal neglect and abuse in nursing homes." Qualitative Report 14(4): 807-824.