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TitleAddressing policy-oriented audiences. Relevance and persuasiveness.
Author(s)Cunha, Manuela Ivone P. da
Editor(s)Fassin, Didier
Public ethnography
Prison ethnography
Issue date2017
PublisherDuke University Press
Abstract(s)Doing ethnography on prisons and penal confinement in Portugal since 1987, I have had several occasions to interact with publics implicated in policy-definition or policy implementation at different levels, as well as with a variety of institutional agents and frontline personnel acting one way or another upon what they generally define as a “social issue” or a “social problem”. From policy officials, committees for prison reform, magistrates, national or local prison directors, to social workers and other actors, these were policy-oriented audiences, regardless of the nature or the degree of their power to intervene on that problem. Their expectations in relation to prison-research and its outcomes are formed within particular frames (the “denunciation” of prison ills, the production of “specific recommendations” to remedy them…). For my part, although I consider my research to have policy implications, it was not itself policy-driven or designed for policy. However, in spite of being far from matching these audiences’ dominant frame of expectations, my work was surprisingly well received and did produce a particular form of impact relevant for policy. Taking stock of this main experience of publicizing ethnographic research, and with the perspective added later on by the outcome of an entirely different ethnographic inquiry on vaccine acceptability and non-immunization, communicated to another policy-oriented audience, this chapter reflects on ethnographic relevance and on the ingredients that can render ethnographic accounts valuable and persuasive to those publics.
TypeBook part
Publisher version
AccessRestricted access (Author)
Appears in Collections:CRIA-UMinho - Livros e Capítulos de Livros

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