Publication: International Journal of Social Research Methodology
Author(s): G. Nicholas, J. Foote
This paper discusses methodological challenges in researching practice. The primary challenge arises from the view that practice is inextricable from its performance, and that performance is embedded in social relations, material infrastructures and historical context. The paper argues for an approach that works with practitioners, which would support practical wisdom in decision-making. A further methodological challenge is that of defining the object of practice. The paper argues for avoiding tight definitions in favour of discovering from the lived experience of informants a recognisable ‘family likeness’ in relation to the object of practice. The paper shows how one research team responded to the challenges by its choices of stance, lenses through which to attend to information, selection of sources, and how to discern and present emergent insights.