Tips to Identify Stylistics Moves



  1. Read the introduction or first chapter for an explicit discussion of the social phenomena, events, ideas, questions, and analytical frameworks that motivate the work -- entering a conversation 

  2. In Chapter One (or early on), look for an “arrival scene” that establishes the work’s validity and reliability by showing the author’s actual presence and positioning within a specific context -- entering a conversation, establishing authority 

  3. Is there a specific discussion of how the author established rapport, negotiated a crisis, or was granted insider status? How does this episode (or episodes) illustrate the process of coming to feel and think as a member of a specific community? -- establishing authority

  4. Look for key terminology. From where has the author taken her central concepts and how has she developed them further? How does she utilize these ideas to illuminate her own field observations and data? -- borrowing and extending

  5. Examine the author’s discussion of existing theories and other literatures relating to the same area or topic. How does he relate his approach, methods, and findings to previous work? -- borrowing and extending, countering, qualifying

  6. Look for moments of reflexivity. Where does the author explores his or her own positioning relative to the research questions and field setting or consider how such moments affect the credibility of the data and/or claims being advanced? -- establishing authority, stepping back

  7. In an ethnography, read closely some of the ethnographic scenes. How are informants’ voices represented, through direct quotes or paraphrases? What contextual information about informants does the author provide? -- establishing authority