ERIC Number: ED204213
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Applied Research in a Cross-Cultural Setting.
Shumavon, Douglas H.
Researchers working in foreign settings are often influenced by a number of factors which are quite different from factors which influence research activities in one's own culture. The hypothesis is that these cultural differences can influence research in a positive or negative way depending, at least partially, on the degree of sensitivity shown by the researcher to the unique cultural characteristics of the society in which he/she is attempting to carry out research activities. Data are based on experience and interviews gathered while working in community development in Bolivia. Factors deemed particularly influential with regard to research efforts in Bolivia and in developing nations generally include educational level and literacy, attitudes toward government within the host country, feelings of efficacy in social and political interactions, the organizational milieu, geographical considerations (such as arranging activities/interviews to coincide with the work/leisure cycles of an agricultural calendar), and the influence of cultural differences on the interpretation of data and findings. The conclusion is that difficulties pursuant to conducting research in a foreign setting can be alleviated if researchers make every attempt to be sensitive to the cultural setting. One way of increasing cultural sensitivity is to rely upon host-country personnel to assist in the research activity. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (Philadelphia, PA, March 18-21, 1981).