Henrik Rønsbo: “Mixed Methods in Latin American Anthropology”

This presentation explores what we may call the nature of mixed methods. Current text books would argued that mixed method is ‘the new black’ or the third wave of the social sciences. They typically focus on how quantitative and qualitative methodologies can be combined so a to merge different data. In this paper I will review some of the key contributions from Latin American anthropology in order to identify what we can learn from these about the strength and weaknesses of mixed methods. I will explore three fundamental questions
1) How did mixed methods emerge in Latin Americanist anthropology?
2) What have actually been mixed in the ethnographies of this region?
3) how may this regional corpus of writing inform theorizing of mixed methods more generally?
What I argue is that mixed methods for a substantial period of time, has been central to anthropological field work in Latin America, and that a symptomatic reading of this corpus may provide important lessons for social sciences in general.


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