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Steven Lubet on Ethnography and Evidence

Season 1, Ep. 249

In this episode, Steven Lubet, Edna B. and Ednyfed H. Williams Memorial Professor of Law and Director of the Fred Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, discusses his book "Interrogating Ethnography: Why Evidence Matters," which is published by Oxford University Press. Lubet begins by describing ethnography and ethnographic research practices. He explains why he became concerned about the factual accuracy of some of the claims made by ethnographers, and how ethnographic research practices contributed to his concerns. He describes how he investigated claims made in a range of different ethnographic works, and uses evidentiary practices from litigation as a metaphor for how ethnographers could more effectively evaluate the factual accuracy of the evidence they gather. He points to several simple practices, like fact-checking witness accounts, that would increase accuracy. He closes by reflecting on the reception of his book by ethnographers. Lubet blogs at The Faculty Lounge and his scholarship is available on SSRN.

This episode was hosted by Brian L. Frye, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky College of Law. Frye is on Twitter at @brianlfrye.

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